Moral Philosophy & Ethics Education (MPEE)

The Moral Philosophy & Ethics Education (MPEE) research focus area fosters collaborative research on foundational philosophical questions about moral goodness and moral cultivation. We have a particular focus on normative and applied ethics, the history of moral philosophy, and ethics education for the professions. Our research draws on the long tradition of work in these fields found in the Catholic intellectual and moral tradition.

We seek to support research that makes a valuable contribution to the University’s teaching and research life and which can form the basis of interdisciplinary projects on ethics and society with groups external to the University.

We host the Moral Philosophy & Ethics Education Annual Lecture.




  • Dr Annette Pierdziwol (Assistant Director and Senior Lecturer/Research Associate, Institute for Ethics & Society)
  • Tim Smartt (Lecturer/Research Associate, Institute for Ethics & Society)

IES Researchers

IES Affiliates

IES Adjuncts

International Visiting Scholars

Christian B. Miller (2019)
Wake Forest University

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

Candace Vogler (2017)
University of Chicago

Mary G. Gentile (2016)
University of Virginia

Recurring Events

Register here
2019 Program in the Philosophy of Character

Annual Lecture

Grants and Partnerships

  • 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

Recent Events

Current Projects

The MPEE research focus area includes the following active research projects:

  • Enriching University Ethics Education with Virtue Ethics: This project explores the connection between ethics education within a tertiary context and the concrete development of virtuous character. In particular, this project brings insights from the tradition of virtue ethics into dialogue with ethics education pedagogy. We are currently working with Professor Candace Vogler at the University of Chicago in connection to this project. The project builds on previous work in which we partnered with Professor Mary G. Gentile at the University of Virginia.
  • Emotion, Habit & Social Life: This project aims at better understanding the importance of virtuous habits and emotions for our moral, social, and political lives. The project draws on approaches to the emotions and moral cultivation from the history of philosophy – especially early modern and eighteenth-century sentimentalist philosophy – to take up contemporary questions of political psychology.
  • Moral Beliefs and Moral Lives: A Puzzle About Normative Guidance: What role do moral, philosophical, and religious beliefs play in our ordinary practices of thinking about what to believe and choosing what to do? Recent interdisciplinary works has suggested that the traditional importance attributed to these beliefs is dramatically overstated. This project addresses this debate and defends the position that our moral, philosophical, and religious beliefs are of immense practical importance for how we think and live.
  • Applied and Professional Ethics: We have several current smaller projects in which we apply our expertise in moral philosophy and ethics education to specific professional domains such as business, law, sports, education and media.

Postgraduate Research

For queries about postgraduate research supervision within the IES’s Moral Philosophy and Ethics Education research focus area, please contact Dr Annette Pierdziwol .

  • Publications

    Books & Chapters

     Pierdziwol, A. (2018)
    “Cultivating Empathic Concern and Altruistic Motivation: Insights from Hume and Batson” in Hume’s Moral Philosophy and Contemporary Psychology, edited by Rico Vitz and Phil Reed. Routledge (2018)
     D’Olimpio, L. (2017)
    Media and Moral Education: a philosophy of critical engagement. London: Routledge
     Lynch, Sandra
    “Philosophy, Play and Ethics in Education.” In Philosophical Perspectives on Play. Malcolm MacLean, Wendy Russell, and Emily Ryall (Eds). Routledge, 2015)
     Lynch, S. (2017).
    ‘Building Ethical Capacity.’
    In Lavery, S, Chambers, D & Cain, G. (eds.), Service Learning: Enhancing Inclusive Education (International Perspectives on Inclusive Education), pp. 53-71, Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing.
      Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Play: From Birth and Beyond
    Sandra Lynch, Deborah Pike & Cynthia A’Beckett (Eds.)
    Springer Publishing, 2016.
     Kohler-Ryan, R. & Lynch, S. (2017)
    ‘Values Education and Christological personhood: philosophical and practical implications’
    in Civil Society, Education and Human Formation.
    Janis (John) Ozolins (Ed). Routledge International Studies in the Philosophical Education: Oxon/New York, p163-177.
      Handal, B., Lynch, S., Watson, K., Maher, M. & Hellyer, G. (2016).
    Teaching digital citizenship in higher education.
    In L. Dyson, W. Ng & J. Fergusson (Eds.), Mobile Learning Futures - Sustaining Quality Research and Practice in Mobile Learning; 15th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning mLearn (pp. 112-121). Sydney: The University of Technology Sydney. Available online from: ISBN 978-0-9875020-3-2
     Pierdziwol, A. (2016)
    “The 'how' of Transformation in Levinas and Coakley” in Sarah Coakley and the Future of Systematic Theology, edited by J. McRandal. Fortress Press, 15-48.

    Journal Articles

     D’Olimpio, L. (2016)
    ‘Trust as a virtue in Education’ Educational Philosophy and Theory, Special Issue ‘Trust and Schooling’ Ed. Bruce Haynes
      Solidarity: The Journal of Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics Volume 6, Issue 1 (2016)
    “Bioethics: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Euthanasia”
    Editors: Raymond Campbell, Mary Benedicta Maier, Sandra Lynch, Peter Smith

    Book Reviews

     Tim Smartt (2019)
    Review of Sarah Moss, Probabilistic Knowledge”, Ethics vol. 129, no. 2: 430-438.