"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King, Jr. ('48)
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health and Preventative Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA; MSM's bioethical representative for a MSM/TU/UAB cancer health disparity study
Philosophy & Religion Department, Sale Hall
830 Westview Drive SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30314
www.NathanNobis.com (redirect URL)
Research and teaching interests:
applied and practical ethics: bioethics, ethics & animals, abortion;.
critical thinking / argument analysis in ethics;
intersections of ethics/meta-ethics/value theory and epistemology;
science and values;
philosophy, critical thinking and psychotherapy.
Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Rochester (2005)
MA in philosophy from Northern Illinois University (1999);
BA's in philosophy and psychology from Wheaton College, IL (1996).
In Socrates Wake, a blog about teaching philosophy: InSocratesWake.blogspot.com
Webmaster for the Georgia Philosophy Society: http://sites.google.com/site/gaphilosophy/
Editorial Advisor for the journal Theoretical and Applied Ethics
Some new things and things in progress:
On March 5, 2010, I created a survey to try to identify which topics are most commonly addressed in introductory ethics courses that have a contemporary moral issues or problems component. If (and only if) you teach a course that focuses on practical issues (with little to no discussion of moral theory) or has a mix of theory and problems (either a unit on theory and then problems or a mix of theory and problems throughout), please fill out this survey below: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ethics-course-survey
Rational Animals: Critical Thinking & Animal Ethics
Why Think That? Reason, Argument and Ethics: A Guide To Making Moral Progress. A short book on logic and critical thinking that focuses on how to think (not what to think) about ethical questions that is geared toward students and scientists, called (see http://www.WhyThinkThat.com). The book is designed to bridge the 'gap' between how philosophers / logicians often think about moral issues -- especially the methods they use -- and how non-philosophers often address moral issues, and address some of common cognitive, emotional and social barriers to using philosophical methods in addressing moral questions.
This is based on many of these handouts from my intro to ethics class.
A Short Introduction to Philosophy of Race
Dissertation (2005): Truth in Ethics and Epistemology: A Defense of Normative Realism
Synopsis: I argue that common reasons to think that no moral judgments are true suggest that epistemic judgments, e.g., that some belief is rational, justified or should be held, are not true either. I argue that these epistemic anti-realisms are rationally unacceptable and that the major premises that entail them are false. Thus, I undercut the case against moral realism, which rests on these premises. Chapters:
A 2000 word version of my dissertation (!!!): "Moral Nihilism, Intellectual Nihilism & Practical Ethics"
A review of my dissertation on an Ethical Realism blog.
Articles & Presentations:
"'Coulda', 'Woulda', 'Shoulda' Arguments in Animal Ethics" (in preparation)
"Racial Health Disparities and Race-Based Bioethics: A Critique of a Critique," International Journal of Radical Critique (January 2013), Vol. 02 No. 01.
"Rational Engagement, Emotional Response and the Prospects for Progress in Animal Use 'Debates'" in Jeremy Garrett, ed., Animal Research in Theory and Practice (MIT Basic Bioethics Series, 2012), pp. 237-265. Draft of an APPENDIX that addresses more arguments that couldn't be addressed in the chapter.
"The Harmful, Nontherapeutic Use of Animals in Research Is Morally Wrong," Symposium Article, American Journal of the Medical Sciences, October 2011, Volume 342, Issue 4, pp 297-304; Powerpoint for Pitts Conference in Medical Ethics, Medical University of South Carolina, lecture on animal experimentation. October 29, 2010.
"R.M. Hare’s Irrationalist 'Rationalism': A Critique of Universal Prescriptivism," Southwest Philosophy Review, Volume 27, Issue 1, January 2011, pp. 205-214.
"Ethical Science, Scientific Ethics and Animal Ethics," Animals, Research and Alternatives conference, Washington, DC, August 2010.
A critique of arguments in Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefson's Embryo book against embryo experimentation. (Presented at the NC/SC philosophy conference, Feb. 2010.)
"Do Zoos and Aquariums Promote Attitude Change in Visitors? A Critical Evaluation of the American Zoo and Aquarium Study," Marino, Lori; Lilienfeld, Scott O.; Malamud, Randy; Nobis, Nathan; Broglio, Ron; Society and Animals, Volume 18, Number 2, 2010, pp. 126-138(13)
"Reasonable Humans and Animals: An Argument for Vegetarianism," Between the Species, Fall 2008; (3 page version, ideal for classroom use!)
"Animals & Medicine: Do Animal Experiments Predict Human Responses?" Niall Shanks, Ray Greek, Nathan Nobis, and Jean Swingle-Greek, Skeptic: The Magazine , Volume 13, No. 3, Fall 2007, 44-51.
