Howard Nye is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alberta. He works primarily in the areas of normative ethics, practical ethics, and metaethics, and has related interests in political philosophy, the philosophy of mind, and decision theory. One line of Howard’s current research investigates challenges to the common assumption that life is less of a morally important benefit to sentient beings who lack the intellectual abilities of typical human adults. Another line of his research concerns the ethics of collective action, focusing on the argument that individual actors and institutions should reduce their contributions to harmful practices because their contributions have small chances of making very important differences. A third line of Howard's research investigates what it takes for an entity to have beliefs, desires, and sensations that represent or are about the world in a sense that admits of genuine, underviative error, with applications to the sentience and mental lives of various non-human animals, intellectually less able humans, and possible future artifical intelligence systems.
An examination of questions of right and wrong, good and evil, and the application of ethical theories to practical issues.Fall Term 2020
Philosophical approaches to the question of comparative human and animal cognition, emotion, awareness, and language. The course will also address the problem of animal rights vis-à-vis individual and institutional human interests.Fall Term 2020
A philosophical investigation of theoretical questions about ethics, such as whether ethical values are objective or subjective, why we should be moral, whether virtues really exist, what role reason plays in ethical deliberation, and what constitutes the basis of our ethical obligations.Winter Term 2021
Variable content course which may be repeated if topic(s) vary.Winter Term 2021