Nafsika has held posts as Lecturer in Ethics at the Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele University and Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Leeds. While at Leeds she was a senior member in the successful IDEA CETL bid and author of the online teaching resource “An Introduction to Teaching Ethics”. She did her PhD on the problem of moral luck at the University of Reading under the supervision of John Cottingham and Jonathan Dancy, having been awarded an AHRC Partnership grant.
Nafsika works primarily in moral theory and applied philosophy. Her PhD examined the problem of moral luck and used the questions raised by the paradox of luck to examine how different moral theories, and in particular virtue ethics and Kantianism, account for moral responsibility. The ideas from that work were further developed and eventually resulted in her monograph Morality, Moral Luck and Responsibility: Fortune’s Web (Palgrave, 2005).
Her interest in the problem of moral luck has widened into a broader concern with how we make decisions under uncertainty and with her colleague Allison Ross, she has published four papers on how we make decisions about risk from a virtue ethical perspective (2009 Science and Engineering Ethics, 2010 Journal of Risk Research, 2012 in Reconceiving Medical Ethics and 2014 HEC Forum). Allison and Nafsika are currently working on a book on Risk and Virtue Ethics.
Nafsika is also working on a paper giving an Aristotelian account of hope, which is part of the broader theme of making decisions under conditions of uncertainty.
Nafsika is also particularly interested in inter-disciplinary research and has previously published on the interplay between virtue ethics and personality psychology (2000 Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 2015 in From Psychology to Virtue), as well as having interests in a broad range of applied topics, including the role of consent in sado-masochistic practices (2002, Res Publica), active euthanasia amongst neonates (2005, in Philosophical Reflections in Medical Ethics), unusual patient requests (2006, Journal of Value Inquiry), and deception in medical research (2009, Clinical Ethics). She is the editor of Philosophical Reflections on Medical Ethics (2005, Palgrave), described by a reviewer as “a provocative collection of compelling essays devoted to the most controversial topics in contemporary bioethics” (Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews).
She also has a strong interest in education, particularly the teaching of ethics to non-philosophy students (2007, in Principles of Health Care Ethics), the theory of Aristotelian education (2013 in The Handbook of Virtue Ethics and forthcoming in The Handbook of Virtue) as well as practical pedagogy. She has developed a website with practical ideas for teaching ethics, www.teachingethics.org.uk.
Nafsika is very proud to have edited, along with Sam Vice, a festschrift for John Cottingham, The Moral Life: Essays in Honour of John Cottingham (2008, Palgrave). The volume brings together friends, colleagues and former students of Cottingham, to discuss major themes of his work on moral philosophy. Presented in three parts the collection focuses on the debate on partiality, impartiality and character; the role of emotions and reason in the good life; the meaning of a worthwhile life and the place of theistic considerations in it. The original contributions to this volume celebrate Cottingham’s work by embracing and furthering his arguments and, at times, in the best spirit of philosophical engagement, challenging and confronting them. The volume concludes with Cottingham’s specially commissioned responses to the contributions.
Her latest book, Virtue Ethics (2013, Bloomsbury), presents a critical account of the revival of interest in virtue ethics, including current developments in moral education, the interplay between virtue ethics and personality psychology as well as the Kantian response to the increased focus on ‘virtue’ and ‘character’. The book is described by John Cottingham as “[a] beautifully lucid and engaging book, highly informative, philosophically insightful, and enlivened by a host of vivid and compelling examples.”
For copies of most works see here.
Contributions to Collections:
Newspaper and magazine articles and interviews:
· “The good, the bad and the lucky”, The Philosopher’s Magazine, 55(4), 2011
· “Euthanasia: Not just a matter of faith”, The Journal, 23 February 2009, issue 19
Nafsika has reviewed papers for, amongst others, the Philosophical Quarterly, the Journal of Applied Philosophy, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Ratio, the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, and reviewed books for Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Palgrave. She was Secretary of the British Society for Ethical Theory. She has acted as External Assessor for Manchester University and the Open University and she was External Examiner for a course at the Open University.
Nafsika has taught philosophy to students from all backgrounds. She has taught philosophy students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including doctoral candidates. While at Leeds she led the team that developed the Ethics Theme in the Medical School, which constituted the case for excellence for the successful IDEA CETL £2.4 million bid on the inter-disciplinary teaching of ethics. She developed the “Introduction to Ethical Thinking” a flexible and customizable resource which provides tutors new to teaching or new to teaching ethics with all the materials to run a 10 session course in ethics, including extensive Tutor and Student Notes and you can find over 100,000 words of teaching ideas on moral theory and practical ethics at her website www.teachingethics,org.uk.
At Keele she taught on PEAK’s six MA programs on professional ethics and was the Director of the MA in the Ethics of Cancer and Palliative Care and the Co-Ordinator of the Professional Doctorate in Medical Ethics. She supervised four Professional Doctorate students working various topics including, a critique of feminist concepts of relational autonomy, a critique of Pellegrino’s essentialist account of medicine, a critique of the permissibility of carrying out research on full facial transplants and an application of particularism to medicine. As part of her work at Keele she run training days for NHS Research Ethics Committee members and University Research Ethics Committee members.
Nafsika has a particular interest in curriculum design and has been involved in integrating ethics teaching in medicine, biosciences, pharmacy, law, business and engineering. She is also interested in practical pedagogy, including how to teach in an engaging and lively manner, how to introduce philosophy to non-philosophy students, how to teach with colleagues from other disciplines, etc. For more information on all this see www.teachingethics.org.uk.