Richard Werner

Richard Werner
Richard Werner

Professor of Philosophy Emeritus and Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

202 College Hill Road, Room 102

Richard Werner’s research interests center on issues relating to applied philosophy: war, climate change, experimental ethics and evolutionary ethics. Werner is the author of articles on ethical realism, pragmatism, just war theory and medical ethics in such journals as The Monist, Ethics, Analysis, Social Theory and Practice, and Contemporary Pragmatism. Werner is co-editor of Just War, Nonviolence, and Nuclear Deterrence. He is a past Tennent Caledonian Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and Public Affairs, University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Werner received a doctorate from the University of Rochester.

Recent Courses Taught

Contemporary Moral Issues
History of Ancient Western Philosophy
Ethics of Globalization
Creating Right and Wrong
Environmental Ethics
Theory and Practice of Nonviolence
Technology and Alienation
Nineteenth Century Philosophy
The Pursuit of Happiness
Seminar in Ethics: Happiness
Seminar in Ethics: Naturalism


  • Elected by Class of 2015 to address them at First Gala Dinner Event, May 2015.
  • Awarded Leadership Course Development Grant from the Levitt Center, fall 2013
  • Awarded The Samuel & Helen Lang Prize for Excellence in Teaching, May 2006
  • Awarded the Pentagon Service Award for Service by the students of Hamilton College, May 2004
  • Editorial Committee, The Acorn: Journal of the Gandhi-King Society, 1990-present
  • Consulting Editor, Public Affairs Quarterly, 1996-99
  • Eastern Division Representative, Concerned Philosophers for Peace, 1987-91
  • Tennent Caledonian Fellow, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, spring 1989
  • Co-Director, “Issues in Nuclear Deterrence,” international conference in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, June 1985
  • Co-recipient of Alfred P. Sloan Foundation New Liberal Arts Package Grant, to present an open seminar series on artificial intelligence, Hamilton College, 1984
  • Hamilton College Faculty Fellowship, 1983-84; spring 1989; spring 1995; 2002-2003, 2007-2008, spring 2014
  • John Dewey Senior Research Fellowship, University of Southern Illinois, 1983-84
  • Co-recipient of N.E.H. Package Grant on Technology and Human Values, to develop courses relating to technology and values, 1980
  • Margaret Bundy Scott Faculty Fellowship, Hamilton College, 1979

Selected Publications

  • “The Concept of Morality,” Zubets, O. P., ed.  Moral'.  Mnogooobrazie poniatii i smyslov [Morality. Diversity of Concepts and Meanings]: In Honor of Abdusalam Abdulkerimovich Guseinov's 75th Birthday.  Moscow: "Al'fa-M," 2013.  pp. 433-438.
  • “Just War Theory: Going to War and Collective Self-Deception,” Routledge Handbook of Ethics and War: Just War Theory in the 21st Century, ed. Fritz Allhoff, Nicholas G. Evans, Adam Henschke,  (Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2013).  pp. 36-46.
  • “Fallibilism, Pragmatism, and Peace,” The Hamline Review,” Volume 31, 2012, pp. 165-180.
  • “Reply to Sterba,” The Acorn, Volume XIV, No. 2 - Fall-Winter, 2011-2012, pp. 24-30. 
    Which is a response to James P. Sterba, “The Rationale of U.S. War-Making Foreign Policy,” pp. 15-23 in the same journal. Sterba responds p. 31.
  • “Hope and the Ethics of Belief,” Positive Peace, ed. Andrew Fitz-Gibbon, (NY: Rodopi, 2010), pp 1-12.
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  • “Pragmatism for Pacifists,” Contemporary Pragmatism, December 2007, Vol 4, #2, pp 93-116.
  • “An Analogical Argument for Stem Cell Research,” Biomedical Ethics Reviews: Stem Cell Research, ed. James Humber and Robert Almeder (Clifton, NJ: The Humana Press, 2003).
  • “Reconceiving the Abortion Argument,” Philosophical Inquiry, Vol. XXIV, No. 1-2, Winter-Spring, 2002, pp. 71-85.
  • “Aggressive vs. Defensive War,” “Civil Disobedience,” “Collateral Damage,” “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” for Encyclopedia on War and Ethics, ed. Donald Wells (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996).
  • “South Africa and the Consequences of Divestment,” In the Eye of the Storm: Philosophers Reflect on Militarism and Regional Conflicts, ed. Laurence Bove and Laura Duhan Kaplan (Amsterdam: Rodopi Press, 1995), pp. 95-106.
  • “South Africa: University Neutrality and Divestment,” Neutrality and Academic Ethics, ed. Robert Simon (Totowa, NJ: Roman and Littlefield, 1994), pp. 161-171.
  • “Gardening Dilemmas: A Response to Judith Presler’s ‘Genocide and Moral Philosophy,’” Concerned Philosophers for Peace Newsletter, Fall 1993, Vol. 13, #2, pp. 9-10.
  • Just War, Nonviolence, and Nuclear Deterrence, ed. Duane Cady and Richard Werner (Wakefield, NH: Longwood Academic, 1991).
  • “Animal Use for Human Organ Transplant,” Biomedical Ethics Reviews—1987, ed. James Humber and Robert Almeder (Clifton, NJ: The Humana Press, 1988), pp. 65-87.
  • “Nuclear Deterrence and the Limits of Moral Theory,” The Monist, Vol. 70, No. 3, July 1987, pp. 355-376.
  • ________, abridged, Issues in War and Peace, ed. Kenneth Klein and Joseph Kunkel (Wakefield, NH: Longwood Academic, 1991).
  • “The Immorality of Nuclear Deterrence,” Chapter 10, Political Realism and International Morality, ed. Diana Meyers and Kenneth Kipnis (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987), pp. 158-178.
  • “The Deadly Logic of Deterrence,” Nuclear War: Philosophical Perspectives, ed. Michael Fox and Leo Groarke (New York: Peter Lang, 1985), pp. 195-201.
  • “Ethical Realism Defended,” Ethics, Vol. 95 , No. 2, Jan. 1985, pp. 292-296.
  • “Ethical Realism,” Ethics, Vol. 93, No. 4, July 1983, pp. 653-679.
  • “John Dewey: Pragmatism and Justification in Ethics—A Reconstruction,” The Personalist, July 1979, Vol. 60, No. 3, pp. 273-289.
  • “Abortion: The Ontological and Moral Status of the Unborn,” Today’s Moral Problems, 2nd ed., ed. Richard Wasserstrom (New York: Macmillan, 1979), pp. 51-73.
  • ________, abridged, Ethics: Theory and Practice, ed. Manuel Velasquez and Cynthia Rostankowski (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1985), pp. 252-260.
  • “A Re-examination of John Dewey's Alleged Ethical Naturalism,” Bicentennial Symposium of Philosophy (New York: 1976).
  • “Hare on Abortion,” Analysis, June 1976, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 177-81.
  • “Abortion: The Moral Status of the Unborn,” Social Theory and Practice, Fall 1974, Vol. 3, No. 2,  pp. 201-222.

College Service

  • Director, New York City Program on Globalization and Cosmopolitanism, spring 2006, spring 2010
  • Chair, Philosophy Department, 1990-95
  • Acting Chair, Philosophy Department, 1981-82, spring 1988, 2001-02, fall 2014

Professional Affiliations

Articles reviewed for Ethics, Journal of Value Inquiry, Dialogue, The Acorn, Public Affairs Quarterly, Journal of Social Philosophy and Philosophical Studies

Appointed to the Faculty: 1975

Educational Background

Ph.D., University of Rochester
M.A., University of Rochester
B.A., Rutgers University

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