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Anita Superson

My first academic interest was in biology, and I graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. from DePaul University.  In preparation for a career in medicine, I took some courses in medical ethics. That turned into an M.A. in philosophy with a concentration in medical ethics from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.  My Master's Thesis, A Philosophical Analysis of Needs as a Foundation of Rights, aimed to establish a grounding for a right to health care.  This topic generated my interest in the connection between obligations and motivations --the internalism/externalism issue-- which in turn led me to explore the connection between obligations and reasons in my dissertation, The Self-Interest Based Contractarian Response to the Why-Be-Moral Skeptic.  After receiving my Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago, I taught at Kansas State University for three years, and joined the department at the University of Kentucky in 1992.  I was a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Michigan (2008), the Humphrey Professor of Feminist Philosophy at the University of Waterloo (2013), and the recipient of an AAUW Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2005-2006.  I was a founding member of the Society for Analytical Feminism, and served as President and as a member of the Executive Committee for over a decade.  I served on the APA Committee on the Status of Women, and was a member of the Special Task Force on Women in Philosophy.  I served as President of the Central States Philosophical Association (2015).  I am a devoted Bears fan. 


Contact Information
1433 Patterson Office Tower
Ph.D. University of Illinois, Chicago, 1989
Research Interests
  • Ethics
  • Metaethics
  • normative ethics
  • Moral Psychology
  • action theory
  • feminist philosophy
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Philosophy