Dr. James J. Delaney

Dr. James J. Delaney

Associate Professor

Office Location:
Dunleavy Hall, Room 357


Dr. Delaney joined the Philosophy Department in 2004 after receiving his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo that same year. He works primarily in ethics, focusing both on the history of philosophy and, more recently, on topics in biomedical ethics.

He has published articles in the American Catholic Philosophical Association's Annual Proceedings, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Inquiry, For the Defense, National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, The American Journal of Bioethics, The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, The American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience, and The Journal of Medical Ethics.

Additionally, Dr. Delaney has written two books on the 18th century enlightenment philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau: Rousseau and the Ethics of Virtue (Continuum Press, 2006) and Starting with Rousseau (Continuum Press, 2009).

Focus of Teaching

Dr. Delaney regularly teaches Introduction to Philosophy, Ethics, Biomedical Ethics, Logic, Philosophy of Human Nature, and Philosophy of Law.

Current Research

Dr. Delaney's current research examines traditional questions in philosophy and how emerging technology in science and medicine affect the issues involved in them. Specifically, He is interested in how people understand personal identity (what, if anything, makes a person identical to herself over time), the best way to understand “human nature,” broadly speaking, what gives human nature its value, and puzzles of being benefited or wronged by “coming into existence.”

Dr. Delaney is exploring how competing understandings of these and other philosophical concepts affect the ethical status of procedures involving genetic engineering, reproductive technology, and the manipulation of the brain.

Educational Background

Ph.D., SUNY Buffalo (2004)

M.A., SUNY Buffalo (2002)

B.A., Xavier University (1999)

Current Involvement

Dr. Delaney is a member of the American Philosophical Association, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the Rousseau Association. He also serves as the Director of Mission, and on the NU Premed Advisory Committee, the Institutional Research Board, and the Animal Ethics Committee.