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Queen's University

Graduate Students



Photo of William Brooke

William Brooke

Epistemology, Moral and Political Philosophy, Decision Theory 


William earned his B.A. in Philosophy at the University of the Fraser Valley.  His research focuses on social capital, well-being, happiness, and the ‘second person’.



Image of Elaine Cheng's Dogs

Elaine Cheng 

Bioethics, Research Ethics, Epistemology, Symbolic Logic, Philosophy of Literature, Descartes

Elaine loves animals, especially dogs. Meet Plato and Didi, as shown in her profile picture. Further description coming soon.



Yual Chiek

Early-modern, Metaphysics
  Image of Yual Chiek

Visiting research student at Yale University

Yual's core interests lie in the areas of Early-Modern Metaphysics (with a concentration on the systematic metaphysics of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz), Epistemology, contemporary Analytic Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Religion. He is also developing interest in Logic (particularly modal logic), the Philosophy of Language, and Social and Political Philosophy. In contemporary metaphysics, his research centres on the metaphysics of objects. His own musings on this topic have led him to the crazy view that there are, strictly speaking, no composite objects!

For more, see:  




Frédéric Coté-Boudreau

Animal Ethics, Political & Moral Philosophy

Photo of Frédéric Coté-Boudreau  
Frédéric comes from the province of Québec where he earned his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy at Université de Montréal. His interests in moral and political philosophy have lead him to embrace antispeciesism, vegan advocacy, and egalitarianism. His research project focus on the concept of autonomy, or why we ought to respect personal choices of others (and when we should not). In his M.A. thesis he inquired why animals were not considered autonomous inside the liberal paradigm and argued that the reasons provided are inconsistent with liberal commitments to neutrality and nonperfectionism. For his PhD thesis, he would like to argue for a new understanding of autonomy which would apply to animals and to people with intellectual disabilities.




Photo of Lana De Gasperis

Lana De Gasperis

Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Psychology

Prior to entering the graduate programme at Queen's, Lana studied at University of Toronto. Her research interests are, principally, philosophy of the mind, especially philosophy of psychology, and theories of deception and self-deception. In her spare time, Lana does pilates, reads Russian literature, and enjoys hanging out with her loved ones, especially her cat, Justice.



Torin Doppelt

Early Modern (Spinoza), Philosophy and Scientific Method(s) Doppelt.jpg

Torin works primarily on issues arising from Spinoza's use of the geometrical method of demonstration. This work has generated a number of broader interests, from psychology to ethics and political theory (e.g., the implications of the systematization of the human mind and body). He also has interests in, but far too little time to devote to, Hobbes, Kant (and German idealism), ancient and medieval philosophy, contemporary metaphysics, philosophy of mind/science, and moral philosophy. 



Christine Esselmont

Moral Philosophy, Moral Psychology, Ancient Philosophy

Christine is interested in questions concerning moral responsibility and the grounds of moral criticism. Her doctoral work focuses on the extent to which constraints on moral deliberation and moral action ought to influence blame.



Sarah-Ann Goodes

Transhumanism , Ethics , Pop Culture and Philosophy

Sarah completed her undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and English Literature at Nipissing University.     In   addition, she holds a Certificate in Digital Humanities from Nipissing U. which involved the creation of a freely   accessible online hypertext version of Plato’s   Republic .  Sarah’s research interests in philosophy include   transhumanism and bioethics, including arguments for and against life extension and longevity, as well as   the intersections of pop culture and philosophy.     Outside of philosophy, her interests include trivia, classic   movies, and the NFL.  




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Omid Hejazi

Political Philosophy and Logic

Omid completed his undergraduate degree at University of Tehran. He has started his graduate study at Queen's University since 2006. His main philosophical interests lie in contemporary political philosophy. In particular his PhD research focuses on contemporary liberal theories of multiculturalism and national minority rights. He is also developing interest in issues such as neutrality/perfectionism and egalitarian justice. Other areas of interest include philosophy of logic, modality and possible worlds. 



