Teaching staff

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The following staff and associates of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics will present on one or more* of the the week-long intensive sessions:

Nick Bostrom

Nick Bostrom is Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University and founding Director of the Future of Humanity Institute and of the Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology within the Oxford Martin School.

Nick Bostrom has a background in physics, computational neuroscience, and mathematical logic as well as philosophy. He is the author of some 200 publications, including Anthropic Bias (Routledge, 2002), Global Catastrophic Risks (ed., OUP, 2008), and Human Enhancement (ed., OUP, 2009), and the book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (OUP, 2014). He is best known for his work in five areas:  (i) existential risk; (ii) the simulation argument; (iii) anthropics  (developing the first mathematically explicit theory of observation selection effects); (iv) impacts of future technology; and (v) implications of consequentialism for global strategy.

He is recipient of a Eugene R. Gannon Award (one person selected annually worldwide from the fields of philosophy, mathematics, the arts and other humanities, and the natural sciences). Earlier this year he was included on Prospect magazine’s World Thinkers list, the youngest person in the top 15 from all fields and the highest-ranked analytic philosopher. His writings have been translated into 22 languages. There have been more than 100 translations and reprints of his works.

Roger Crisp

Roger Crisp's research interests are in Ethics, Political Philosophy, and Ancient Philosophy. After studing for a BA in Lit. Hum. (Classics) at Oxford Dr Crisp went on to complete a B.Phil and D.Phil before becoming a Junior Lecturer in Philosophy, Magdalen College, Oxford. He has since held various posts, including Lecturer in Philosophy, St Anne’s College, Oxford, Lecturer in Philosophy, Hertford College, Oxford, British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Honorary Junior Research Fellow, University College, Oxford. He is currently Tutor in Philosophy at St Anne's College, and Chair of the Management Committee of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics.

Thomas Douglas

Tom Douglas is a Senior Research Fellow in the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He is also Principal Investigator on the Wellcome Trust-funded project 'Neurointerventions in Crime Prevention: An Ethical Analysis' and Lead Researcher in the Oxford Martin Programme on Collective Responsibility for Infectious Disease. He initially qualified as a medical doctor at the University of Otago (New Zealand) before taking up a Rhodes Scholarship in Oxford, where he received his BA in Philosophy, Politics & Economics in 2005, and his DPhil in Philosophy in 2010. From 2010-2013 he was a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in the Uehiro Centre and a Junior Research Fellow at Balliol College. Tom’s research lies mainly in practical and normative ethics. In practical ethics, his work focuses on the ethics of using medical technologies for 'non-medical' purposes, such as crime prevention and behaviour change. In normative ethics he is primarily interested in the nature of moral improvement and in tensions between special obligations and requirements of fairness. Previously, he has written on slippery slope arguments, organ donation policy, the philosophical foundations of injury compensation law, and the dual-use dilemma.

Nadira Faber

Nadira Faber is  an experimental social psychologist. Before she joined the University of Oxford as a Research Fellow in mid-2015, I she completed a 3-year-PostDoc (Oxford & Delft), a 3-year-PhD (Göttingen), and a BSc/MSc (Munich) in psychology.

Working with collaborators from psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience, Faber investigates cooperation and helping, as well as cognitive enhancement, using behavioural experiments, but also normative analyses and neuroscientific tools.

Andreas Kappes

Andreas is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Psychology and Neuroscience of Altruism, a Uehiro Centre research project, in collaboration with the Department of Experimental Psychology, and funded by the Wellcome Trust.  He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Hamburg and thereafter was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at New York University and University College London, funded by the German Research Foundation. In his work, he uses experimental psychological as well as neuroscientific methods to investigate the tools that give people control over their lives. When people make decisions, automatic biases and intuitions often suggest solutions that are not in one’s best interest, or might even run counter to important beliefs, such as the moral values people hold. Understanding such biases and intuitions enables the development of tools that allow people to control them. In his Ph.D. work, he studied how the integration of obstacles into future thinking changes automatic processes underlying the pursuit of goals. Thereafter, he studied learning biases that help people sustain unrealistic beliefs (e.g., optimism) even when people a) face contradicting information, b) when they encounter contradicting options from other people, c) or receive ambiguous information from multiple sources. He also examines how and under what conditions moral intuitions that guide moral decisions change. And most recently, he started to look at biases in learning about the consequences of one’s actions for others.

Neil Levy

Neil received a PhD in Continental Philosophy in 1995 and a second PhD, this time in analytic philosophy, in 2006. He was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne, from 2002 to 2009. In 2010 he moved to the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, where he was Head of Neuroethics and an ARC Future Fellow. From 2006 onwards, he has held appointments at the University of Oxford, where he is currently Leverhulme Visiting Professor. From 2016, he will be half time at Oxford and half time at Macquarie.

Neil's research is focused on a number of questions concerning how the cognitive sciences can illuminate traditional philosophical debates. He is especially interested in the extent to which ascriptions of moral responsibility continue to be justified in the light of findings in neuroscience and social psychology on action control, and in how nonconscious representations affect action. He also works on free will and moral responsibility more broadly, on applied ethics and the philosophy of psychology.

