Oderberg, David S.

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Oderberg, David S.


Education: University of Melbourne, B.A., L.L.B.; Oxford University, D.Phil.


Office—Department of Philosophy, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AA, England. E-mail—[email protected]


University of Reading, Reading, England, professor of philosophy.


The Metaphysics of Identity over Time, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1993.

(Editor, with Jacqueline A. Laing, and contributor) Human Lives: Critical Essays on Consequentialist Bioethics, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor) Form and Matter: Themes in Contemporary Metaphysics, Blackwell Publishers (Malden, MA), 1999.

Applied Ethics: A Non-consequentialist Approach, Blackwell Publishers (Malden, MA), 2000.

Moral Theory: A Non-consequentialist Approach, Blackwell Publishers (Malden, MA), 2000.

(Editor, with Timothy Chappell, and contributor) Human Values: New Essays on Ethics and Natural Law, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2004.

(Editor and contributor) The Old New Logic: Essays on the Philosophy of Fred Sommers, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.

Contributor to books, including Mind, Metaphysics, and Value in the Thomistic and Analytical Traditions, edited by J. Haldane, University of Notre Dame Press (South Bend, IN), 2002; and Analytical Thomism: Traditions in Dialogue, edited by C. Paterson and M.S. Pugh, Ashgate (Aldershot, England), 2006. Contributor of articles and book reviews to periodicals, including Analyis, Human Life Review, Quadrant, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Times Literary Supplement, and San Francisco Chronicle.


Philosophy professor David S. Oderberg is the author of such controversial works as Applied Ethics: A Non-consequentialist Approach and Moral Theory: A Non-consequentialist Approach. "The two books attempt to put forward a panoramic view of morality that is not as popular or fashionable as it used to be in the Western world," observed Victor Tsilonis in an interview with the author on the InterPares Web site. "Generally speaking, I think that nowadays intellectuals, philosophers in particular, face a lot of dangers emanating from people and institutions which do not have a commitment to truth and traditional, well-founded, common sense ethics," Oderberg remarked to Tsilonis. "We find that in the biotechnology industry, the human rights industry to some extent, we find it in the law, we find it in various institutions where there seems to be a progressive attack on traditional values. In that sense I believe that every philosopher is in danger of a certain kind of dismissal of his views as being nonsense or unworthy of consideration."

Human Lives: Critical Essays on Consequentialist Bioethics, a collection of twelve essays edited with Jacqueline A. Laing, "is a useful review of anticonsequentialism in moral theory," observed David M. Adams in Ethics. Adams continued: "We are told that the essays comprising the volume are united in their opposition to the consequentialist paradigm that has ‘dominated the practice of bioethics’ over the past twenty-five years…. This dominance of consequentialism has led to a ‘dehumanizing’ reliance on cost-benefit calculations and an assault on the integrity of the health care professions." The reviewer concluded that "there are some thoughtful essays here for those who want to seek them out." In Human Values: New Essays on Ethics and Natural Law, Oderberg and coeditor Timothy Chappell explore natural law theory. Christopher Newell, reviewing the work in Nursing Ethics, stated: "The chapters provide an important revitalization and indeed refreshment of a significant ethical tradition, as in a variety of ways the authors explore the contested nature of natural law theory, including whether or not one can describe any moral goods as natural."



Ethics, January, 2000, David M. Adams, review of Human Lives: Critical Essays on Consequentialist Bioethics, p. 434.

Nursing Ethics, September, 2005, Christopher Newell, review of Human Values: New Essays on Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 545-546.


InterPares,http://www.intellectum.org/ (April 13, 2007) Victor Tsilonis, "Interview with Dr. David S. Oderberg."

University of Reading Web site,http://www.rdg.ac.uk/ (March 20, 2007), "David S. Oderberg."