About me
I am Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Mount Holyoke College. I am also the Book Review Editor for The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. I received my B.A. in Philosophy and Politics from Oberlin College in 1993, and my Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2001.  

My wife, Jennifer (Kippy) York, is a veterinarian at Monadnock Humane Society, and we live in Amherst with our two children.

There is another philosophy professor with a similar name: James A. Harold. I am not him. 

About my work

My research lies at the intersection of meta-ethics and aesthetics. I am interested in the structure of moral and aesthetic justification, and the relationship between these two fields of value. My recent work focuses on the moral import of imaginative engagement with fictional artworks. I am particularly interested in cognitive and affective aspects of this engagement, and in the differences between the moral and aesthetic judgments we make about the value of such engagement. Thus, my work in this area brings me into contact with cognitive science, philosophy of emotion, and other related fields.

In summer 2008, I participated in a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar on Confucian virtue ethics, and I have been enjoying learning about the Chinese philosophical tradition. I am also interested in the role of principles in critical evaluation, philosophical psychopathology, empirical ethics and aesthetics, and meta-ethical expressivism.

Do you want to know more? Most of my papers are available at my philpapers.org page here

You can e-mail me at jharold [at] mtholyoke [dot] edu.