Moral Philosophy and Ethics Education

Conveners: Dr Annette Pierdziwol and Tim Smartt
Researchers: Prof Sandra Lynch, Xavier Symons

The Moral Philosophy and Ethics Education (MPEE) research focus area explores foundational topics in moral philosophy and ethics, which are vital to the University’s teaching and research life and which form the basis for the Institute’s cross-disciplinary projects on ethics and society. Our research draws on the long tradition of work in these fields found in the Catholic intellectual and moral tradition.

We host the Moral Philosophy and Ethics Education seminar.

The Moral Philosophy and Ethics Education research focus area has three streams:

  1. Moral Philosophy and Moral Cultivation: This stream covers work in the fields of moral philosophy, the history of ethics, normative ethical theory and moral psychology. The stream has a particular focus on the cultivation of virtuous character. In 2017 we were awarded a Fulbright Specialist Grant to support a collaboration between the IES and Candace Vogler (University of Chicago). This award established an international research linkage that resulted in the IES being named an official partner institute on Professor Vogler’s $2.2m John Templeton Project “Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life” at the University of Chicago. Within this stream, the IES regularly hosts research seminars, academic conferences, intensive master classes, and international visiting scholars, including leading Catholic philosophers such as Professor Vogler, Professor John Haldane (University of St. Andrews) and Professor John Finnis (University of Oxford).

  2. Ethics Education: This stream focuses on applying insights from the first stream to the teaching of ethics, including the development of pedagogy and curriculum for ethics education, especially for the professions. IES scholarship in this area emerges from our practical work in ethics education and consultancy, both within the University and externally. The Institute also researches practical tools for ethics education and has twice hosted and collaborated closely with Professor Mary Gentile (University of Virginia), who is the Creator and Director of the Giving Voice to Values Curriculum.

  3. Applied and Professional Ethics: This stream houses projects which apply our expertise in moral philosophy and ethics to specific professional domains such as business, law, sports, education and media.

Postgraduate Research

For queries about postgraduate research supervision within the IES’s Moral Philosophy and Ethics Education research focus area, please contact Dr Annette Pierdziwol.