Jonathan Beever

Jonathan Beever, Ph.D.


Jonathan Beever is Assistant Professor of Ethics & Digital Culture in the Department of Philosophy and the Texts & Technology Ph.D. Program at the University of Central Florida. 

He is the founding director of the UCF Center for Ethics (starting Fall 2019!), and the Program Director of the Theoretical and Applied Ethics Certificate Program. 

He previously held postdoctoral appointments in ethics at Penn State and Purdue University. He works at the intersection of environmental ethics and bioethics, on issues including the ethics of biotechnologies, environmental bioethics, public and ecological health ethics, digital ethics, research ethics, and questions of patient autonomy and agency.


  • Ph.D. in Philosophy from Purdue University (2012)

Research Interests

Environmental Bioethics; Simulation and Representation; Soundscape Ecology; Ethics and Science; Animal Ethics; Research Ethics

Recent Research Activities

  • see attached CV

Selected Publications


  • Forthcoming Beever, J., McDaniel R., Stanlick, N. (2018). Understanding Digital Ethics: Cases and Contexts. Routledge.
  • Beever, Jonathan and Vernon W. Cisney (eds). 2016. The Way of Nature and the Way of Grace: Philosophical Footholds on Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life. Northwestern University Press.
  • Perspectives in Bioethics, Science, and Public Policy. 2013. Jonathan Beever and Nicolae Morar (Eds.). Purdue University Press.


  • Beever, J.& Morar, N. (August 2018). “The Ethics and Epistemic Onus of ‘One Health’,” Bioethics.10.1111/bioe.12522.
  • Beever, J. & Whitehouse, P.J. (2018). “The Ecosystem of Bioethics: Building Bridges to Public Health.” Jahr: European Journal of Bioethics 8/2(16): 227-243.
  • Beever, J.& Tønnessen, M. (2017). “Justifying Moral Standing by Biosemiotic Particularism.” Zeitschrift fur Semiotik 37(3-4): 31-54.
  • Beever, J.(2016). “The Mountain and the Wolf: Leopold’s Uexkullian Influence.” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities 4(1): 85-109.
  • Beever, J.& Morar, N. (2016). “The Porosity of Autonomy: Social and Biological Constitution of the Individual in Biomedicine.” American Journal of Bioethics16(2): 34-45.
  • Beever, J.& Morar, M. (2016). “Bioethics and the Challenge of the Ecological Individual.” Environmental Philosophy13(2):215-238.
  • Beever, J. (2016). “Teaching Ethics Ecologically: Decision-Making Through Narrative.” Teaching Ethics 16(2): 195-206.
  • Beever, J.& Brightman, A.O. (2016). “Reflexive Principlism As An Effective Approach for Developing Ethical Reasoning in Engineering.” 2016 [online Feb 2015]. Science and Engineering Ethics22(1):275-291.


  • see attached CV


  • see attached CV


No courses found for Spring 2020.

Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
92892 PHI3672 Animal Ethics World Wide Web (W) Available

What is the scope of moral considerability? How far does moral value extend out into the living world? To what does this kind of value obligate us? These questions lie at the heart of contemporary animal ethics, and are central to this course.
This course will introduce you to the major philosophical questions and history of ideas in animal ethics, including questions like: How do different philosophical traditions inform thinking about nonhuman animals? What are the morally- relevant differences between human animals and nonhuman others? Is it ethical to eat animals, test on them, or confine them as pets or specimens? To what extent are we morally obligated to respond to unethical laws or actions?

Ethical questions about nonhuman animals and our treatment of them are wide- ranging, asked and acted upon by scientists, ecologists, activists, journalists, policy- makers, artists, and the occasional politician. But philosophers played a formative role in setting the ground-rules of these engagements, and continue to play an important role in developing our critical thinking about animals. Building on the 20th century success of animal ethics work reflected in philosophy and social norms, we’ll take for granted that they do have moral worth and asks the more interesting philosophical questions why and under what conditions they do.

The methods of this course will help you cultivate research, writing, and critical thinking skills by:

  1. understandingandidentifyingkeythemesandargumentsacrossthehistoryof

    animal ethics through original research,

  2. developinganabilitytoapplyethicalreasoningskillstocontemporarycasesof

    anthropogenic climate change in discussion with colleagues, and

  3. motivatingpersonalactioninsupportofthatreasoning.

