Moral Philosophy & Ethics Education

The Moral Philosophy & Ethics Education (MPEE) research focus area fosters collaborative research on cultivating good character, with a distinctive focus on the moral psychology of the virtues and vices.

Our research has both a theoretical and a practical dimension. We’re interested in better understanding specific moral, epistemic and civic virtues and vices, and we’re interested in exploring practical strategies for cultivating the development of virtuous character in different educational and social contexts.

We conduct research that makes a valuable contribution to the teaching and research life of Notre Dame Australia, and that can form the basis of research partnerships with groups external to the University.


International Visiting Scholars

C. Stephen Evans (2021)
Baylor University

Christian B. Miller (2019)
Wake Forest University

John Haldane (2016, 2018)
University of St. Andrew’s

Candace Vogler (2017)
University of Chicago


Book Publication

Love’s Forgiveness by John Lippitt will be published by Oxford University Press in 2020.

International Collaboration: Philosophy as a Way of Life

From 2019-2021 Tim Smartt is a network member of the AU$1.3m Mellon “Philosophy as a Way of Life” project at the University of Notre Dame (USA).

Masterclass in Moral Philosophy

“Becoming Virtuous: A One Week Masterclass in the Philosophy of Character” was instructed by Visiting Professor Christian B. Miller (Wake Forest University).

International Collaboration: Virtue, Happiness & the Meaning of Life

The IES was a partner institute on $2.2m Templeton Project “Virtue, Happiness & the Meaning of Life” at the University of Chicago (2017 – 2018).

Professional Ethics Consulting

We provide Professional Ethics Training Packages to support organisations to effectively address ethical issues and build robust ethical cultures.

Industry and Public Engagement

Master of Bioethics Program
We’re delighted to partner with colleagues across NDA to contribute to the new Master of Bioethics Program (School of Medicine).

Does Character Education Rest on a Mistake?
Keynote talk from Visiting Professor John Haldane (Baylor/St Andrews) at the Character Education and Social Leadership Conference . In partnership with the Scots College.

The Ethics of Policing
IES Director Professor John Lippitt discusses his work with the Hertfordshire Police.

What Does it Mean to Be 'Good'?
Professor Christian B. Miller (Wake Forest University) appeared on the ABC’s The Minefield podcast with Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens during his time as a Visiting Professor at the IES.

Great Books of the Western Canon
Tim Smartt recently sat down with The Ramsay Centre For Western Civilisation as part of their panel series introducing the Great Books of the Western Canon to discuss Plato's Apology.

In Defence of Empathy
Xavier Symons’ opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Why Teach Ethics in Schools?
IES QndA in Fremantle featuring Visiting Professor John Haldane, IES Adjunct Laura D’Olimpio (Birmingham) and Founding Director Sandra Lynch.

On the Role of Universities
Professor Renee Kohler Ryan writes on Western Civilization and the purpose of Universities for ABC Religion & Ethics.

Our Researcher's Grants and Institutional Partnerships

  • Leverhulme Trust, Major Research Fellowship on “Love’s Forgiveness”, 2018–2020 ($174,945)
  • Network member, AU$1.3m Mellon “Philosophy as a Way of Life” project at the University of Notre Dame (USA)
  • Australian Research Theology Foundation, 2018 – 2019
  • Fulbright Specialist Program (Grant FSP-P000163), 2017. For more information, please see “Community in the Classroom” in the November 2017 edition of the Fulbright publication Hearts and Minds (p. 46 – 47)
  • Partner on $2.2m John Templeton Foundation Project “Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life” at the University of Chicago, 2017 - 2018
  • Mary Philippa Brazill Foundation, 2016


Postgraduate Research

We welcome inquiries regarding postgraduate supervision from prospective M.Phil or PhD students interested in working within the IES’s Moral Philosophy and Ethics Education research focus area.

  • Professor John Lippitt

    Professor John Lippitt welcomes research students in the following areas:

    • Kierkegaard
    • Ethics and Moral Psychology (especially virtues and vices)
    • Forgiveness
    • Religion and Modern Thought
    • Philosophy of Love and Friendship
    • Philosophy of Education (especially the role of virtues in higher education)
    • Ethical Issues in Policing
  • Dr Annette Pierdziwol

    Dr Annette Pierdziwol welcomes research students in the following areas:

    • Moral philosophy (ethics) and moral psychology and their intersection with social and political philosophy: topics including moral cultivation, character, virtue, emotion, motivation, empathy, compassion, altruism, habit and practice
    • Early modern philosophy: seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century moral philosophy, accounts of the passions, Hume, Bishop Butler, Rousseau
    • Ethics education: philosophy of moral education and ethics education for the professions
    • Continental philosophy: responsibility, conscience, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Levinas, continental philosophy of religion and philosophical theology