Anthony Skelton’s Home Page

I am currently Full Professor and Faculty Scholar (2023-25) in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario.

I am an associate editor of the Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy and a member of Editoral Committee of the journal Utilitas.

In 2019-20, I was Graham and Gail Wright Distinguished Scholar in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

In 2015, I was awarded the Arts and Humanities Teaching Excellence Award. In 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, I received the University Students’ Council Teaching Honour Roll Certificate.

In 2015, I was a Visiting Researcher at Fondation Brocher. In 2012--13, I was a Visiting Scholar at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and a Plumer Visiting Research Fellow at St. Anne’s College, Oxford University.

In 2004-05, I was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Michigan. Steve Darwall supervised my research.

I received my PhD from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. My thesis is entitled Reasoning towards Utilitarianism: Learning from Sidgwick. My thesis committee comprised Wayne Sumner (supervisor) and Thomas Hurka.

My PhilPapers profile is here.

My Twitter handle is (@HenrySidgwick).

Research Interests:

I am interested in normative ethics and the history of ethics. 

Current Research:

9. “Sidgwick’s Argument for Rational Egoism”.

8. “On The Irrelevance of Sidgwick’s Political Philosophy”.

7. “The Conditions for Permissible Bodily Interference in Children: A Reply to Chambers” (with Lisa Forsberg, Thomas Douglas, and Julian Savulescu), for a special issue of Clinical Ethics.

6. “Sharing Normative Powers and Adolescent Well-Being” (with Lisa Forsberg and Isra Black), for Consenting Children: Autonomy, Responsibility, Well-Being.

5. “Difficulty, Achievement, and Perfectionist Value” (with Lisa Forsberg).

4. “Rawls and Utilitarianism”, for The Oxford Handbook on the Philosophy of Rawls, eds. Blain Neufeld, Christie Hartley, and Lori Watson.

3. “Classical Utilitarianism and Feminism” (with Lisa Forsberg), for Feminist Ethics: An Introduction to Fundamental Concepts and Current Issues, eds. Celia Edell and Charlotte Sabourin.

2. “Effective Altruism”, for Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online.

1. Henry Sidgwick and the Conflicts of Ethics (book).


4. Consenting Children: Autonomy, Responsibility, Well-Being, eds. Lisa Forsberg, Isra Black, and Anthony Skelton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

3. Sidgwick’s Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2024).

2. Bioethics in Canada, second edition, eds. Charles Weijer and Anthony Skelton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).

1. Bioethics in Canada, eds. Charles Weijer, Anthony Skelton, and Samantha Brennan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

Scholarly Articles:

27. Hierarchy and Heterarchy in Ross’s Theories of the Right and the Good”, The Moral Philosophy of W. D. Ross: Metaethics, Normative Ethics, Virtue, and Value, eds. Robert Audi and David Phillips (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2024). (Solicited)

26. Sidgwick on Free Will and Ethics”, The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Responsibility, ed. Maximilian Keiner (New York: Routledge, 2023), 82-94. (Solicited)

25. Transformative Choice and Decision-Making Capacity” (with Isra Black and Lisa Forsberg), Law Quarterly Review 139 (2023), 654-680. (Refereed)

24. Children’s Prudential Value”, Cambridge Handbook of the Ethics of Ageing, ed. Christopher Wareham (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022), 38-53. (Solicited)

23. Overriding Adolescent Refusals of Treatment” (with Lisa Forsberg and Isra Black), Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 20 (2021), 221-247. (Refereed)

22. Should we delay covid-19 vaccination in children?” (with Lisa Forsberg), British Medical Journal 374 (2021), 96-97. (Solicited)

21. Mandating Vaccination” (with Lisa Forsberg), The Ethics of Pandemics, ed. Meredith Celene Schwartz (Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2020), 131-134. (Solicited)

20. Practical Ethics in Sidgwick and Kant”, Kantian and Sidgwickian Ethics: The Cosmos of Duty Above and the Moral Law Within, eds. Tyler Paytas & Tim Henning (New York: Routledge, 2020), 13-39. (Solicited)

19. Achievement and Enhancement” (with Lisa Forsberg), Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (2020), 322-338. (Refereed)

18. Late Utilitarian Moral Theory and Its Development: Sidgwick and Moore”, A Companion to Nineteenth-Century Philosophy, ed. John Shand (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2019), 281-310. (Solicited)

17. Children and Well-Being”, The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Childhood and Children, eds. Anca Gheaus, Gideon Calder, and Jurgen De Wispelaere (London: Routledge, 2018), 90-100. (Solicited)

16. “Two Conceptions of Children’s Well-Being”, Journal of Practical Ethics (forthcoming). (Refereed)

15. “Introduction to the Symposium on The Most Good You Can Do”, Journal of Global Ethics 12 (2016), 127-131.

14. “The Ethical Principles of Effective Altruism”, Journal of Global Ethics 12 (2016), 137-146. (Solicited and Refereed)

13. Children’s Well-Being: A Philosophical Analysis”, The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being, ed. Guy Fletcher (London: Routledge, 2015), 366-377. (Solicited)

12. Utilitarianism, Welfare, Children”, The Nature of Children’s Well-Being: Theory and Practice, eds. Alexander Bagattini and Colin Macleod (New York: Springer, 2014), 85-103. (Solicited)

11. “On Henry Sidgwick’s ‘My Station and its Duties’”, Ethics 125 (2014), 586-591. (Solicited and Refereed)

10. “Sidgwick’s Argument for Utilitarianism and His Moral Epistemology: A Reply to David Phillips”, Revue d’etudes benthamiennes 12 (2013). (Refereed)

