IJPS special issue

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Canadian Journal of Philosophy

Philosophical Studies

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 3 
(email for PDF)

The Journal of Ethics

in The Limits of Moral Obligation
(Routledge, email for PDF)

AJOB Neuroscience

American Journal of Bioethics


Review of Batson's



Vanessa Carbonell
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Obed J. Wilson Professor of Ethics
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Philosophy
University of Cincinnati

vanessa [dot] carbonell [at] uc [dot] edu
206D McMicken Hall

UC Undergraduate Students:
I direct the following programs/certificates. If you have questions or want to make an advising appointment, the fastest way to reach me is email.
  • Philosophy Major (all tracks)
  • Philosophy-Cognitive Studies Major
  • Philosophy Big Data BA-MS Pathway
  • Philosophy Minor
  • Liberal Arts: Medicine, Health, & Society Major
  • Bioethics Certificate

* * *

I joined the Philosophy department at Cincinnati in 2009 after getting my PhD at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Prior to that I studied philosophy as an undergraduate at Wesleyan University (CT). 

My research investigates problems at the intersection of normative ethics, moral psychology, metaethics, and applied ethics. I'm interested in moral agents, both ordinary and extraordinary: what they're like, what morality demands of them, and the relationship between what they're like and what morality demands of them. One way I've explored these ideas is by looking specifically at "moral saints". I have also written about the relationship between knowledge and moral demands, and the relationship between sacrifice and moral obligation.

In addition to moral agency, moral obligation, supererogation, sacrifice, wellbeing, character, demandingness, and the scope and limits of morality, I have additional teaching and research interests in: medical ethics, family ethics, philosophy of punishment, philosophy of law, health policy, organ donation, caregiving, and dementia.

At UC, I serve on a variety of committees and bodies at the college and university levels, including A&S Faculty Senate, A&S Undergraduate Council, A&S Grievance Committee, University Research Council grant committee, the UC Ethics Center Steering Committee, and the Provost's Gen-Ed SCE subcommittee. I have also been a member of the Ethics Committee at Cincinnati Children's Hospital since 2011.

In 2018, UC hosted the first Emerging Philosophers Institute at Cincinnati (EPIC) workshop for undergraduate students in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky interested in pursuing philosophy graduate study. Details about EPIC 2020 are TBA pending budgetary decisions!


Fall 2019
PHIL 3020 Normative Ethics
PHIL 7097 Proposal Seminar

Spring 2019
PHIL 5099 Senior Capstone (Practical Ethics)
PHIL 7095 Teaching Seminar
PHIL 7097 Proposal Seminar

Fall 2018

PHIL 7080 Contemporary Ethics (Grad)
PHIL 7097 Proposal Seminar

Spring 2018
PHIL 3026: Ethics & The Family

Fall 2017

PHIL 1003 Intro to Ethics

Spring 2017
PHIL 3020 Normative Ethics
PHIL 5099 Senior Capstone (Punishment)

Fall 2016
PHIL 1003 Intro to Ethics
PHIL 8080 Ethics (Utilitarianism) (Grad)

Spring 2015

PHIL 8080 Ethics (Skepticism) (Grad)
PHIL 5099 Senior Capstone (Punishment)

Fall 2014
PHIL 3020 Normative Ethics

PHIL 3046 Metaphysical Foundations of Technology

Spring 2014
PHIL 1088 Morality in Medicine

Fall 2013
PHIL 1088 Morality in Medicine
PHIL 3020 Normative Ethics

Spring 2012
PHIL 106 Intro to Philosophy: Ethics

Winter 2012
PHIL 332 Ethics & The Family
PHIL 782 Ethics (Demandingness) (Grad)

Fall 2011
PHIL 108 Morality in Medicine 
PHIL 322 Ethics

Spring 2011 
PHIL 335H Ethics of Punishment (Honors)

Winter 2011 
PHIL 111 Contemporary Moral Issues
PHIL 332 Ethics & The Family

Fall 2010
PHIL 322 Ethics
PHIL 720 Ethics (20th C Metaethics) (Grad)

Spring 2010 
PHIL 519/719 Moral Psychology (Grad)

Winter 2010
PHIL 111 Contemporary Moral Issues
PHIL 332 Ethics & The Family

Fall 2009
PHIL 106 Intro to Philosophy: Ethics
PHIL 306 Metaethics