HPS Research Interests
My research passion lies at the intersection of meta-ethics and philosophy of biology. I am particularly interested in exploring the significance that naturalized accounts of morality (esp. concerning the evolution of the moral sentiments) have for the metaphysics of morality and for moral epistemology. I argue against skeptics (e.g., Michael Ruse and Richard Joyce) who think that such accounts indict the institution of morality and instead think that evolution can vindicate contract-based approaches to ethics. I am currently developing a monograph on this topic which builds from my dissertation as well as on literatures that have developed since then.
Second, I do considerable work in the ethics of emerging technologies, particularly nano- and bio-technologies. Regarding the latter, my approach to bioethics has always been to focus on scientifically-informed questions, such as those that pertain to human reproductive cloning, stem cell research, and genetic interventions and testing. Regarding nanotechnology, I am currently editing one book and writing another, both of which explore the ethical and social dimensions of these technologies (with colleagues, see below). I have also submitted an NSF grant which aims to look at nanotechnology and human enhancement (with Patrick Lin, Jim Moor and John Weckert). Finally, I am interested in some conceptual issues that underlie t he philosophy of medicine.
HPS Teaching Interests
I teach a course in philosophy of science, which is loosely based on Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Theory and Reality. I want to give the course a more historical context, and will hopefully be able to do that soon with the publication of my History of the Philosophy of Science (under review, edited with Marc Alspector-Kelly and Tim McGrew). I am currently developing a course in the philosophy of biology to be taught at both the graduate and undergraduate level. My courses in bioethics also focus on some of the more scientifically-informed issues in bioethics, such as human reproductive cloning, stem cell research, and genetic interventions and testing.
HPS Representative Publications
Fritz Allhoff, “Evolutionary Ethics from Darwin to Moore,” History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 25 (2003): 81-109.
Fritz Allhoff, “Telomeres and the Ethics of Human Cloning,” American Journal of Bioethics 4.2 (2004): W29-W31.
Fritz Allhoff, “Germ-Line Genetic Enhancement and Rawlsian Primary Goods,” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 15.1 (March 2005): 39-56.
Chris Buford and Fritz Allhoff, “Neuroscience and Metaphysics” American Journal of Bioethics 5.2 (2005): 34-6.
Fritz Allhoff, “Stem Cells and the Blastocyst Transfer Method: Some Concerns Regarding Autonomy,” American Journal of Bioethics 5.6 (2005): 28-30.
Patrick Lin and Fritz Allhoff, “Nanoethics and Human Enhancement,” Nanotechnology Perceptions (forthcoming).
Fritz Allhoff, Davis Baird, and Patrick Lin, Nanotechnology: What It Is and Why It Matters (forthcoming, Blackwell Publishing).
Fritz Allhoff, Patrick Lin, Jim Moor, and John Weckert (eds.), Ethical and Social Issues in Nanotechnology (forthcoming, Wiley).
Fritz Allhoff, Marc Alspector-Kelly, and Tim McGrew (eds.), History of Philosophy of Science: Essential Readings with Commentary (under review, Blackwell Publishing).
Fritz Allhoff (ed.), Philosophy of the Special Sciences (under review, Blackwell Publishing).