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Personal profile


Dr Paul Formosa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University. He completed his PhD in philosophy in 2008 and he joined the Department of Philosophy at Macquarie in 2009. He has been a Macquarie University Research Fellow (2009-2011), an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow (2012-2016) and is currently a CI on two ARC Discovery Project - one on human dignity (2019-2021) and one on cybersecurity and ethics (2020-2022). 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, and philosophy and technology (including ethics and videogames). Paul's research tries to answer questions such as the following: How do we treat people with respect? Is human dignity inherent or conferred? How can videogames be designed to encourage moral engagement? Can robots have moral status? Can people be evil? 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 forty publications with leading international presses such as Oxford University Press and in leading international journals.

Research student supervision

Paul can supervise students across a range of topics in moral and political philosophy. His past and current HDR supervisions are listed below, with student names removed below for privacy.


HDR supervision completions:
1. “Feeling Together: Can there be group emotion?”, PhD Awarded 2018. Role: associate supervisor.
2. “The Ethics of Internet Privacy”, PhD awarded 2017. Role: associate supervisor.
3. “Kant’s Conception of Toleration,” MRes awarded 2017. Role: principal supervisor.
4. “A Dark Universal: Towards a Thomistic Theory of Evil”, MRes awarded 2016. Role: principal supervisor.

5. “Aristotle and Vice”, PhD awarded in 2019. Role: associate supervisor.

6. “Direct specification in Artificial General Intelligence Alignment,” MRes awarded in 2019. Role: principal supervisor.


Ongoing HDR supervision:
7. “Kant and Toleration”, PhD commenced in 2018. Role: principal supervisor.
8. “A Thomistic Theory of Evil”, PhD commenced in 2017. Role: principal supervisor.

9. “Toleration and Natural Law Theory”, MRes commenced in 2020.

10. “The Ethics of Virtual Intelligent Agents”, MRes commenced in 2019.


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 Frontiers.


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