I am a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Ohio State University

I am also affiliated with Ohio State's Center for Ethics and Human Values and its Sustainability Institute

In 2020-21, I am a Fellow with the Ohio State Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme Human Rights: Pasts and Futures.


At the broadest level, my research focuses on four philosophical questions about ethics:

  • What ought we to do (both generally, and in some of the pressing and hard cases that now confront us)?

  • What are we doing when we engage in ethical thought and talk?

  • Are there ethical facts? If so, how could they fit into our best overall account of reality?

  • What is the best way of going about answering the preceding questions?

In pursuing these questions, I am gripped both by the methodologist’s goal of understanding and improving our practices of inquiry, and by the practitioner’s aim of making substantive progress in philosophical inquiry.

You can learn more about my research here.

If you have a fetish for CVs, mine can be found here.

I hail from Vancouver, Canada, which has left me with weaknesses for vegan cuisine, karaoke, and the martial art aikido (although the latter pair of interests have been sadly neglected in recent years). I live in Columbus, Ohio with my love Amy Shuster, and our child Finn.

If you are here because my Facebook and google+ pages are shockingly cryptic, you can learn more about me here.

If you would like to get in touch, please drop me an email at:

dr [dot] tristram [at] gmail [dot] com


What I am up to (Autumn 2020):

    • Writing about conceptual ethics and the metaphysics of ethics

    • Supporting OSU Philosophy's job candidates as our placement director

    • Co-teaching a proseminar on the philosophical significance of concepts, with Richard Samuels.

    • In my leisure time, my new pandemic hobby is the board game go (aka baduk or weiqi). You can occasionally find me making bad shape on Pandanet, FoxWQ, and Tygem.

    • I hope to spend a lot of time with my family and (virtually....) with friends, make and eat many delicious vegan meals, do yoga and pilates, lift weights, play go, and read some good fiction, some of it with my kid.