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Associate Professor of Philosophy

John is an associate professor of philosophy whose primary areas of research include moral philosophy and applied ethics, especially the ethics of emerging technologies such as AI and synthetic biology. He teaches courses in moral philosophy, ethics of technology, and ethics in scientific research.

  • 2019-2020 AI Initiative Fellow-in-Residence, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University
  • 2015 – Department of Residential Life’s Faculty Member of the Year
  • Research Fellowship Summers of 2008 – 2012, Northeastern University’s Nanotechnology and Society Research Group (Award of $55,000).
  • The Berent Enç Graduate Teaching Award 2011, Department of Philosophy, UW-Madison.
  • Nominee, Campus-Wide Teaching Assistant Award: Capstone Ph.D Teaching Award 2010, University of Wisconsin Madison.
  • Basl J., and Sandler, R., Designer Biology: The Ethics of Intensively Engineering Biological and Ecological Systems, Lexington Books, 2013.
  • Basl J., and Sandler, R., “The Good of Non-Sentient Entities: Organisms, Artifacts, and Synthetic Biology” Studies in History and Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 2013.
  • Basl, J., “The Ethics of Engineering Non-Human Research Subjects” Ethical Issues in Engineering Ecological and Biological Systems, Basl, J. and Sandler, R. (eds.), Lexington Books, 2013.
  • Basl, J. and Sandler, R., “Three Puzzles Regarding the Moral Status of Synthetic Organisms” Synthetic Biology and Morality: Artificial Life and the Bounds of Nature, Kaebnick, G. and Murray T.H. (eds), MIT Press, 2013.
  • Basl, J., “The Moral Status of Artificial Intelligences” Ethics and Emerging Technologies, Sandler, R. (ed), Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013.
  • Streiffer, R., and Basl, J., “The Ethics of Engineering Animals for Agriculture” Ethics and Emerging Technologies, Sandler, R. (ed.), Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013.
  • Basl, J., “Nothing Good Will Come from Giving Up Aetiological Accounts of Teleology” Philosophy & Technology (25:4) 2012, pp. 543-546.
  • Streiffer, R., and Basl, J., “Ethical Issues in the Application of Biotechnology to Animals in Agriculture” Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics, Beauchamp, T. and Frey, R. (eds.), Oxford University Press 2011, pp. 826-854.
  • Basl, J., “State Neutrality and the Ethics of Human Enhancement Technologies” American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience (1:2) 2010, pp. 41-48.
  • Basl, J., “Restitutive Restoration: New Motivations for Ecological Restoration” Environmental Ethics (32:2) 2010, pp. 135-147.
  • Sandler, R., and Basl, J., “Transhumanism, Human Dignity, and Moral Status” Open Peer Commentary, American Journal of Bioethics (10:7) 2010, pp. 63-66.

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  • Education

    PhD, 2011, Philosophy,
    University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Contact

  • Address

    421 Renaissance Park
    360 Huntington Avenue,
    Boston, MA 02115


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