Philosophy Faculty

photo of Dr. Aaron Simmons

Dr. Aaron Simmons

Associate Professor of Philosophy


  • Ph.D. Bowling Green State University (Philosophy)
  • B.A. Oberlin College (Philosophy, Environmental Studies)


  • Bioethics
  • Philosophy of Death & Dying
  • Ethics
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Animal Ethics
  • Business Ethics
  • Introduction to Philosophy


    Before coming to Marywood in the Fall of 2013, Dr. Simmons taught at Grand Valley State University, Bloomsburg University, and Ohio Northern University.  His areas of research are ethical theory, environmental philosophy, animal ethics, and bioethics.  He is particularly interested in questions about the ethics of taking life, both human and animal life.  He is currently writing a book on our moral obligations to animals, as well as developing a series of papers on the moral importance of empathy.  He has published papers in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Environmental Ethics, and Ethics and the Environment.  He also has a growing interest in ancient Greek and Roman theories on happiness. 

    Dr. Simmons has personal interests in vegetarianism and veganism, writing, rock music, playing guitar, drawing and oil painting, bicycling, hiking, and science fiction.  He is originally from the Great Lakes State and enjoys rooting for sports teams from his home state, especially Detroit Tigers baseball. 

    Recent Published Work:

    • "In Defense of the Moral Significance of Empathy," Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (forthcoming)
    • "Do Embryos Have Interests? Why Embryos Are Identical to Future Persons but Not Harmed by Death," Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9 (1) (March 2012) 
    • "Do Animals Have an Interest in Continued Life? In Defense of a Desire-Based Approach," Environmental Ethics 31 (Winter 2009)