Research in Moral and Political Philosophy

As one of our areas of research strength, our work in Moral and Political Philosophy focuses on several core interconnected aims:

  • to illuminate and resolve a range of ethical issues involving health policy and health care, reproduction, genetics, women’s rights, animal rights, etc. through the application of moral theories and philosophical analysis from ancient to postmodern and feminist standpoints on ethics
  • to analyse through the use of moral theory various issues in law, including connections between law and morality, moral or legal responsibility and mental illness, practical issues such as police practices and accountability, treatment of refugees etc
  • to assess the adequacy of mainstream impartialist moral theories in the light of their attempts to accommodate the nature and value of love and friendship, professional roles, and feminist perspectives on ethics

Research areas and supervisors

Dr Linda Barclay
Social and political philosophy, applied ethics

Assoc Prof Toby Handfield
Ethical theory, decision theory, philosophy of economics, metaphysics, political philosophy, philosophy of law

Dr Alexei Procyshyn

Assoc Prof Alison Ross
Aesthetics, modern and contemporary European philosophy.

Dr Robert Simpson
Political philosophy, Legal theory, Epistemology

Prof Rob Sparrow
Bioethics, moral philosophy, social and political philosophy, applied ethics, environmental philosophy

Assoc Prof Justin Oakley
Ethical theory, virtue ethics, bioethics, reproductive ethics, professional ethics, moral psychology

Prof Michael Selgelid
Applied Ethics, Bioethics, Public Health Ethics, Science and Ethics,
Social and Political Philosophy

Recent research grants:

Legal and ethical issues in the inheritable genetic modification of humans

Mills, C.Ludlow, K.Sparrow, R. & Warren, N.
Australian Research Council (ARC): AUD215,000.00
Monash University: AUD27,542.00

ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science

Macfarlane, D., Cook, M., Coote, M., Crook, J., Dodds, S., Forsyth, M., Hancock, L., Higgins, M., Innis, P., Kapsa, R., Moulton, S., Mozer, A., Officer, D., Paull, B., Sparrow, R., Spinks, G., Wallace, G., Wang, X., Zhang, J., in het Panhuis, M., Diamond, D., Guldi, D., Kim, S. J., Unwin, P. & Watanabe, M.
Australian Research Council (ARC): AUD3,821,762.00

Informal sanctions and bad social norms

Abbink, K.Gangadharan, L.Handfield, T.Thrasher, J. & Skarbek, D.
Australian Research Council (ARC), Monash University, King’s College London

Pathologies of moral cognition

Handfield, T. & Berg, N.
Australian Research Council (ARC), Monash University, University of Otago

Improving decision-making processes in complex environments

Ross, A.
Australian Research Council (ARC)

A new ethics for the development and application of genetic technologies in a pluralist society

Sparrow, R.
Australian Research Council (ARC)

Good Soldiers and Ethical Soldiers

 Rob Sparrow with Dr Jessica Wolfendale (University of Melbourne) and Professor Tony Coady (University of Melbourne).
ARC Discovery Project Grant ($440 000).