Nikolas hamm


About Me

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

Dissertation Abstract

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

2022The Surprising Strength of Kant's Environmental EthicCanadian Philosophical Association Annual Congress[online]
2022Character Cultivation and Moral Revolution in Kant’s Practical PhilosophyAmerican Philosophical Association, Eastern DivisionBaltimore, MD
2021Moral Character and Environmental Preservation in Kant’s CosmopolitanismIX Multilateral Kant ColloquiumLisbon, Portugal
2021Moral Character and Environmental Preservation in Kant’s CosmopolitanismAtlantic Canadian Philosophers' AssociationSackville, NB
2021Manifesting MoralityAmerican Philosophical Association, Pacific DivisionPortland, OR
2020Manifesting MoralityNorth American Kant Society, Bienniel ConferenceBinghamton, NY
2019Manifesting MoralityAtlantic Canadian Philosophers' AssociationSydney, NS
2019Manifesting MoralityQuébec Seminar in Early Modern PhilosophyTrois-Rivières, QC
2019Kant and the Public Importance of CharacterQuestions Contemporaines et Philosophie ModerneMontréal, QC
2019Can I Wrong a River?Acadia University Social and Political Thought Graduate ConferenceWolfville, NS
2018Of the Imperfectibility of Character in Hume's PhilosophyHume Today | Actualité de HumeOttawa, ON
2018Spinoza's Free Man in Kant's Kingdom of EndsCanadian Philosophical Association Annual CongressMontréal, QC
2017The Moral Significance of Natural Beauty in Kant's Critique of JudgmentAtlantic Canadian Philosophers' AssociationHalifax, NS
2016Can I Wrong a River?Canadian Society for Environmental PhilosophyEdmonton, 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.

Courses Taught

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 TaughtDream Courses
Modern PhilosophyGlobal Environmental Justice
Environmental PhilosophyKant on Duty
Contemporary Moral IssuesVirtue: 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 IssuesGlobal Justice
Introduction to Moral PhilosophyPhilosophy of Science
Political PhilosophyIntro to Philosophy (300)
Introduction to History and Philosophy of ScienceIntro to Moral Philosophy
ExistentialismIntro to Philosophy (100)

Curriculum Vitae


If you wish to contact me, send an email to:

nikolas.hamm [at]