Kyle JohannsenPhoto of Kyle Johannsen

Political Philosophy and Applied Ethics

Kyle has both a BA and an MA from York University. He's primarily interested in applied ethics (especially bioethics and animal ethics) and political philosophy (especially distributive justice).  His thesis will address methodological questions pertaining to the study of distributive justice, as well as the implications answering these questions has for various substantive issues.


Joshua Landry

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Bioethics, Clinical Ethics

Josh completed his Honours BHSc. at the University of Western Ontario, and MSc in Health Care Ethics and Law at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). While abroad he focussed his dissertation on decision making in health care, particularly supporting the use of the Best Interests Standard when caring for neonatal and paediatric patients. Josh continued his professional education by earning a Certificate in Clinical Ethics and Health Policy from the Center for Practical Bioethics, former home of the American Journal of Bioethics. He now is focusing his doctoral research on answering the question 'what ought to be the goals of end-of-life medicine?'. As well, Josh is assisting end-of-life, consent and capacity, and resource allocation research at the Ottawa Hospital with the Department of Clinical and Organizational Ethics. 



Sheri Lucas


Ryan McSheffreyPhoto of Ryan McSheffrey

Moral philosophy, political philosophy, and the philosophy of law

Ryan is interested in contemporary theories of punishment from the moral perspective, particularly regarding how concepts such as freedom, desert, and responsibility relate to putative moral justifications for the infliction of punishment. His other philosophical interests include (but are not limited to) contemporary liberal theories of justice and equality, the history of (Western) political and legal philosophy, and the philosophy of science.


Jason Millar

Image of Jason Millar

Applied Ethics, Bioethics, Science and Technology Studies

Jason Miller's interests lie at the intersection of ethics, technology and society.  His current research focuses on applied ethics and science and technology studies, with particular interests in the democratization of science and technology and the (bio)ethical issues surrounding transhumanism and the human-machine merger.  Jason earned a B.Sc. in Engineering Physics from Queen's University and worked as an engineer for several years prior to earning a B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy at the University of Ottawa.  While at the University of Ottawa he worked for several years on On the Identity Trail, a multidisciplinary SSHRC funded project, researching the legal and philosophical issues surrounding privacy in the digital age.  While completing his M.A. Jason also worked as a technology policy analyst at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and published a book chapter on privacy (in the first ever Oxford University Press publication licensed under the Creative Commonts).  He maintains the Ethics, Technology and Society blog at


Nikoo Najand

Bioethics, Feminist Philosophy, Reproductive Ethics, Moral Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy  

Nikoo received an honours degree from the University of Calgary and a Masters degree from the   University of Victoria before entering the PhD program at Queen's.   Her doctoral research focuses   on providing the proper grounding for parental obligations in order to understand and address the   ethical implications of adoption.  S he  hopes her work will promote a more comprehensive and   cogent understanding of reproductive autonomy. 

E-mail :


Josephine NielsenPhoto of Josephine Nielsen

Social and Political Philosophy, Multiculturalism, Reproductive Ethics

Josephine completed her honours BA in Philosophy at Acadia University, and her MA in Philosophy at Carleton University with a thesis focusing on the role group mobilization plays in multicultural societies. Her core interests remain in the area of multiculturalism generally, but for her PhD dissertation she hopes to focus on the intersection of liberal multicultural theories and feminist theories. She has recently also become interested in reproductive ethics.



David PitcherPhoto of David Pitcher

Moral Philosophy, Environmental Ethics, Metaethics

David completed his honours BA in Philosophy and MA in Philosophy at the University of Alberta with a thesis focusing on problems of citizenship in Rawls's liberal philosophy.  His core interests are in moral and political philosophy, and his PhD dissertation will address meta-ethical problems in environmental ethics and the role of wonder in moral and environmental philosophy.  Other areas of interest include applied ethics, continental philosophy and feminist philosophy.



Elyse PlattPhoto of Elyse Platt

Ancient Philosophy, Moral Philosophy

Elyse recently completed her BAH in Philosophy here at Queen's and has happily returned for her Master's research on the nature of happiness and conceptions of the good life.


