Marc Wilcox

Marc Wilcox

PhD Student

Summary: Marc Wilcox's PhD research focuses on attempting to defend an account of moral status that grants beings consideration on the basis that they are capable of intentional action.

Overview

Overview:

I received my Philosophy BA from the University of Reading in 2011 and my Philosophy MA from the University of Southampton in 2012. My MA dissertation was entitled 'Can Kantian Ethics Accommodate Direct Duties towards Non-Human Animals?' I started studying for my PhD at the University of Leeds in September 2013 and it has been made possible by a generous graduate teaching scholarship awarded by the university.

Current Research:

'The Agency Account of Moral Status: Defending the Equal Moral Status of Humans and Non-Human Animals’

My research focuses on moral status; specifically attempting to show that humans and sentient non-human animals (roughly vertebrates) are due equal consideration for reasons other than their shared capacity for sentience. Further, all such individuals have an interest in liberty, continued life and freedom from pain. In arguing for these claims, I defend the thesis that the possession of agency, grants one moral status. By adopting this account one avoids viewing non-human animals to mere receptacles that can be filled with pleasure or pain (as the popular sentience account does). Further, I argue, the Agency Account allows us to plausibly explain both why humans and non-humans matter for the very same reason, thus giving us a unified account of human and animal value. This not only has the virtue of theoretical simplicity, but hopefully will help to overcome the anthropocentrism present in moral philosophy allowing us to make moral problems involving animals more central to philosophical debate.


Research Interests:

  • Moral Philosophy (Applied, Normative, Metaethics)
  • Kant and Kantian Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Mind (specifically agency and animal minds)

More information about my research and research interests can be found on my personal webpage.

Teaching:

 Lecturing Experience:

  • Advanced Topics in Value Theory
  • Introduction to Philosophy of Religion
  • Early Modern Philosophy: Leibniz and Hume
  • Early Modern Philosophy: Locke and Berkeley

Tutoring Experience:

  • Advanced Topics in Value theory
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Early Modern Philosophy: Leibniz and Hume
  • Early Modern Philosophy: Locke and Berkeley
  • Ethics of Life and Death
  • Introduction to Academic Skills for Philosophy
  • Introduction to Philosophy of Science
  • Introduction to Philosophy of Religion
  • Medical Ethics (1st year)
  • Medical Ethics 3rd year research project: Can we Justify Animal Experimentation?
  • Medical Ethics 3rd year research project: Let's Cure Disability!
  • Moral Philosophy
  • The Mind
  • Theology and Ethical Theory

Publications:

  • (2014) Moral Status and the Interests of Non-Sentient Life' in Philosophical Writings, Vol. 43, pp 24-32.

Selected Conference Papers:

2017

  •  'Do Animals Matter? An Introduction to Animal Ethics' public lecture at Inkwell Arts Cafe, Leeds (17th July)

 2016

  • 'Human Products, Animal Products and the Commodification of Corpses' in the Third Annual Oxford Animal Ethics Summer School: The Ethics of Eating Animals at the University of Oxford (24-27th July)
  • 'The Agency Account of Moral Status' in Ethical Theories and the Animal Issue: Between Science and Philosophy at the University of Milan (UNIMI) (16th-17th June)
  • 'The Agency Account of Moral Status' in Leeds Centre for Ethics and Metaethics Seminar at the University of Leeds (16th March)
  • Using Animal Products and the Commodification of Corpses’ in Leeds Applied Ethics Seminar at the University of Leeds (10th February)

2015

  • Using Animal Products and the Commodification of Corpses’ in Leeds Philosophy Postgraduate Seminar at the University of Leeds (23rd October)
  • ‘Do we Owe Dead Animals Respect?’ in Society of European Philosophy and Forum for European Philosophy Joint Annual Conference: New Frontiers at the University of Dundee (3rd-5th September)
  • ‘A Move Towards Agency as the Condition for Moral Status’ in Understanding Value IV at the University of Sheffield (29th-31st July)
  • ‘Do we Owe Dead Animals Respect?’ in Nonhuman Animals and Posthuman Futures Graduate Symposium at the University of Warwick (17th July)

2014

  • ‘Against the Genetic Account of Moral Status’ in Leeds Philosophy Postgraduate Seminar at the University of Leeds (14th November)
  • ‘The Moral Significance of Interests’ in British Postgraduate Philosophy Association (BPPA) Annual Conference at the University of Leeds (9th-12th September).
  • ‘Against the Genetic Account of Moral Status’ in Understanding Value III at the University of Sheffield (23rd-25th July).
  • ‘Response to Nicola Kemp’s “Necessity and Liability to Defensive Harm: a reply to Firth and Quong’” in White Rose Philosophy Postgraduate Forum at the University of Leeds (7th May).

Service:

I run the Animals and Philosophy Exploration (APE) Reading Group, a reading group that explores philosophical work that relates to animals. Find out more at the APE Collective page.