Humanities Building 425
Research and Teaching Interests: Ethical Theory, Bioethics, Free Will/Moral Responsibility, and Theory of Knowledge
Office Hours: By appointment
- BA, CSU Sacramento, Philosophy
- PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara, Philosophy
I grew up and was educated in California, developing a penchant for ethical issues and Mexican food. Before arriving at UAB in 2013, I lived for two years on the other side of the globe, in a land Down Under, where it’s summer in December, there’s universal health care, and the local time is one day ahead of the States. In Australia I taught at Monash University in Melbourne, worked with some outstanding philosophers, and explored the country — from the Great Barrier Reef to the Outback (the real thing, not the steakhouse).
Most of my research tackles questions like: How do emotions, like empathy and disgust, influence moral judgment? Do we really know right from wrong? Why are moral disagreements so difficult to resolve? Do we have free will? Can we be morally responsible for what we do? What motivates us to do what’s right? My attempts to answer such questions are heavily informed by discoveries in the sciences. Some of my work has even led to collaborative experiments with scientists and philosophers from around the globe.
Philosophy isn’t just for the few in the "ivory tower," so I try to engage the public on philosophical issues through interviews, opinion pieces, blog posts, and more.
Visit Josh May’s personal website.
- Ethics: Theories of Good & Evil
- Contemporary Moral Issues
- "Emotional Reactions to Human Reproductive Cloning," Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (No. 1, 2016):26-30. [Selected as Editor’s Choice.]
- "Does Disgust Influence Moral Judgment?," Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (No. 1, 2014):125-41.
- "On the Very Concept of Free Will," Synthese 191 (No. 12, 2014):2849-66.
- "Moral Judgment and Deontology: Empirical Developments," Philosophy Compass 9 (No. 11, 2014):745-55.
- "Skeptical Hypotheses and Moral Skepticism," Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (No. 3, 2013):341-59.
- "Because I Believe It's the Right Thing to Do," Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (No. 4, 2013):791-808.
- Josh May and Richard Holton, "What in the World Is Weakness of Will?," Philosophical Studies 157 (No. 3, 2012):341-60.
- "Egoism, Empathy, and Self-Other Merging," Southern Journal of Philosophy, Spindel Supplement 49 (2011):25-39.
- Josh May, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Jay G. Hull, Aaron Zimmerman, "Practical Interests, Relevant Alternatives, and Knowledge Attributions," Review of Philosophy & Psychology 1, Special Issue (No. 2, 2010):265-73.
- Article selected as Editor's Choice in the Journal of Medical Ethics
- Emerging Scholar Prize, Spindel Conference on Empathy & Ethics, University of Memphis
- Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Prize, American Philosophical Association