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Professor (Philosophy), Western University

I am Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Western University in London, Ontario, where I have been since receiving my PhD in Philosophy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992. I am a feminist philosopher who has published widely on issues of moral responsibility in collective contexts, including extensive journal publications, a monograph (Moral Responsibility in Collective Contexts, Oxford University Press, 2011), and several co-edited volumes (including Accountability for Collective Wrongdoing, with Richard Vernon, Cambridge University Press, 2011; Collectivity: Ontology, Ethics, and Social Justice, with Kendy Hess and Violetta Igneski, Rowman & Littlefield International, 2019).

Collective Responsibility: My work on collective responsibility has engaged with ethical considerations concerning climate change, genocide as a collective action, pervasive wrongful social practices that yield oppression and social injustice, and food ethics.

Feminist issues in fitness: I also have developed a profile for my work with Samantha Brennan on the theory and practice of inclusive fitness from a feminist perspective (as co-founder, with Brennan, of the popular feminist fitness blog Fit Is a Feminist Issue, and co-author, also with Brennan, of Fit at Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey). We have done extensive print, radio, and television media in relation to this project.

The ethics of what we eat: My current project is a monograph in the area of food ethics, using my expertise in moral responsibility in collective contexts and more general background as a moral philosopher to defend an ethical practice that I call "Imperfect Veganism." A frequent claim made these days is that the surest way to reduce our carbon footprint is to adopt a plant-based diet. I believe there are important ethical reasons in addition to the environmental and climate concerns for doing so. However, we need also to recognize that humans aren't perfect (as the moral philosophers have long recognized) and that an "all or nothing" approach is asking too much. And it's strategically misguided as well. My intended audience is the very many genuinely concerned people who indeed do want to do better, but who are (sometimes rightly) intimidated by the demands of veganism. We can believe in the theory while recognizing that the practice may unfold less perfectly than the theory appears to demand. This project brings together my decades of expertise in collective responsibility and in moral philosophy more generally, and combines it with new work in food ethics with the goal of reaching an audience beyond academia.


  • 2015–present
    Associate Dean (Academic) Faculty of Arts and Humanites, Western University
  • 1992–present
    Professor (Philosophy), Western University


  • 2008 
    Lesley University, MFA Creative Writing
  • 1992 
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD in Philosophy
  • 1988 
    University of Toronto, MA in Philosophy
  • 1987 
    University of Toronto, BA in Philosophy


  • 2018
    “Chapter Ten: What Would a Feminist Theory of Collective Action and Responsibility Look Like", Collectivity: Ontology, Ethics, and Social Justice. Editors Kendy Hess, Violetta Igneski, and Tracy Isaacs (New York: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2018), pp. 223-239.
  • 2018
    Fit at Mid-Life: A Feminist Fitness Journey (co-author with Samantha Brennan), Greystone Press
  • 2018
    Collectivity: Ontology, Ethics, and Social Justice (co-editor with Violetta Igneski and Kendy Hess), Rowman and Littlefield International
  • 2018
    “Food Insecurity: Dieting as Ideology, as Oppression, and as Privilege", Oxford Food Ethics Handbook. Editors Ann Barnhill, Mark Budolfson, and Tyler Dogget (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 572-592.
  • 2017
    Collective Responsibility/Kollective Verantwortung" , Springer Handbook on Responsibility/Handbuch Verantwortung, editor Ludger Heibrink (Springer VS). 2017 in German, pp. 453-476
  • 2017
    “Collective Responsibility and Climate Change” , Reflections on Responsibility: Essays in Honor of Peter A. French. Editor Zachary Goldberg (Springer International, 2017), pp.101-116.
  • 2016
    “See How She Runs: Feminists Rethink Fitness” (co-author with Samantha Brennan), Special Issue of the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics. Vol. 9, No. 2: 1-11
  • 2016
    “International Criminal Courts and Political Reconciliation”, Criminal Law and Philosophy, Vol. 10, No. 1:133-142. On-line: January 2014. DOI: 10.1007/s11572-014-9294-5
  • 2016
    “The Most Good We Can Do: Comments on Peter Singer’s The Most Good You Can Do", The Journal of Global Ethics, Vol. 12, No. 2: 154-160
  • 2014
    “Collective Responsibility and Collective Obligation”, Midwest Studies in Philosophy. Volume 38, No. 1: 40-57
  • 2013
    “Corporate Agency and Corporate Wrongdoing” , New Criminal Law Review. Volume 16, Number 2 (2013): 241-260.
  • 2011
    Accountability for Collective Wrongdoing (co-editor with Richard Vernon), Cambridge University Press
  • 2011
    Moral Responsibility in Collective Contexts, Oxford University Press
  • 2006
    “Collective Intention and Collective Moral Responsibility” , Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Volume XXX:59-73
  • 2006
    "Individual Responsibility for Collective Wrongs", in Joanna Harrington, Michael Milde, Richard Vernon, editors.Bringing Power to Justice, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2006, pp. 267-308.
  • 2003
    “Feminism and Agency” , in Samantha Brennan, editor. Feminist Moral Philosophy. University of Calgary Press, Canadian Journal of Philosophy Supplementary Volume No. 28, 2003, pp. 129-154.
  • 2001
    “Domestic Violence and Hate Crimes: Two Levels of Responsibility" , Criminal Justice Ethics, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Summer/Fall 2001), pp. 31-43.
  • 1997
    “Moral Deliberation, Nonmoral Ends, and the Virtuous Agent” (co-author with Diane Jeske), Ethics, Vol. 107, No. 3, April, 1997: 486-500
  • 1997
    “Cultural Context and Moral Responsibility”, Ethics, Vol. 107, No. 4, July, 1997: 670-84
  • 1997
    “Praiseworthiness and Omitting to Do What Is Wrong", Southern Journal of Philosophy, Vol. XXXV, No. 4, Winter 1997: 473-93.
  • 1997
    A Question of Values: New Canadian Perspectives in Ethics and Political Philosophy (co-edited with Samantha Brennan and Michael Milde), Rodopi Press
  • 1995
    “Moral Theory and Action Theory, Killing and Letting Die” , American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol.32, No. 4, October, 1995: 355-68.

Professional Memberships

  • Canadian Philosophical Association
  • Canadian Society for Women in Philosophy