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Nolan Ritcey

Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Language

Visiting Research Student at University of California, Berkeley



Mark Rosner 

Moral Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy



Andrew D.F. Ross

Ethics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science



Photo of Miriam Sabzevari

Miriam Sabzevari

Social and Political Philosophy, Moral Philosophy

Miriam completed her B.A. at the University of British Columbia.     She is by nature a political animal.     Her   interests revolve around how the moral hooks up to the political, with a particular view to cosmopolitanism.



Mastoureh Sadeghnia

Philosophy of Mind



Philip Shadd

Philip Shadd

Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Law, Political Theology

Phil arrived at Queen’s after completing his M.A. in philosophy at The University of Western Ontario.  His dissertation research explores the question of political legitimacy by seeking to supplement the political liberal answer with insights from the Christian Reformed tradition of political theory.  In other words, he’s endeavouring to bring the likes of Rawls and Habermas into deeper dialogue with the likes of Abraham Kuyper and Nicholas Wolterstorff.  His M.A. research project critically examined Rawls’ claim that the doctrine of Rawlsian public reason is implicit in liberal democratic institutions, and he remains unsure of what to make of this sort of public reason.  In addition to political theory, Phil finds himself routinely engaged in philosophy of law and democratic theory, and also has a burgeoning interest in the philosophy of religion.  When he’s not at work, he enjoys sports (both as a fan and participant), going to church, and spending time with his wife.


Ayesha ShahPhoto of Ayesha Shah

Social and Political Philosophy, and Ethics

Ayesha obtained her B.A. in Public Policy Management and B.A. Hons. in Philosophy at York University in Toronto. She is mainly interested in contemporary political philosophy, especially in cosmopolitan and global distributive justice. She is planning on writing her MA thesis on this topic. She is also interested in biomedical ethics and global health ethics.  


Jamie ShawPhoto of Jamie Shaw

Philosophy of Science, Epistemology

  Jamie earned his Honours B.A. in Philosophy at Queen’s University. His primary interests reside in Philosophy of Science, particularly the intersection between scientific practices and social norms as well as the relationship between methodology and truth. He also has a strong interest in the realist/anti-realist debates, political philosophy, and continental philosophy (specifically Nietzsche and Foucault.)  




Matthew TaylorPhoto of Matthew Taylor

Political Philosophy and Applied Ethics

Matthew has an honours BA in Philosophy from Wilfrid Laurier University and an MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. His master’s thesis examined whether or not the United Nations’ “Responsibility to Protect” policy could be endorsed as a duty of justice. He’s primarily interested in Hobbesian social contract theories and questions of the division of powers between different levels of government.


Radhika Tikku

Feminist Epistemology, Bioethics, Social and Political Philosophy



Photo of Krista Videchak

Krista Videchak

Multiculturalism, Justice, Applied Ethics, Race Theory, Feminism

Krista completed her B.A. at Western University and her M.A. at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her Master’s thesis focused on the idea of enduring injustice and how this changes our approach to reparations for slave descendants. In her doctoral research, she hopes to forward the notion of enduring injustice and discuss its relation to the imperative of integration. Krista’s research in this area has led to other areas of interest, including cultural theory and feminism.




Michael VossenPhoto of Michael Vossen

Metaphysics, Metaethics, Virtue Ethics
B.A. Reed College, M.A. University of Missouri, Saint Louis. 

Michael is interested in a family of questions relating to ethical accounts advanced by Aristotelian Naturalists and Particularists. Towards the former, Michael focuses on metaethical accounts of evaluation and goodness advanced by Geach and Judith Thomson. This involves work on the semantics of sentences expressing kind-relative evaluate properties, such as “this knife is a dull knife.” This in turn is bound up with examining metaphysical accounts of concepts involved in said metaethics, and so looks at analyses of defect, dispositions, kinds, action and grounding. Towards the latter, Michael researches the role these evaluative properties might play in ethics, particularly concerning the nature of moral perception, concept acquisition and ethical education, and the role this may play in giving and following advice on what kind of person to be and what life to live.


Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000