- On leave this term
Areas of Specialization
- Ethical Theory
- Applied Ethics
- Ethics of Technology
- Environmental Philosophy
Office: 313 Griffin-Floyd
Dr. Purves is Assistant Professor of Philosophy. He specializes in ethics, especially ethical issues concerning artificial intelligence and the treatment of non-human animals. His past work was on ethical issues related to so-called 'autonomous weapons systems,' weapons which can target enemies without human oversight. He now has an NSF grant to investigate the ethical dimensions of predictive policing algorithms, which are being used to identify places and people at highest risk of crime. Some of the ethical concerns he is looking at include discriminatory impacts and community distrust. He also has significant work on theoretical issues related to the nature and normative significance of harm.
- Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Policing: An Ethical Analysis, with co-Principal Investigator Ryan Jenkins (Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo), National Science Foundation, Sept 1, 2019 – Sept 1, 2022.
- "Harming as making worse off", Philosophical Studies 176:2629–2656, 2019.
- "Wild animal suffering is intractable", with Nicolas Delon, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 31(2):239–260, 2018.
- "Meaning in the lives of humans and other animals", with Nicolas Delon, Philosophical Studies 175(2):317–338, 2018.
- "Desire satisfaction, death, and time", Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47(6):799–819, 2017
- "A quiet revolution in organ transplant ethics", with Arthur Caplan, Journal of Medical Ethics 43(11):797–800, 2017. Reprinted in the University of Tokyo Center for Biomedical Ethics and Law Report 1(1) 2018.
- "A new argument for the irrelevance of equality for intrinsic value", with Stephen Kershnar, Philosophia 45:277–297, 2017.
- "When AI should do the wrong thing", with Ryan Jenkins and Brian Talbot, in Robot Ethics 2.0, Oxford University Press, 2017.
- "A dilemma for moral deliberation in AI", with Ryan Jenkins, International Journal of Applied Philosophy 30(2):313–335, 2016
- "Robots and respect: a response to Sparrow", with Ryan Jenkins, Ethics and International Affairs 30(3):391–400, 2016.
- "The case for discounting the future", Ethics, Policy, and Environment 19(2): 213–230 2016.
- "Non-identity for non-humans", with Ben Hale, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19(5):1165–1185 2016.
- "Accounting for the harm of death" Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97(1): 89–112 2016.
- "Right intention and the ends of war", with Ryan Jenkins, Journal of Military Ethics 15(1): 18–35 2016.
- "The significance of personal identity for death" Bioethics 29: 681–682 2015.
- "Autonomous machines, moral judgment, and acting for the right reasons", with Ryan Jenkins and Bradley Strawse, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18: 851–872 (r) 2015.
- "The harms of death" in Cholbi, Michael (ed.) Immortality and the Philosophy of Death. Rowman & Littlefield 2015.
- "Torture and incoherence: a reply to Cyr" Journal of Ethics 19(2): 213–218 2015.
- "Genetically modified organisms, future generations, and the limits of precautionary principle" Social Philosophy Today 31: 99–109 2015.
- "Human non-human chimeras: enhancement or creation?" American Journal of Bioethics 14(2): 26–27 2014.
- "Anthropocentric indirect arguments and anthropocentric moral attitudes" Ethics, Policy, and Environment 17(3): 267–270 2014.
- "A counterexample to two accounts of harm" Southwest Philosophy Review 30(1): 243–250 2014.
- "Still in hot water: doing, allowing, and Rachels' bathtub cases" Southwest Philosophy Review 27: 129–137 2012.
- "Moral differences between autonomous weapons and autonomous vehicles", Autonomous Vehicles Symposium, Orlando, Florida (Invited). July 2019.
- "Predictive policing: unbiased and unfair?"
- Information Ethics Roundtable: Conference on Justice and Fairness in Machine Learning and Big Data, Northeastern University. April 2019.
- University of Massachusetts, Boston, Center for Applied Ethics (Invited) September 2019
- "Unjust Enrichment and the Consumption of Animal Products"
- Florida Philosophical Association, Pensacola, FL. November, 2018.
- Philosophy Colloquium Series, University of South Carolina (Invited). October 2019.
- "Predictive policing and the demands of justice". Cal Poly Philosophy Department and Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering (Invited). May 2018.
- "Ethics and ecology of genetic interventions to prevent wild animal suffering"
- University of Colorado—Boulder's Environmental Studies Departmental Colloquium Series (Invited). March, 2018.
- Rutgers-Camden's Philosophy Department Workshop on Enhancements (Invited). April, 2018.
- "Convergence and Divergence between Animal and Environmental Ethics"
- Centre de Recherche en Éthique, Montreal, Quebec. May 2017.
- Second Annual Bovay Workshop on Engineering and Applied Ethics, Texas A&M. March 2017.
- "Autonomous weapon systems: research, risk, and responsibility" (Invited) Dialogues in Research Ethics, University of Miami Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy. November, 2017.
- "Desire satisfaction, death, and time". The Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, Colorado University, Boulder. August 2017.
- "Meaning in the lives of humans and other animals" Human and Non-human Animals: Minds and Morals. University of Connecticut, Storrs CT. May 2017.
- "Should we design artificial intelligence to have false moral beliefs?" Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, CU Boulder, Aug 2016.
- "Harming, failing to benefit, and the causing/allowing distinction" Bled Philosophical Conference, Bled, Slovenia, June 2016.
- "Life-improving organ transplantation: some ethical questions" Invited Speaker, Society of Bioethics and Medicine, Brooklyn College, Spring 2016.
- "Death and timeless values" International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying, Syracuse, May 2016.
- "Must robots be consequentialists?"
- Future of Just War, Naval Postgraduate School, Oct 2015
- Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, CU Boulder, Aug 2015.
- "The harms of death" Young Scholars Workshop for the Immortality Project, UC Riverside, May 2015.
- "Intergenerational justice and discounting the future" American Philosophical Association, St. Louis, Feb 2015.
- "Criteria for a successful account of the harm of death" International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying, Pomona, Oct 2014.
- "The case for discounting the future" Workshop on Ethical Underpinnings of Climate Economics, Helsinki, Nov 2014.
- "Right intention and the ends of war" International Society for Military Ethics, Notre Dame, Oct 2014.
- "How to raise the levelling down objection without appealing to the slogan" Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, CU Boulder, Aug 2014.
- "A counterexample to two accounts of harm" Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Philosophical Society, Nov 2013.
- "You are what I eat: moral implications of GMOs for future generations"" International Social Philosophy Conference, Quinnipiac, Jul 2013.
- "Death and disability: two problems for the event-based account of harm" American Philosophical Association, San Francisco, Mar 2013.
- "The non-identity problem and the levelling-down objection" Illinois Philosophical Association, UI Urbana-Champagne, Nov 2012.
- "The distinctive feeling of desire theory of pleasure" Midsouth Philosophy Conference, Rhodes College, Memphis, Feb 2012.
- "Still in hot water: doing, allowing, and Rachels' bathtub cases" Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Philosophical Society, Nov 2010.