josh may 2017 1

Associate Professor
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University Hall 5010
(205) 934-8920

Research and Teaching Interests:  Ethical Theory, Bioethics, Free Will/Moral Responsibility, and Theory of Knowledge

Office Hours: By appointment only

Education:

  • BA, CSU Sacramento, Philosophy
  • PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara, Philosophy

I grew up and went to college in California, where I developed 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 and explored as much of the country as I could squeeze in — from the Great Barrier Reef to the Outback (the real thing, not the steakhouse).

Most of my research aims to better understand the development, breakdown, and improvement of moral knowledge and virtue. I tackle questions such as: Do we really know right from wrong? Why are moral disagreements so difficult to resolve? Do we have free will? How can we improve our moral characters? My attempts to answer such questions are heavily informed by discoveries in the cognitive sciences, some of which I've tried to generate myself or in collaboration with other scientists.

When not reading, writing, or teaching, I like to get away from the computer and hike, travel, play guitar, cook mostly vegetarian food, or spend time with my wonderful daughter.

  • Neuroethics
  • Bioethics
  • Ethics: Theories of Good & Evil
  • Contemporary Moral Issues
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Best Paper Prize in Philosophy, Italian Society for Neuroethics, 2021
  • Outstanding Professor Award, from UAB's EMSAP Class of 2017
  • 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