Each module in this class will include engagement with and analysis of arguments across multiple philosophical traditions, class discussions, and spaces to share questions or concerns. 

90807 PHI5627 Theoretical and Applied Ethics World Wide Web (W) Available

As professionals and researchers, we regularly face ethical issues in our practices and planning. Contemporary ethical issues pose novel challenges of epistemic and ethical complexity and increasing speed of technological and scientific change at a global social level. Engaging ethical inquiry and decision-making is a critical component to both the contemporary research process and to professional conduct.

In this graduate-level course we will critically examine, through reasoned discussion, conceptual analysis, and critical writing, a range of theoretical approaches to ethics and how those approaches are and can be applied to a wide range of contemporary applied issues. Our approach will not assume any expert-level knowledge of ethics. Instead, the course will introduce and compare a wide range of traditional or historical ethical theories and explore various methods of pluralistic ethical decision-making. My rationale for guiding you by this perspective is that contemporary ethical issues are not the domain of solely philosophers or professional ethicists but, rather, of an extensive community of inquirers including ethicists, scientists, and policy- makers of all sorts. Our task, together in this class, is to think carefully and critically about ethical issues and to develop strategies for helping others do this same.

Participants in this course, yourself included, will:

  1. build familiarity with a range of ethical theoretical perspectives,

  2. cultivate moral literacy in building ethical sensitivity, applying ethical reasoning skills,

    and strengthening motivation in the application of ethical theories,

  3. and acquire pedagogical skills in ethical inquiry through developing, delivering, and

    assessing presentation materials on relevant ethical issues drawn from your home disciplines and/or individual interests.

Students who participate in Phi5627 will gain experience in leading discussions about ethical issues and will be encouraged to begin to identify ways to develop peer mentoring on these important topics. 

Course Number Course Title Mode Session Date and Time Syllabus
61774 PHI3640 Environmental Ethics World Wide Web (W) A Available
No Description Available
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
11277 ENG6810 Theories of Texts & Technology Face to Face Instruction (P) W 06:00 PM - 08:50 PM Unavailable
No Description Available
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
91182 PHI3640 Environmental Ethics World Wide Web (W) Available

This course examines ethical issues related to the environment through a careful examination of apocalyptic thought in the Anthropocene. We will critically examine complex environmental challenges in three ways: (1) as technical/scientific problems, (2) as social/political problems, and (3) in terms of ethical solutions/responses. Environmental ethicists and climate scientists continue to fight not only to make their voices heard among the din of climate skepticism, species extinctions, environmental degradation, and continued carbon emission but also to fight for the very survival – some claim – of human civilization as we know it. This vision of an apocalyptic future should make us ask several key questions: How likely is this future? What can we do to prevent it? How can we prepare for it? By the conclusion of this course, we will be better prepared to offer reasonable answers to such questions – and better prepared to face the future, whatever it holds.

91181 PHI5627 Theoretical and Applied Ethics World Wide Web (W) Available

In this online course we will take a wide and topical look at a survey of theoretical and applied ethical issues through reasoned discussion, conceptual analysis, and critical writing. Our approach will not assume any expert-level knowledge of traditional ethical theories but, instead, will take a broadly pluralistic perspective on ethical inquiry and decision-making. My rationale for guiding you by this perspective is that ethical issues, here in the 21st century, are not the domain of solely philosophers but, rather, of an extensive community of inquirers including ethicists, scientists, and policy-makers of all sorts. Our job, as philosophers in this course, is to think carefully and critically about ethical issues and to develop strategies for helping others do the same.

91317 PHI6679 Digital Ethics Face to Face Instruction (P) Tu 06:00 PM - 08:50 PM Available

This is a course in digital ethics. In some ways “digital ethics” may be taken merely as a pop-cultural slogan of ethical concerns in the 21 st century, intended to identify and take selfish ownership of something – any thing – novel in an age of reproduction. In other ways, it might mean to mark out the peculiar ways in which information – along with its exchange and growth – has ethical implications in the social context. And there might be numerous other things the term “digital ethics” might connote. This course will critically examine the nature and scope of the digital, with special attention to its ethical implications for not only social structures and institutions but also for human and nonhuman nature.

No courses found for Summer 2018.

Updated: Aug 10, 2019