In my historical work I have explored the relationship between morality and religion in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with a special emphasis on David Hume and the other moral sentimentalists of that period. My work in medical ethics has focused on end-of-life questions, such as whether physician-assisted suicide should be legal and when it is legitimate to use organs for transplantation. In contemporary meta-ethics, I have argued that everyday thinking about morality is more variable and indeterminate than most practitioners of traditional philosophical analysis have realized.
I teach a wide variety of courses on the history of philosophy, moral theory, and applied ethics. My course topics have included: Hobbes, Hume, Adam Smith, Mill, environmental ethics, bioethics, philosophy of law, business ethics, and Jewish philosophy.
I have been at the University of Arizona since 2003. Before that I taught at the College of Charleston and Purdue University. I received my PhD in 1995 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.