I am a faculty fellow and assistant professor of Bioethics and Environmental Ethics at New York University.
My current work focuses primarily on the intersection of normative and applied ethics, especially the nature of our obligations to future generations. These days I am thinking about questions like: Are non-human versions of the Non-identity Problem possible, and what can they tell us about our obligation to prevent environmental damage? Does equality contribute intrinsic or merely instrumental moral value to states of affairs? Is there a sound moral basis for discounting future well-being? I also work on questions concerning the nature of harm and well-being including: What is the connection between pleasure and desire? Is there always a reason to avoid being harmed? In what sense is death harmful for the person who dies? I am also thinking about ethical issues concerning artificial intelligence, especially its growing potential to replace human moral decision-making.
I am currently teaching an undergraduate environmental ethics course and a graduate course on the intersection of population health and environmental justice. In Spring 2015, I will teach an advanced introduction to environmental ethics for the MA students in NYU’s Center for Bioethics.
Contact me about my research or teaching: duncandotpurvesatnyudotedu