Nicolae Morar

Assistant Professor

Department of Philosophy and the Environmental Studies Program
Associate Member, Institute of Ecology and Evolution
University of Oregon

1295 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1295



B.A. in philosophy from Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 (France)

M.A. in philosophy from Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 (France)

Ph.D. in philosophy from Purdue University


Dr. Morar is an applied ethicist whose research interests are at the intersection of biology, ecology, ethics, and biopolitics. He received his B.A. and M.A. in philosophy from Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 in France and has earned his PhD in philosophy from Purdue University. His dissertation analyzes the ways in which current biotechnologies alter traditional conceptions of human nature.

In his current work, Dr. Morar approaches the notion of human nature from various perspectives: at the limit between non-human animal and humans, where he proposes a more radical solution to the moral conundrum raised by genetic chimeras; at the limit between humans and more than humans, where he claims that the argument from human nature fails to characterize genetic altering techniques as morally reprehensible. He also proposes a positive account of human nature from a biological perspective where he employs the notion of norm of reaction along with a microbial view of human organisms to capture the variability at heart in every human population.

He is a Co-PI on the grant Biodiversity at Twenty-Five: The Problem of Ecological Proxy Values, which provides a critical assessment of the normative role of biodiversity. He is also a Co-PI on the grant Between Deleuze and Foucault, which will make available a first complete transcription and translation of Deleuze’s 1985-1986 seminar on Foucault, as well as an edited collection as a critical apparatus.

In September 2012, he was a Visiting Scholar at The Hastings Center working on a project entitled “A Critical Argument for a Principle of Minimal Biological Realism in Bioethics”. He joined the Rock Ethics Institute at The Pennsylvania State University in the Fall 2013, as a Post Doctoral Scholar, working on research ethics projects and on implementing ethics in science education at the graduate level. In the fall of 2015, he joined the Environmental Studies Program and the Department of Philosophy as a regular faculty. As an Associate Member, he continues his sustained collaborations with the Institute of Ecology and Evolution at University of Oregon.

Research Interests

Applied Ethics, Philosophy of Biology/ Ecology, Recent French Philosophy (especially, Michel Foucault)

Representative Publication

  • “Bioethics and the Constitution of the Ecological Individual”, (with Jonathan Beever), Environmental Philosophy, forthcoming
  • “Toward an Ecological Bioethics”, (with Joshua A. Skorburg), American Journal of Bioethics, 16(2016):5, p.35-37
  • “Implicit Bias and Gifts: How does Social Psychology Help us Thinking Differently about the Medical Practice?”, (with Natalia Washington), Hastings Center Report , 46(2016):3, p.33-43
  • “The Porosity of Autonomy: Social and Biological Constitution of the Patient in Biomedicine”, (with Jonathan Beever), American Journal of Bioethics, 16(2016):2, p.34-45
  • “Biodiversity at Twenty-Five Years: Revolution or Red Herring?”, (with Ted Toadvine & Brendan Bohannan), Ethics, Policy, & Environment , 18(2015):1, pp.16-26
  • “An Empirically Informed Critique of Habermas’ Argument from Human Nature”, Journal of Science & Engineering Ethics, 21(2015):1, pp.95-113
  • “Against the Yuck Factor: On the Ideal Role of Disgust in Society” (with Daniel Kelly), Utilitas, Forthcoming (2014).