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UCD School of Philosophy

Scoil na FealsĂșnachta UCD

Christopher Cowley

BA (London 1997), MA (Montréal 1999), PhD (Bristol 2004), LLM (University College Dublin 2014)
Lecturer in Philosophy  

Email:  christopher.cowley.AT.ucd
Room:  D 518
Telephone:  01 716 8228

Biography: I have been working at UCD since 2007. Before that I was at the University of East Anglia (2003-2007) and the University of Hertfordshire (2001-2003).

Research interests: ethical theory, applied ethics, and in general the philosophy of value (political, religious, aesthetic, legal, and the philosophy of education). 


'The Conjoined Twins and the Limits of Rationality in Ethics'  in:  Bioethics, vol. 17 no. 1, February 2003.

'Diane Pretty and the occasional impotence of justification in ethics' in: Ethical Perspectives, vol. 11 no. 4, 2004.

'A new rejection of moral expertise' in: Journal of Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy, vol. 8 no. 3, January 2005.

'Changing one's mind on moral matters' in:  Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, vol. 8 no. 3, June 2005.

'A new defence of Williams's reasons-internalism'  in:  Philosophical Investigations, vol. 28 no. 4, October 2005.

'The dangers of medical ethics'  in:  Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 31 no. 12, December 2005.

Why philosophers shouldn't teach medical ethics' in:  Discourse, vol. 5 no. 1, December 2005.

'The role of perspective in moral philosophy' in: Ethical Perspectives, vol. 13, no. 1, 2006.

'A renewed rejection of universalisability' in: Philosophical Writings, vol. 31, Spring 2006

'The last chapter in the story: a place for Aristotle's eudaemonia in the lives of the terminally ill' in: On-line Journal of Healthcare Ethics, vol. 1 no. 1, 2006.

'Narrative and the personal in ethics' in: Practical Philosophy, Vol. 8 no. 1, Summer 2006

'Polemic: five proposals for a medical school admissions policy' in: Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 32, July 2006

'Suicide is neither rational nor irrational' in:  Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 9, no. 5, November 2006

'A critique of Nagel's account of agent-reasons' in: Philosophical Writings, vol. 42, Summer 2009

Justifying terminal care by ‘retrospective QALYs’’ in: Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 36, no. 5, 2010

The irreducibility of the personal perspective in ethics’ in: Etica e politica, vol. 12 no. 1, 2010

'Why genuine forgiveness must be elective and unconditional' in: Ethical Perspectives, vol. 17 no. 4, December 2010

'Moral philosophy and the real world' in: Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis, vol. 31, 2010

'Learning to love' in: Philosophical Topics, Vol. 38 no. 1, Spring 2011

‘Understanding another's wrongdoing' in: Philosophy and Literature, vol. 35 no. 1, April 2011

‘Depression, physician-assisted suicide and the Dutch Chabot case’ in: Cowley (ed.) Reconceiving Medical Ethics, Continuum 2012

'Expertise, wisdom and moral philosophers' in: Bioethics, vol. 26 no. 6, July 2012

‘Euthanasia in psychiatry can never be justified’ in: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics vol. 34(3) June 2013

‘Conscientious objection and healthcare in the UK: why tribunals are not the answer’ in: Journal of Medical Ethics (published on-line April 2015)

‘Coming to terms with old age’ in: Scarre (ed.) Handbook to the Philosophy of Ageing, Palgrave (forthcoming)

‘The three levels of autobiography’ in: Cowley (ed.) Philosophy of Autobiography, University of Chicago Press (forthcoming)

‘The many faces of supererogation’ in: Cowley (ed.) Supererogation, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming) 


'Extended joint criminal enterprise in the former Yugoslavia' in: Journal of Criminal Law (forthcoming)


‘Families, identity and justice’ in: International Journal of Philosophical Studies (forthcoming)



Medical Ethics: Ordinary Concepts, Ordinary Lives, Palgrave Macmillan 2008

[for a review of this book see McNamee M., 'Review' in: Philosophical Investigations, vol. 32, no. 4, 2009.

Moral Responsibility, Routledge 2013


Reconceiving Medical Ethics, Continuum Press 2012

Philosophy of Autobiography, U. of Chicago Press (forthcoming 2015)

Supererogation, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming 2016)