9. “Utilitarian Practical Ethics: Sidgwick and Singer”, Henry Sidgwick: Ethics, Psychics, and Politics., eds. P. Bucolo, R. Crisp, and B. Schultz (Catania: University of Catania Press, 2011), 592-633. (Solicited)      

8. Ideal Utilitarianism: Rashdall and Moore”, Underivative Duty: British Moral Philosophers from Sidgwick to Ewing, ed. Thomas Hurka (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 45-65. (Refereed)

7. “Henry Sidgwick’s Moral Epistemology”, Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (2010), 491-519. (Refereed)

6. William David Ross”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward N.  Zalta (2010; revised 2012) (Solicited and Refereed)

5. “On Sidgwick’s Demise: A Reply to Professor Deigh”, Utilitas 22 (2010), 70-77. (Refereed)

For a rejoinder to this article, see John Deigh, “Some Further Thoughts on Sidgwick’s Epistemology”, Utilitas 22 (2010), 78-89.

4. “Sidgwick’s Philosophical Intuitions ”, Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics 10 (2008), 185-209. (Solicited)

3. Critical Notice of Robert Audi, The Good in the Right. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (2007), 305-326. (Refereed)

2. “Schultz’s Sidgwick”, Utilitas 19 (2007), 91-103. (Refereed)

1. “Henry Sidgwick’s Practical Ethics: A Defense”, Utilitas 18 (2006), 199-217. (Refereed)

Selected Reviews and Encyclopedia Entries:

21.     Review of David Phillips, Sidgwick's The Methods of Ethics: A Guide, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 31 October 2022 (Solicited)

20.     Review of J. B. Schneewind, Essays on the History of Moral Philosophy, Mind 126 (2017), 949-954 (Solicited)

19.     Review of Roger Crisp, The Cosmos of Duty: Henry Sidgwick’s Methods of Ethics, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 24 October 2016. (Solicited)

18.     Carritt, E. F.”, The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, ed. Hugh LaFollette (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016). (Refereed)

17.     Review of David Phillips, Sidgwickian Ethics, Journal of Moral Philosophy 12 (2015), 794-797. (Solicited)

16.     Review of Terence Irwin, The Development of Ethics: A Historical and Critical Study. Volume III: From Kant to Rawls, The Philosophical Review 124 (2015), 279-286. (Solicited)

15.     Singer, Peter (1946-)”, The Encyclopedia of Political Thought, ed. Michael Gibbons (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), 3454-3455. (Refereed)

14.     Entries on “Rashdall, Hastings (1858-1924)”, “Griffin, James (1933-)”, “Ideal Utilitarianism” , “Ross, W. D. (1877-1971)” and “Intuitionism”, Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Utilitarianism, ed. James Crimmins (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013). (Solicited)

13.     Review of Fred Feldman, What is This Thing Called Happiness?, Philosophical Quarterly 63 (2013), 395-398. (Solicited)

12.     Rashdall, Hastings”, The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, ed. Hugh LaFollette (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013; revised 2016), 4325-4329. (Refereed)

11.     Review of Andrew Irvine and John Russell, eds., In the Agora: The Public Face of Canadian Philosophy, University of Toronto Quarterly 80 (2011), 244-245. (Solicited)

10.     Sidgwick, Henry (1838-1900)”, Biographical Encyclopedia of British Idealism, ed. William Sweet (Bristol: Thoemmes/Continuum, 2010), 617-624. (Solicited)

9.     Entries on “Abortion” & “Human Race (Death of the)” (In French), Dictionnaire de la Mort, ed. Philippe Di Folco (Larousse, 2010), 119-122, 409-411. (Solicited)

8.     Review of Peter Singer, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty, The Globe and Mail (Saturday, March 14, 2009), F11. The review can also be found here. (Solicited)

7.     Review of Kwame Anthony Appiah, Experiments in Ethics, The Globe and Mail (Saturday, March 1, 2008), D3. (Solicited)

6.     Review of Bart Schultz and Georgios Varouxakis, eds., Utilitarianism and Empire, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 12 July 2006. (Solicited)

5.     Liberty’s Godfather”, The Globe and Mail (Saturday, May 20, 2006), D19. (Solicited)

4.     Griffin, James (1933 -)”, The Dictionary of Twentieth-Century British Philosophers, ed. Stuart Brown (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2005), 348-352. (Solicited)

3.       Review of Bart Schultz, Henry Sidgwick: Eye of the Universe. An Intellectual Biography, Philosophy in Review 25 (2005), 231-234. (Solicited)

2.      Sidgwick, Henry (1838-1900)”, The Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century British Philosophers, eds. J. Mander and A. P. F. Sell (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2002), 1018-1028. (Solicited)

1.       Review of Dale Jamieson, ed., Singer and His Critics, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2001), 574-576.  (Solicited)

Popular Pieces:

8.     Ethical decisions: Weighing risks and benefits of COVID-19 vaccination in children ages 5-11”, The Conversation (01 November 2021).

7.     We Should Vaccinate Children Against COVID-19 in High-income Countries, Too”, Ethics in the News (28 August 2021).

6.     3 Reasons for Making COVID-19 Vaccination Mandatory for Children”, The Conversation (13 May 2021).

5.     Mandating COVID-19 Vaccination for Children”, Ethics in the News (9 April 2021).

4.     Firing May be Severe, but Not Unreasonable”, Western News (18 June 2015), 5.

3.     Tiny, Happy People Faring Well”, Western News (7 May 2015), 12.

2.     Sex, Sex Surrogates, and Disability”, Ethics in the News (9 April 2013).

1.     Breach of Ethics? The Complexities of Picking Winners and Losers in a Disaster ”, Western News (26 May 2011), 5.

Fun: I have been known to cross-country ski.

Last revised: July 2024