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Marion Hourdequin

Associate Professor

My primary interests are in ethics, environmental ethics, comparative (Chinese and Western) philosophy, and the philosophy of biology.  I teach courses in all of these areas, as well as in philosophy of science and epistemology.

My dissertation research focused on the relationship between evolution and ethics: more specifically, I defended a naturalistic metaethics that makes a place for justified moral belief.  This work drew on recent developments in evolutionary theory, including multilevel selection and cultural evolutionary theory. 

Current projects include work on the relationship between collective action problems such as climate change and individual moral obligation, moral learning and moral motivation, the roles of care and empathy as moral guides in contemporary and classical ethical theories, and the ethics of ecological restoration.

Representative Publications

"Geoengineering, Solidarity, and Moral Risk," in Engineering the Climate: The Ethics of Solar Radiation Management, Christopher Preston, ed. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2012).

"Empathy, Shared Intentionality, and Motivation by Moral Reasons," Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 no. 3 (2012): 403-419.

“Evolutionary Approaches to Ethics” in Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, 2nd ed., Ruth Chadwick, ed. (Elsevier, 2011).

“Ecological Restoration in Context: Ethics and the Naturalization of Former Military Lands" (with David Havlick) Ethics, Place, and Environment 14 no. 1 (2011): 69-89.

“Climate, Collective Action, and Individual Ethical Obligations,” Environmental Values 19 no. 4 (2010): 443-464.

“Engagement, Withdrawal, and Social Reform: Confucian and Contemporary Perspectives,” Philosophy East & West 60 no. 3 (2010): 369-390.

“Revising Responsibility in a Proposal for Greenhouse Development Rights,” Ethics, Place, and Environment 12 no. 3 (2009): 291-295.

"Doing, Allowing, and Precaution," Environmental Ethics 29 (2007): 339-358.

Review of The Evolution of Morality by Richard Joyce, Metascience 16 (2007): 315-319 . 

Review of Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution by Peter Richerson and Robert Boyd, Philosophy of Science 73/1 (2006): 127-131.

"Practical Wisdom in Environmental Education," with David Havlick, Ethics, Place, and Environment 8/3 (2005): 385-392.

"Theories as Tools: A Pluralistic Approach to Ecological Modeling," Studies in History and Philosophy of Science C 36 (2005): 594-601.

"A Relational Approach to Environmental Ethics," with David Wong, Journal of Chinese Philosophy 32 (2005): 19-33.

"Tradition and Morality in the Analects: A Reply to Hansen," Journal of Chinese Philosophy 31 (2004): 517-533. 

Link to CV

Regular Classes

PH 140  Ethics

PH 203  Philosophy East & West

PH 227  Epistemology

PH 228  Philosophy of Science

PH 246  Environmental Ethics

PH 303  Relativism, Pluralism, & Social Reform 


  • PH203 – Topics in Philosophy: Ecological Restoration: Ecology, Philosophy and Society


    A.B., Princeton University, 1995
    M.S., University of Montana, 1999
    M.A., University of Montana, 2001
    Ph.D., Duke University, 2005