►     Research Interests

 ►     Publications

 ►     Teaching


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.




Research Interests


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.





Edited Collections:






Contributions to Collections:


  • “Acquiring Aristotelian Virtue”, IN The Handbook of Virtue, Snow N. (ed), Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
  • “The Psychology of Virtue Education”, IN From Psychology to Virtue, Masala A. and  Webber J. (ed), Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015
  • “Educating for virtue”, in The Handbook of Virtue Ethics, van Hooft S. and Saunders N. (eds), Acumen Press, 2013
  • “Luck and Risk in Medicine” in Reconceiving Medical Ethics: an anthology, Cowley C., Continuum Press, 2012
  • “Virtue Ethics and Risk”, with Ross A., in The Handbook of Risk Theory, Roesner S., Springer, 2011
  • Akrasia and the Emotions” in The Moral Life: essays in honour of John Cottingham, Co-editor with Samantha Vice, Palgrave, 2008
  • “Training Good Professionals: Ethics and Health Care Education” in Gillon’s Principles of Health Care Ethics, eds. Ashcroft, Dawson, Draper and McMillan, Willey and Sons, 2007
  • “The Treatment that Leaves Something to Luck” in Philosophical Reflections in Medical Ethics, 2005, Palgrave/Macmillan 
  • “Moral Luck and the Sources of Evil”, in Earth’s Abominations: Perspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness, editor D. Haybron, Rodopi Press, 2002


Review Articles:


  • “Five questions on virtue ethics”, review article for the Iranian Journal of Philosophy, 2014-15


  • “Virtue Ethics”, review article for the Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy, Phillips D.C., Sage Publications, 2013
  • Virtue Ethics”, review article for the Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, posted April 2004.


Book Reviews:


  • Book Review of Bennett W. Helm’s Love, Friendship & the Self, Philosophical Quarterly, forthcoming in 2010
  • Book Review of Margaret Pabst Battin’s Ending Life: Ethics and the Way We Die, Notre Dame Book Reviews, 1st January 2006,
  • Book Review of Jeffrie E. Murphy’s Getting Even: Forgiveness and its Limits, The Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 55, no. 221, October 2005
  • Book Review of Jeff McMahan’s The Ethics of Killing, Uilitas, 17 (1), 2005
  • Book Review of Christine Swanton’s Virtue Ethics, Journal of Applied Philosophy, vol.21 no 2, 2004
  • Book Review of Peach L., Legislating Morality, Philosophical Books, 2004
  • Book Review of Julia Driver's Uneasy Virtue, Philosophical Quarterly, vol.53, no 211, 2003
  • Book Review of Michael Slote's Morals From Motives, Notre Dame Book Reviews, vol, 14, no 1, March 2002
  • Book Review of Rosalind Hursthouse’s, On Virtue Ethics, Ratio, March 2001

On teaching:

  • “A Practical Guide to Teaching Ethics”, www.teaching ethics.org.uk
  • “Professional and Social Values” in Level 3 Extended Project in Ethics, University of York, 2009
  • “Analysis of Contextualised healthcare Ethics Scenarios (ACHES)” with J.C. Jackson and C.B. Megone , Discourse, vol. 4, no1, Autumn 2004-5
  • “Teaching Philosophy in the Medical School” in Innovation and Excellence: New Approaches to Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Arts, University of Leeds, November 2004.
  • “Teaching Seminars in Philosophy” on line at the PRS-LTSN site, 2001

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

  • Odyssey, Koromilas K., “Wisdom begins in wonder”, Nov/Dec 2008, interview
  • Times Higher Education Supplement, Tysome T., “I can’t do it for 30 more years”, 8 Sep 2006, interview


Professional Activities


 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.


Research Funding


  • Ethics consultant and project leader for an ethics project within the IDEA CETL (2006), funding £127,000.
  • Leading member of the successful biding team for a  Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) for teaching inter-disciplinary ethics (IDEA) (2005), total funding over five years £2.4million.
  • West Yorkshire Workforce Federation Grant for developing web-based teaching resources on medical ethics for ethics teachers, and organising “The Chaleenges of Teaching Medical Ethics” conference (September 2004), funding £4,400.
  • Co-contributor (with Chris Megone and Jennifer Jackson) to a Philosophy and Religious Studies Learning and Teaching Support Network funded project on the teaching of philosophy through case studies (ACHES) (April 2003 – January 2003), funding £2,500.






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.






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