Doug McConnell

Research Fellow, Mind Value and Mental Health at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics

Hannah Maslen

Hannah Maslen is the Deputy Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. She works on a wide range of areas in practical ethics and applied philosophy, from neuroethics to philosophy of punishment. Her current research projects include:

  • BrainCom, a European Horizon 2020 project developing neuroprosthetics for speech, on which she is a Principal Investigator leading the work package on ‘Ethics, Implants and Society’;
  • the Oxford Martin Programme on Collective Responsibility for Infectious Disease, on which she is the Programme Manager; and
  • Prof Julian Savulescu’s Wellcome Trust project on the relevance of personal responsibility to healthcare policy and resource allocation.

Previously, Hannah worked as a Research Fellow on the Oxford Martin Programme on Mind and Machine. Here she examined the ethical, legal and social implications of various brain intervention and interface technologies. Technologies covered included non-invasive brain stimulation for enhancement, deep brain stimulation as a treatment for various medical conditions, optogenetics, and virtual reality. She has also worked on philosophy of punishment and sentencing, particularly on the relevance of remorse as a mitigating factor within retributive theories of punishment.

Hannah’s academic background is in philosophy, psychology and law. She is a (non-stipendiary) Junior Research Fellow at New College, and a James Martin Research Fellow at the Oxford Martin School.

Jeff McMahan

Jeff McMahan is the White’s Chair in Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford. Before returning to Oxford in 2014, hetaught at the University of Illinois and at Rutgers University in New Jersey. His research interests include a range of issues involving or related to harming, killing, and saving.  These issues include war, self- and other-defense, abortion, infanticide, prenatal injury, euthanasia, the metaphysics of personal identity, the metaphysics of death, brain death, the evaluation of death, the moral status of animals, causing people to exist, obligations to future people, screening for disability, torture, philanthropy, gun control, the distinction between doing harm and allowing harm to occur, and the distinction between harming as a means and harming as a side effect. 

Ingmar Persson

Ingmar Persson is Professor of Practical Philosophy, Göteborg University, Sweden and Distinguished Research Fellow at the Oxford Uehiro Centre, University of Oxford. His fields of research are ethics and the philosophy of mind and action. His principal publication is The Retreat of Reason: A Dilemma in the Philosophy of Life (OUP 2005). With Julian Savulescu, he is currently writing a book, Fit for the Future, about the mismatch between our moral psychology, which appears to be shaped for life in small communities with simple technology, and the problems we face in modern societies with millions of citizens and a powerful scientific technology.

Janet Radcliffe Richards

Janet Radcliffe Richards  is Professor of Practical Philosophy at the University of Oxford, and Fellow, Distinguished Research Fellow and Consultant at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics.  Formerly she was Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University, and then Director of the Centre for Bioethics at the medical school at University College London.  She is a philosopher who originally specialized in metaphysics and philosophy of science, but has now for many years concentrated on the practical applications of philosophy, and is the author of The Sceptical Feminist (1980), Philosophical Problems of Equality (1995), Human Nature after Darwin (2000) and The Ethics of Transplants: why careless thought costs lives (Oxford University Press, March 2012). She does a good deal of media work, and her latest book originated many years ago in a short newspaper article which was picked up by transplant surgeons.  Since then she has been a frequent speaker at transplant conferences around the world.

Ilina Singh

Ilina Singh is Professor of Neuroscience & Society at the University of Oxford, where she holds a joint appointment between the Department of Psychiatry and the Faculty of Philosophy (Oxford Centre for Neuroethics and Uehiro Centre). Her work examines the psychosocial and ethical implications of advances in biomedicine and neuroscience for young people and families. Recent projects include the ADHD VOICES project (www.adhdvoices.com); Neuroenhancement Responsible Research and Innovation (www.nerri.eu); and the Urban Brain Project (www.urbanbrainlab.com). In 2014, Professor Singh received a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award for a study entitled: Becoming Good: Early Intervention and Moral Development in Child Psychiatry.

Professor Singh has published widely in eminent journals, including Nature, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Social Science and Medicine, and the American Journal of Bioethics. She is the lead editor of a new volume: BioPrediction, Biomarkers and Bad Behavior: Scientific, Ethical and Legal Challenges (co-edited with Walter-Sinnott Armstrong and Julian Savulescu), published by Oxford University Press. She has acted as an advisor to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, NICE, NIMH and other organisations. She is co-editor of the journal BioSocieties and on the editorial board of the American Journal of Bioethics-Neuroscience and Qualitative Psychology.

Dominic Wilkinson

Professor Dominic Wilkinson is Director of Medical Ethics at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He has worked as a doctor in neonatal, paediatric and adult intensive care, and is a consultant neonatologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. He has a DPhil in medical ethics from the University of Oxford, and has written a large number of academic articles relating to ethical issues in intensive care. He is the author of 'Death or Disability? The 'Carmentis Machine' and decision-making for critically ill children' (OUP 2013), "the best book of the decade in bioethics... this is a book that must be read by everybody who is seriously interested in the bioethical issues that arise in neonatal intensive care or, more generally, in decision making for children with chronic, debilitating or life-threatening conditions." (John Lantos, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews).  He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics and Managing Editor for the Journal of Practical Ethics.

*Exact programme and speakers may vary