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James Stacey Taylor

James Stacey TaylorJames Stacey Taylor, Associate Professor


MA, St. Andrews University; M.LITT, St. Andrews University; MA, Bowling Green State University; Ph.D., Bowling Green State University

Some areas of special interest: Applied ethics (especially medical ethics and the morality of markets), ethical theory, action theory, and metaphysical issues surrounding death.


Teaches (besides the basic and core courses): Applied ethics (especially medical ethics), ethical theory, action theory, and seminars on Descartes, Hume, Kant, and metaphysical issues surrounding death.

Representative articles: “Titmuss Revisited: From Tax Credits to Markets,” Journal of Medical Ethics (2012), “Autonomy and Organ Sales, Revisited,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (2009), “Market Incentives and Healthcare Reform,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (2008), “Harming the Dead,” Journal of Philosophical Research (2008), “Personal Autonomy, Posthumous Harm, and Presumed Consent Policies for Organ Procurement,” Public Affairs Quarterly (2006), “The Myth of Posthumous Harm,” American Philosophical Quarterly(2005),“Identification and Quasi-Desires,” Philosophical Papers (2005), “Autonomy, Duress, and Coercion,” Social Philosophy & Policy (2003).

Books: I’m the editor of Personal Autonomy: New essays (Cambridge University Press, 2005), and The Metaphysics and Ethics of Death (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), and the author of Stakes and Kidneys: Why markets in human body parts are morally imperative (Ashgate, 2005), Practical Autonomy and Bioethics (Routledge, 2009), Death, Posthumous Harm, and Bioethics (Routledge, 2012), and Toxic Trade? An Unapologetic Defense of Universal Commodification (Rowman and Littlefield, under contract).

Other: I currently serve as the Academic Integrity Officer of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. I’m the Managing Editor (with exclusive responsibility for book reviews) of The Journal of Value Inquiry, and a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy and HEC (Healthcare Ethics Committee) Forum.

Media activities: I have published numerous Op-Eds on bioethical issues in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News and USA Today. I’m an occasional contributor to NPR debates on ethical issues, and have been quoted in, and interviewed for, multiple publications (including The Times and the New York Times) on both bioethical issues and the morality of markets.

Currently working on: I am currently completing a monograph (Toxic Trade) in which I defend markets in everything that can be commodified, including children and votes.  I’m also working on papers that address the possibility of the posthumous survival of personal interests, how promising creates obligations, and Bentham’s conception of salient desires.

Other: I live with my wife and daughter on a former dairy farm. We’re slowly renovating the Victorian farmhouse (we now have almost-working plumbing!) and are bringing the farm itself back into production; in addition to domestic cats and dogs we have chickens and bees, and larger farm animals are planned once we’ve installed a new barn.

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