Francesco Orsi: potential topics for supervision
1. Meta-ethics and Moral Argument
It is common to distinguish between facts and values, between what is and what ought to be. But in what does this difference consist? And what does it imply for the moral debates we typically have with other people? While these questions have always been part of philosophy, since the XX century many philosophers have more explicitly and focusedly asked, and tried to answer, such questions in a variety of ways.
Geoff Sayre-McCord "Metaethics", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Geoff Sayre-McCord "Moral Realism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Richard Joyce "Moral Anti-Realism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
2. Normative Ethics and Particularism
Since Socrates philosophers have aimed to give a reasoned and systematic answer to the question 'how should I live'. Different models have been proposed throughout history and, in various forms and variations, many are still regarded today as plausible candidates: Aristotelian virtue ethics, Kantian deontology, utilitarianism, contractualism, and others. As a result, the current ethical debate is more alive than it has ever been before. Recently, philosophers known as 'particularists' have also started wondering whether an answer to 'how should I live' should at all be based on principles, as opposed to contextual and case by case judgment.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong "Consequentialism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Larry Alexander and Michael Moore "Deontological Ethics", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Rosalind Hursthouse "Virtue Ethics", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Jonathan Dancy "Moral Particularism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
3. History of Ethics
I am also happy to supervise students interested in a more historical focus on particular periods, traditions, authors in the history of moral philosophy, ranging from the ancient Greeks to Modern and Contemporary philosophy.
4. Philosophy of Sexuality
Sexuality is a sphere of experience that can raise, and has raised, many philosophical and ethical questions: what is sexual desire? is there anything like a 'normal' sexuality? are there any special principles that should govern sexuality? But I am also happy to supervise projects in other areas of applied ethics (animal ethics, environmental, genetic engineering, etc.).
Sample titles of theses supervised: Bernard Williams' critique of ethical theory; The case for the legal rights of non-human animals; The problem of non-identity in the animal context.