I am a doctoral candidate (ABD) in philosophy at McGill University in Montréal, Canada. My work primarily focuses on the importance of moral character in Kant's ethics, though my interests span many topics, from self-identity in early modern metaphysics to sociopolitical issues in contemporary global environmental justice.
Born in Nova Scotia, I am a Maritimer at heart (there's just something about the sound of the waves on a shoreline that lends itself to philosophical reflection). When not philosophizing, you can find me strolling the beaches and trails, playing music with friends, cooking plant-based meals, riding my bike, or sitting with my cat.
My research focuses on the role of character cultivation in Kant’s moral philosophy. In particular, I am interested to show both the centrality of character within Kant’s ethical system, as well as the benefits of character integration for both Kant interpretation and real-world application of Kantian ethics.
More broadly, I am keenly interested in notions of character, virtue, personal development and identity and the relation of the above to the cultivation of taste, particularly in the early modern period, but in contemporary philosophy as well.
Much more broadly still, I am also interested in debates in environmental and animal ethics. In particular, I seek to reconcile my own broad deontological ethical beliefs with my more consequentialist inclinations toward non-human interaction and principles of personal consumption.
Current Research Projects
Becoming the Practical Philosopher:
Character Cultivation and the Human Application of Kant's Moral Philosophy
Papers in Progress
Character Cultivation through Affective Experience in Kant's Moral Philosophy [Draft]
Moral Character and Environmental Preservation in Kant's Cosmopolitanism [Abstract]
Selected Conference Presentations
|2022||The Surprising Strength of Kant's Environmental Ethic||Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Congress||[online]|
|2022||Character Cultivation and Moral Revolution in Kant’s Practical Philosophy||American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division||Baltimore, MD|
|2021||Moral Character and Environmental Preservation in Kant’s Cosmopolitanism||IX Multilateral Kant Colloquium||Lisbon, Portugal|
|2021||Moral Character and Environmental Preservation in Kant’s Cosmopolitanism||Atlantic Canadian Philosophers' Association||Sackville, NB|
|2021||Manifesting Morality||American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division||Portland, OR|
|2020||Manifesting Morality||North American Kant Society, Bienniel Conference||Binghamton, NY|
|2019||Manifesting Morality||Atlantic Canadian Philosophers' Association||Sydney, NS|
|2019||Manifesting Morality||Québec Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy||Trois-Rivières, QC|
|2019||Kant and the Public Importance of Character||Questions Contemporaines et Philosophie Moderne||Montréal, QC|
|2019||Can I Wrong a River?||Acadia University Social and Political Thought Graduate Conference||Wolfville, NS|
|2018||Of the Imperfectibility of Character in Hume's Philosophy||Hume Today | Actualité de Hume||Ottawa, ON|
|2018||Spinoza's Free Man in Kant's Kingdom of Ends||Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Congress||Montréal, QC|
|2017||The Moral Significance of Natural Beauty in Kant's Critique of Judgment||Atlantic Canadian Philosophers' Association||Halifax, NS|
|2016||Can I Wrong a River?||Canadian Society for Environmental Philosophy||Edmonton, AB|
A complete list of conference presentations is provided in my CV.
I have taught four courses of my own design at Saint Mary's University, the University of Ottawa and McGill University, and have eight years of teaching experience, including experience with remote delivery. I have also completed the 'Graduate Option in Teaching Philosophy' offered by the McGill Philosophy department.
PHIL 1200: Critical Thinking
Saint Mary's University (2022)
Introduction to critical thinking with a focus on ordinary language argumentation and topics of moral debate and social importance, highlighting theory through topical investigations. Themes covered include philosophical investigations of social and systemic injustices; knowledge, skepticism, bias and prejudice; scientific reasoning and scientific literacy; identifying and countering misinformation.
PHI 2383: Modern Philosophy
University of Ottawa (2021)
Introduction to philosophy of the Modern Era, with an emphasis on metaphysics and epistemology. Philosophers covered include Descartes and Elisabeth of Bohemia, Malebranche, Spinoza, Cavendish, Berkeley, Leibniz, Hume and Kant.
PHIL 349: Environmental Philosophy
McGill University (2020)
Upper level introductory course on the field of environmental philosophy. Topics include philosophical conceptions of nature; environmental aesthetics; environmental ethical frameworks; applied issues in environmental ethics; climate change; philosophy of climate science; climate policy; and social aspects of the climate in politics.
PHIL 237: Contemporary Moral Issues
McGill University (2019)
Introductory applied ethics course, focusing on current and upcoming moral issues in society. Topics include global justice; global poverty; immigration; climate change; food ethics; animal ethics; artificial intelligence; big data; social justice; gender and personal identity; duties to future generations.
|Courses Taught||Dream Courses|
|Modern Philosophy||Global Environmental Justice|
|Environmental Philosophy||Kant on Duty|
|Contemporary Moral Issues||Virtue: Then and Now|
|Critical Thinking||'What is Moral Character and How do I Get One?'|
Teaching Assistantships (Topics)
|(PHD) 2016-2019||(MA) 2014-2016|
|Contemporary Moral Issues||Global Justice|
|Introduction to Moral Philosophy||Philosophy of Science|
|Political Philosophy||Intro to Philosophy (300)|
|Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science||Intro to Moral Philosophy|
|Existentialism||Intro to Philosophy (100)|
If you wish to contact me, send an email to:
nikolas.hamm [at] mail.mcgill.ca