Samuel Director

Hellems 15

M 10:00-12:00 and by appointment

Teaching in Fall 19: PHIL 1200 sec 006, 008

At the broadest level, my research asks, “what is consent?” and “what does it mean to honor an individual’s consent?” In my dissertation, I examine the connection between consent and five different extreme kinds of cognitive impairment (dementia, intoxication, anorexia-nervosa, addiction, and bipolar disorder). In my work, I try to incorporate the best empirical evidence available on the questions that I am discussing. I believe that bioethics is best done from an interdisciplinary, empirically informed standpoint. So far, I have published chapter 1 “Consent’s Dominion: Dementia and Prior Consent to Sexual Relations” in Bioethics and have presented (or will present) two chapters at meetings of the APA. In the years to come, I plan to continue publishing my dissertation chapters, and I also plan to further develop my research program in the ethics of consent.

By the start of my 4th year in graduate school, I have published 6 different peer-reviewed journal articles. I have published in philosophy of religion, history of ancient political philosophy, social epistemology, contemporary political philosophy, and applied ethics. Although there are certainly differences between these fields, I see consent and moral responsibility as the common thread. My work in political philosophy (both historical and contemporary) is about the history and use of public reason liberalism as a theory of justice. I see this research on public reason as an attempt to understand what consent looks like in the political domain. My work in social epistemology and philosophy of religion also concerns issues of responsibility for action and whether we (or our implicit biases) are responsible for our beliefs.

Although my dissertation is in bioethics, my research interests in consent spans several different areas of value theory, including political philosophy and applied ethics. In the years to come, I plan to develop numerous consent-related projects in these areas.

For more information about me, see my CV and my personal web page. For links to my published papers, you can go to my Google Scholar profile and my PhilPeople profile.