About the Ethics Centre

What Is the Centre?


The Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics is a research centre at the University of Manitoba. We promote research and discussion on a wide range of ethical, social, political and legal issues. We frequently sponsor public talks and forums, on topics of interest to academics, students and the public. We do not promote any particular perspective or set of views. Instead, we try to encourage free and open debate.


We support academic research by providing fellowships to University of Manitoba faculty. We also sponsor an annual high school essay competition.


Our Director and Associate Directors teach classes on ethics and politics that are offered through their respective academic units (Philosophy and Politics). Please consult the course schedules of these units for details on specific classes. They also comment frequently in the media on issues of public concern.


For more information on our activities, like our Facebook page:




The Centre Executive



Neil McArthur, Department of Philosophy


Associate Directors

Sarah Hannan, Department of Politics

Steven Lecce, Department of Politics and Associate Dean of Arts


Founding Director

Arthur Schafer, Department of Philosophy



The Centre Directors


 Neil McArthur


Professor McArthur’s current research focuses on sexual ethics and on philosophy and sexuality. He is the co-editor (with John Danaher) of a forthcoming volume, Robot Sex: Social, Legal and Ethical Perspectives (MIT Press). His work has appeared in Time, Aeon and Psychology Tomorrow. He has given interviews to CBC’s national news programme The National, HuffPostLive, the CBC documentary “Roboticise Me” as well as to numerous websites and magazines, including the Huffington Post and Popular Science. He maintains a blog, morallust.com, and a Twitter account, @morallust, both dedicated to issues of sexual ethics. He has also published on the history of early modern philosophy, and is the author of the book David Hume’s Political Theory.


Professor McArthur is also the co-director of two documentaries about the impact of Alberta’s oil sands development on the region’s aboriginal communities: Land of Oil and Water and Overburden. These films played at numerous festivals around the world, and were broadcast nationally. You can find out more about them at landofoil.com.


Recent Scholarship

(Editor, with John Danaher) Sex Robots: Social, Legal and Ethical Perspectives; includes sole-authored chapter “The Case for Sexbots” (MIT Press, forthcoming 2016)

(Editor, with Steven Lecce and Arthur Schafer) Fragile Freedoms: The Global Struggle for Human Rights (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2016)

“Hume and Legal Philosophy,” The Humean Mind, eds. Angela Coventry and Alexander Sager (Routledge, forthcoming in 2016)

“Political Philosophy”, The Oxford Handbook of David Hume, ed. Paul Russell (Oxford University Press, 2015).

“Civil Society”, The Routledge Handbook of Eighteenth Century Philosophy, ed. Aaron Garrett (Routledge, 2015).

“Reform and Revolution”, The Oxford Handbook of Eighteenth Century British Philosophy, ed. James Harris (Oxford University Press, 2014)

“Cosmopolitanism and Hume’s General Point of View”, European Journal of Political Theory 13 (2014), 321-40.

(Editor, with Lorne Falkenstein) David Hume, Essays and Treatises (Broadview Press, 2013)


Recent Journalism

(With Marina Adshade) “It’s Better to Be Single on Valentine’s Day,” Time 10 February 2015

(With Marina Adshade) “Holiday Party Hookups Are Good for Employees–And None of HR’s Business,” Time 10 December 2014

“Stone-Age Sex,” Aeon Magazine (18 June 2014)

“Should We Have Sex Just Because Our Partner Wants To?”, Psychology Tomorrow (May 2014)


Email: neil.mcarthur@umanitoba.ca


Steven Lecce


Steven Lecce teaches political theory in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba, where he is also Associate Dean of Arts.   His research is primarily concerned with contemporary theories of social and distributive justice, and the ethical bases of the liberal-democratic state.  He is the author of Against Perfectionism: Defending Liberal Neutrality (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008), and numerous articles about political philosophy. Recently, he was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University’s Centre for the Study of Social Justice.  He is currently completing two book projects: a co-edited volume of the recent Fragile Freedoms lecture series at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (under contract with Oxford University Press); and a sequel to Against Perfectionism entitled Equality’s Domain (under contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press).


email: steven.lecce@umanitoba.ca


Sarah Hannan


Sarah Hannan is an Assistant Professor in Political Studies, and also currently holds a visiting position at the Australian National University, School of Philosophy, Research School of Social Sciences.  She earned her D.Phil. from Oxford University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Ethics In Society.


