Faculty Profile

James Sias

Assistant Professor of Philosophy (2013)

Contact Information

siasj@dickinson.edu

East College Room 210
717.245.1217
http://jamessias.com

Bio

My research tends to focus upon either (a) questions about the foundations of ethics (otherwise known as "metaethics"), or (b) questions about the nature of moral cognition. Lately, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about how moral "outliers" (i.e., people who think and behave in ways radically differently than most) recognize and respond to the moral features of the world. In my forthcoming book, The Meaning of Evil (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), I examine the psychologies of people commonly regarded as evil, and on this basis, argue that what makes a person evil is the particular way in which he sees, or regards, others in the moral community. I'm currently working on a number of papers that further pursue issues raised in the book. And in the not-too-distant future, I'd like to do some work on (i) the moral psychology of racism, (ii) the nature of mental illness and its significance in the moral community, and (iii) the psychologies of so-called "moral saints." So if you've got any interesting thoughts about these issues, I'd like to hear them. Preferably over coffee.

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • B.S., Point University, 2005
  • M.A., Georgia State University, 2007
  • M.A., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 2009
  • Ph.D., 2013

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

PHIL 102 Moral Problems
An introduction to ethics treating normative ethical theories and their philosophical underpinnings, with consideration of contemporary moral problems.

PHIL 261 Moral Psychology
"This course explores ethical issues related to various psychological conditions, illnesses, and disorders. These issues will include: addiction and moral responsibility, psychopathy and evil, the difference between mental illness and personality disorder, and our duties to patients with Alzheimer's."

Spring 2016

PHIL 102 Moral Problems
An introduction to ethics treating normative ethical theories and their philosophical underpinnings, with consideration of contemporary moral problems.

PHIL 102 Moral Problems
An introduction to ethics treating normative ethical theories and their philosophical underpinnings, with consideration of contemporary moral problems.

PHIL 302 Ethical Theory
This seminar will explore major issues or texts in classical or contemporary moral philosophy. Prerequisites: three prior courses in philosophy, at least two at the 200 level, or permission of the instructor. Offered at least once every two years.