A Reply, and a Reply to the Reply.
"The 'Babe' Vegetarians: Bioethics, Animal Minds and Moral Methodology," for Bioethics at the Movies, ed. Sandra Shapshay (Johns Hopkins Press, 2009).
"Feminist Ethics without Feminist Ethical Theory (or, more generally, phi-ethics without phi-ethical theory)" in Ethical Issues for the 21st Century, ed. Frederick Adams, special issue of the Journal of Philosophical Research, 2005, pp. 213-225. [PDF]
"Vegetarianism and Virtue: Does Consequentialism Demand Too Little?"Social Theory and Practice : An International and Interdisciplinary Journal of Social Philosophy , vol. 28, no. 1, January 2002, pp. 135-56.
"What would be so bad about rejecting libertarian 'free will'?" De Philosophia, Vol. XVI, No. 2, 21-34, 2002.
"Vagueness, Borderline Cases, and Moral Realism: Where's the Incompatibility?"Philosophical Writings, No. 14, Summer 2000, pp. 29-39.
"Cultivating Philosophical Skills and Virtues in Philosophy of Education" (Midwest Philosophy of Education Society, Fall 1999, Proceedings). [PDF].
Commentaries & letters:
Nobis, Nathan and Jarr-Koroma, Abubakarr Sidique (2010) "Abortion and Moral Arguments From Analogy," The American Journal of Bioethics, 10: 12, 59 — 61, First published on: 14 December 2010 "Ought We Accept What Neuroscience Might Imply? Many Questions, Incommensurable Answers?", AJOB Neuroscience, 1:4, October, 2010, 45-47
"Interests and Harms in Primate Research," The American Journal of Bioethics 2009; 9(5):27-29. A reply to "Bioethical Considerations in Translational Research: Primate Stroke,"by Michael E. Sughrue, E. Sander Connolly Jr., Andrew F. Ducruet, Ruth L. Fischbach, Ricardo J. Komotar, William J. Mack, Thomas E. Martin, J. Mocco, 2009. The American Journal of Bioethics 9(5):3
Discussion with the "On the Human" project of the National Humanities Center.
"In Defense of 'How We Treat Our Relatives",' a letter to the editor in the the American Biology Teacher [PDF] November-December 2004.
"Who Needs the 'Actual Future Principle'? Harman on Abortion,"Southwest Philosophy Review, Vol. 18, No. 2, July, 2002, pp. 55-63. [PDF]
'"Balancing Off" Infant Torture and Death: A Reply to Andrew Chignell," Religious Studies: An International Journal of Philosophy of Religion, Vol. 37, March (2001), pp. 103-108.
Review (with David Graham) of Putting Humans First: Why We Are Nature's Favorite by Tibor Machan, (The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Fall 2006, Vol. 8, No. 1, 85-104). [ PDF of final version]
Review of Why Animal Experimentation Matters: The Use of Animals in Medical Research,American Journal of Bioethics, Winter 2003, Vol. 3, No. 1, online Bioethics Education Network [PDF].
An encyclopedia article on Peter Singer for an Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, Macmillan Reference USA 2008. The final copy is here, scanned in from the encyclopedia.
An entry on "Animal Testing" written with Ray Greek, MD, and Kristina A. Hancock, JD, for anEncyclopedia of Issues in U.S. Public Policy. The volume was unfortunately canceled for publication. Perhaps someone else can use this entry?
A talk at a "Science Tavern" meetup.
An attempt at a meta-ethics paper for a 'popular' audience: "Moral Nihilism, Intellectual Nihilism & Practical Ethics"
"Not 'Pro-Choice' and not 'Pro-Life': On the Ethics of Abortion", a Powerpoint presentation.
'Abortion Discussion Held', quotes from a forum on abortion, UR Campus Times newspaper
Taking Hunger seriously: Are YOU obligated to help desperately poor children?, a Powerpoint presentation.
Courses and teaching / advising materials:
Philosophy of Sex and Gender (Spring 2012)
About the IMHOTEP program
Ethics & Animals, an online course for HSU.
Philosophy Papers Online http://phonline.org/
EarlyModernTexts.com, Jonathan Bennett's contemporary English translations of early modern philosophy
Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.com
Since January 18, 2001, there have been visitors to this page.
Note: This page is not a publication of Morehouse College. It has not been edited or examined for content by Morehouse College. The author of the page are solely responsible for the content. See http://www.NathanNobis.com for my old page and older papers.