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Personal profile


Dr Paul Formosa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University and Director for the Macquarie University Research Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics (CAVE). Paul has been at Macquarie since 2009, and has been a Macquarie University Research Fellow, an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow, and CI of various ARC Discovery Projects. Paul has also been an elected member of the University Senate and the Faculty Board and served as Department HDR and MRes Director.

Research interests

Paul has published widely on topics in moral and political philosophy, with a particular focus on Kantian ethics, moral evil, moral psychology, human dignity, philosophy and technology, and the ethics of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and video games.

Paul's research tries to answer research questions such as the following: How do we treat people with respect? Is human dignity inherent or conferred? What are the ethical implications of Kant’s Categorical Imperative? How can videogames be designed to encourage moral engagement? Can social robots have moral status? What ethical issues does Artificial Intelligence raise? Can people be evil? And how do we design fair and just institutions?

Paul is the author of Kantian Ethics, Dignity and Perfection (Cambridge University Press, 2017), co-editor of Politics and Teleology in Kant (University of Wales Press, 2014), and co-editor of journal special issues on Morality Play (Games & Culture) and Kant on Education and Evil (Educational Philosophy and Theory). He is the author of over fifty publications with leading international presses such as Oxford University Press and in leading international journals.

Paul has collaborated with colleagues in computing, cognitive science, education, management, and English. He employs both traditional methods of philosophy, such as conceptual analysis, and qualitative and quantitative research methods.  

Research student supervision

Paul can supervise students across a range of topics in moral and political philosophy. While he mainly supervises students in philosophy, he has also co-supervised students in computing. He is open to taking on new students.


Paul has taught the following units: PHIL3057 Theories of Justice; PHIL705 Foundations of Research in Ethics; PHL1032 Philosophy, Morality and Society; PHIL383/PHL354 Philosophy Capstone Unit; PHL3082 Agency and the Self; PHIL706 Research Topics in Ethics; PHIL202 Philosophy, Technology and the Future of Humanity; and FOAR7002 Research Frontier; PHIL2026 The Ethics and Moral Psychology of Good and Evil 


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