Skip to main content Skip to navigation
School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs Meet our Faculty!

William P. Kabasenche

Clinical  Professor of Philosophy
Fellow, Center for Reproductive Biology
Fellow, Center for Integrated Biotechnology

Office: 814 Johnson Tower
Phone: 509.335.8719
Curriculum Vitae

William P. Kabasenche (PhD, 2006, University of Tennessee) is a Professor of Philosophy (Career track) in the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs, as well as the Ethics Education Director for the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and a Fellow in the Center for Reproductive Biology. His research is in the general area of bioethics, looking particularly at ethical issues at the intersection of health care and biotechnology on one side and moral identity, moral psychology, and character on the other. In recent work, he has looked at the ethics of enhancing moral capacities via biotechnology and at ethical, philosophical, and environmental issues connected to the emerging science of epigenetics, and at ethics education in the sciences and medicine.

Ph.D. (Philosophy), University of Tennessee
M.A., (Theology), Wheaton College
B.A. (Philosophy and Biology), Wheaton College

Research Interests:
Bioethics and Practical Ethics more generally, ethics of moral enhancement, ethics of biotechnologies, research ethics, ethics of health care professions, virtue ethics, moral identity, moral psychology

PHIL 103 Introduction to Ethics

Recent Publications:
Reference and Referring (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013).
Co-edited with Michael O’Rourke and Matthew Slater.

The Environment: Philosophy, Science, and Ethics (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012).
Co-edited with Michael O’Rourke and Matthew Slater.


Jessica Knight and William Kabasenche, “Modern-Age Centaurs: A Proposal for Case Study Based Integrative Ethics Education in Chemistry,” Journal of Chemical Education (2022) (DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.2c00271).

Thomas May and William Kabasenche, “Hare’s Archangel, Human Fallibility, and Utilitarian Justification (?) of Deception,” American Journal of Bioethics 21.5 (2021): 17-19.

Thomas May, Sandra Bogar, Ryan Spellacy, William Kabasenche, Jana Craig, and Danielle Dick, “Community-Based Participatory Research and its Potential Role in Supporting Diversity in Genomic Research,” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 32.3 (2021): 1208-1224.

“Forgetting Myself: Self-regarding ethical responsibilities in the use of memory modifying technologies,” American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 12.1 (2021): 55-56.

Korinn Murphy and William Kabasenche, “Animal Disenhancement in Moral Context” NanoEthics 12.3 (2018): 225-236.

Connie Remsberg, Brenda S. Bray, Susan K. Wright, Joe Ashmore, William Kabasenche, Shuwen Wang, Philip Lazarus, Sayed S. Daoud, “Design, implementation, and assessment approaches within a pharmacogenomics course,” American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 81.1 (2017)

“Moral Formation and Moral Enhancement,” American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 7.2 (2016): 130-131.

“Forming the Self: Nudging and the Ethics of Shaping Autonomy,” American Journal of Bioethics 16.7 (2016): 24-25.

“(The Ethics of) Teaching Science and Ethics: A Collaborative Proposal,” in Samantha L. Elliott, Beth A. Fischer, Frederick Grinnell, and Michael J. Zigmond, eds., Perspectives on Research Integrity (Herndon, VA: ASM Press, 2015), 121-128. (This is a reprint of an article previously published in The Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education. The article was peer-reviewed for publication in the journal.)

Goldsby, Michael, and William Kabasenche, “Uncertainty, Bias, and Equipoise: A New (Old) Approach to the Ethics of Clinical Research,” Theoretical & Applied Ethics 3:1 (2014): pp. 35-59.

“(The Ethics of) Teaching Science and Ethics: A Collaborative Proposal,” Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education 15:2 (2014): 135-138.

Kabasenche, William and Michael Skinner, “DDT, epigenetic harm, and transgenerational environmental justice,” Environmental Health 13:62 (2014): 1-5. {DOI:10.1186/1476-069X-13-62}

“Engineering for Virtue? Toward Holistic Moral Enhancement,” in John Basl and Ronald Sandler, eds., Designer Biology: The Ethics of Intensively Engineering Biological and Ecological Systems (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013), pp. 69-86.

“Moral Enhancement Worth Having: Thinking Holistically,” American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 3.4 (2012): 18-20.

“Poets in the Clinic: Recasting ‘Virtue Essentialist’ Arguments About Enhancement in Prototype Form,” American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 2/2 (2011): 44-45.

“What It Is: The Biology and Moral Status of Parthenotes and Embryos,” American Journal of Bioethics 11/3 (2011): 29-30.

“Aristotle on Courage and the Moral Development of Virtues and Emotions” Studies in the History of Ethics, Special Symposium on Ethics and Emotions in the History of Philosophy, December 2008 <>.

“Emotions, Memory Suppression, and Identity” American Journal of Bioethics September 2007/ 7(9): 33-34.

“Performance-Enhancement and the Pursuit of Excellence” Running and Philosophy, Michael W. Austin, editor. (Blackwell, 2007), 103-113.