Project Description

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Meghan Winsby


  • Ethics

  • Moral Psychology

  • Bioethics



Doctoral Student;
Department of Philosophy, Western University

Meghan Winsby is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Western. Her research is primarily focused on topics in normative and applied ethics, with feminist emphasis in both areas. She also has interests in moral psychology, political philosophy, and free will. Her doctoral research develops a distinctive accounting of the non-participant, non-objective stance from which we regard developing moral agents. This “prospective” stance specifically accommodates the reactive attitudes constitutive of our responsibility practices involving children. Her work draws on a set of seemingly distinct questions from the philosophical literature on paternalism, moral agency, trust, promising, and feminist moral epistemology.


Sherwin, Susan and Meghan Winsby. “A Relational Perspective on Autonomy for Older Adults Residing in Nursing Homes” Health Expectations, 2010.

Book Chapters:

Winsby, Meghan. “Lady Sings the Blues: A Woman’s Perspective on Authenticity” Blues and Philosophy, ed. Fritz Allhoff (Malden: Wiley-Blackwell Ltd, 2012).

Invited Talks:

June, 2013. Commentary for Scott Woodcock’s “Comic Immoralism and Relatively Funny Jokes” Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Conference: Victoria, BC.

March, 2011. Commentary for Danielle Wylie’s “The Parameter Setting Problem for Moral Nativism” Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology Annual Conference: New Orleans, LA.

May, 2010. Commentary for Angel Petropanagos’s  “Pronatalism, Biologism, and Oncofertility” Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Conference: Montreal, QC.

May, 2009. Commentary for Lucy Langston’s “Renegotiating the Ascription of Moral Standing: Human Non-Persons and Non-Human Persons” Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Conference: Ottawa, Ontario.

Conference Presentations:

August, 2013. “Appeals to Conscience and Blameworthiness” 6th Annual Rocky Mountain Ethics Conference: Boulder, CO. [declined]

July, 2013. “Suffering Subroutines: On the Humanity of Making a Computer that Feels Pain.” International Association of Computation and Philosophy Annual Meeting: College Park, MD. [declined]

June, 2013. “Morals By Example: The Special Harm of Broken Promises to Children” (panel presentation: Developing Moral Agency: Children [organizer])
Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Conference: Victoria, BC.

June, 2013. “On the Natural Punishment of Conscience” Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Conference: Victoria, BC.

August, 2012. “Promises to Children” International Society for Utilitarian Studies 12th International Conference (ISUS XII): New York, NY.

June 2012. “Uncovering the Conscience Behind Conscientious Refusals” International Association of Bioethics 11th World Conference: Rotterdam, Netherlands.

June, 2011. “Organic Unities and Just Deserts” Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Conference: Fredericton, NB.

June, 2010. “Defacing Choice: Cosmetic Surgery and Women’s Autonomy” Canadian Bioethics Society Annual Conference: Kelowna, BC.

June, 2010. “Lady Sings the Blues: The Importance of a Genre for Women’s Autonomy” Canadian Society for the Study of Practical Ethics Annual Conference: Montreal, QC.

May, 2009 . “Doing Better With Age: Identity and Self-determination in Long-term Care” Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Conference: Ottawa, ON.

October, 2008. “Appropriate Deserts: Conceptual Analyses of Moral Desert and Responsibility” 9th Annual Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference: Portland, Oregon.

The Geo-Functions Project

Project Title: Let Conscience Be Their Guide? Conscientious Refusals in Reproductive Health Care

Role: Research Assistant

Project Members: Carolyn McLeod, Michael Hickson, Lori Kantymir, Patrick Clipsham, Francoise Baylis, Jocelyn Downie, Daniel Weinstock, Reuven Brandt, Meghan Winsby.

Many bioethicists and health-policy makers are currently struggling with what to do about conscientious refusals by health care professionals to provide health care services, such as abortions.  An important goal for this project is to conduct rigorous analyses of when conscientious refusals—in particular those that occur in reproductive health care—are morally and legally permissible, and of which policies and educational initiatives we need in Canada with respect to these refusals. Our practical aim is to encourage delivery of reproductive health care services that is appropriately respectful of conscience and that safeguards women’s reproductive health.

Western University

Winter, 2013, Phil 2070E (Ethics and Society), (Instructor).

Winter, 2012, Phil 1305G (Questions of the Day), (TA).

Fall, 2011, Phil 1130F (Big Ideas), (TA).

Winter, 2011, Phil 2715 (Health Care Ethics),(TA).

Fall, 2010, Phil 2730 (Media Ethics), (TA).

Dalhousie University

Fall, 2009, Phil 2710 (Existentialism), (TA).

Winter, 2009, Phil 2081(Ethics and the World of Business), (TA).

Fall, 2008, Phil 2020 (Introduction to Legal Thinking), (TA).

Fall, 2006, Phil 2805 (Ethics and Health Care), (TA).

Winter, 2006, Phil 2081 (Ethics and the World of Business), (TA).

Fall, 2005, Phil 2020 (Introduction to Legal Thinking), (TA).