An interdisciplinary leader in philosophy, Hanna Pickard’s research specializes in philosophy of mind and psychiatry. She explores philosophical questions that arise out of clinical practice and related science, often in connection with criminal and mental health law and policy.
Pickard’s research examines how society responds to maladaptive behaviors like crime and addiction. Through her applied approach to research, she explores a broad range of topics, including mental disorder, clinical ethics, the self, and criminal law and policy. Pickard worked for a decade at The Oxfordshire Complex Needs Service in England, which provides specialty services for people with personality disorders and complex needs. From this experience, Pickard developed the Responsibility Without Blame framework, which she uses to advocate for a radical new approach to criminal justice that prioritizes responsibility and rehabilitation for offenders in addition to justice for victims. Her research on addiction focuses on using philosophical analysis, clinical practice, and addiction science to redress the standard conception of addiction as a neurobiological disease of compulsion, characterizing it instead as a disorder of choice.
Pickard joined Johns Hopkins University as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in 2019 from the University of Birmingham.