Anthony Skelton


Associate Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario and in the Rotman Institute of Philosophy.

My research interests lie in the areas of the history of ethics and normative ethics. In the history of ethics, my research focus has been the utilitarian tradition of ethical thinking. I have a particular interest in the nineteenth-century philosopher Henry Sidgwick, who is the greatest of the classical utilitarians. I am currently working on two books on Sidgwick, a long one entitled Henry Sidgwick and the Conflicts of Ethics and a short one entitled Sidgwick's Ethics (under contract with Cambridge University Press). My main interest is in exploring how Sidgwick explicates and manages the most important problems in moral thinking. I have also written papers on G. E. Moore, Hastings Rashdall, and W. D. Ross. I am currently writing a paper comparing and contrasting the practical ethics of Kant and Sidgwick. My long-term ambition is to write a history of utilitarianism from Cumberland to the present called Utility's Ambition. In normative ethics, my research focus has been the nature of well-being, especially the nature of children's well-being, and (more recently) the ethics of adolescent refusals of life-prolonging medical treatment and of so-called (biomedical) "enhancement". I am currently working on a paper on the ways in which pain and pleasure differ axiologically and on a paper on well-being methodology. My long-term ambition is to work out a view about the relationship between the philosophy and the science of well-being. I am the editor of the most up to date Canadian-focussed text book in bioethics, which is entitled Bioethics in Canada (second edition).