Brian Coffey joins Eastern Michigan University as our newest Full Time Lecturer of Philosophy. He completed his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of California, Davis. Prior to coming to EMU, he was employed as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Grand Valley State University, so he is now relatively adjusted to the cold Michigan winters.
His primary research focus is in ethics—in particular, on questions regarding the nature of goodness, and the role that goodness should play in our moral thinking and theorizing. He defends the view that something is good just in case, and because, it promotes some goal. This view is at odds with the orthodox view in philosophy that asserts not only that some things are good ‘for their own sake,’ but also that these goods occupy a privileged position in our moral theories and practical lives.
As an ethicist, it is especially important to him to show his students that we can think critically about our own moral beliefs, and engage in thoughtful discussion of them with even those who disagree with us. For this reason, he loves teaching introductory courses in applied and theoretical ethics, like Medical Ethics and Business Ethics.