Sarah works primarily in contemporary moral and political philosophy.  She is currently focusing on the morality of procreation and parenting, and has published on the topic in Theory and Research In Education.  She also co-edited Permissible Progeny?: The Morality of Procreation and Parenting (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).  Some of her other research interests include: autonomy, bioethics, and philosophy of education.


Email: sarah.hannan@umanitoba.ca


Media Inquiries


The Centre’s executive is drawn from both the Philosophy and Politics departments, and possess expertise on a wide range of ethical, political and social issues. We are happy to speak with members of the media, both on background and to provide comment for publication or on camera. Please direct any inquiries to the Centre’s Director, Neil McArthur, via telephone or email: 204.474.9105, or neil.mcarthur@umanitoba.ca




Members of the Centre's Advisory Board

Arthur Schafer, Department of Philosophy and Director
Sarah Hannan, Department of Political Studies and Associate Director for Political Philosophy and Applied Ethics.
Steven Lecce, Department of Politics and Associate Director for Politics and Law
Neil McArthur, Department of Philosophy and Associate Director for Applied Ethics and Social Justice

Kenneth MacKendrick, Department of Religion, Kenneth.MacKendrick@umanitoba.ca
Dimitrios Dentsoras, Department of Philosophy, Dimitrios.Dentsoras@umanitoba.ca
Sarah Teetzel, Department of Kinesiology, Sarah.Teetzel@ad.umanitoba.ca
Dana Medoro, Department of English, Film & Theatre, Dana.Medoro@umanitoba.ca
Royce Koop, Department of Political Studies, Royce.Koop@umanitoba.ca
David Churchill, Department of History, David.Churchill@umanitoba.ca
Arthur Schafer, Department of Philosophy, Arthur.Schafer@umanitoba.ca
Brenda Austin-Smith, Department of English, Film & Theatre, Brenda.Austin-Smith@umanitoba.ca
Julie Guard, Department of Labour Studies/History,  Julie.Guard@umanitoba.ca
Rhonda Martens, Department of Philosophy, Rhonda.Martens@umanitoba.ca
Sarah Hannan, Department of Political Studies, Sarah.Hannan@umanitoba.ca
Steven Lecce, Department of Political Studies, Steven.Lecce@umanitoba.ca
Shauna Labman, Faculty of Law, Shauna.Labman@umanitoba.ca
RJ Leland, Department of Philosophy, rj.leland@umanitoba.ca

Associates of the Centre

David Alper, Faculty of Social Work, St. Boniface University
Brenda Austin-Smith, Head, Department of English, Film and Theatre
Benita Cohen, Faculty of Nursing
David Churchill, Department of History
Jerome Cranston, Faculty of Education
Peter Denton, History, Royal Military College of Canada
Dimitrios Dentsoras, Department of Philosophy
Bruno Dyck, Faculty of Management
Joyce Jenkins, Department of Philosophy
Royce Koop, Head, Department of Politics
Shauna Labman, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba
Lisa Landrum, Faculty of Architecture
R.J. Leland, Department of Philosophy
Orly Linovsky, Department of City Planning
Erik Magnusson, Department of Political Studies
Simone Mahrenholz, Department Philosophy
Rhonda Martens, Head, Department of Philosophy
Kenneth McKendrick, Department of Religion
Dana Medoro, Department of English
Adam Muller, Department of English
Rob Shaver, Department of Philosophy
Sarah Teetzel, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management
David Watt, Director, Institute for the Humanities