John Hacker-Wright | College of Arts

John Hacker-Wright

Associate Professor
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 x56765
Mackinnon 330


My work focuses on metaethics and moral psychology, approached from an Aristotelian perspective. I have broad philosophical interests in metaphysics, normative ethics, and the history of philosophy. My education at Stony Brook included study in Paris, and exposed me to a range of thinkers from Continental and American philosophy.

I especially welcome students with an interest in any area of moral philosophy. I have supervised students working on a broad range of topics from William James and philosophy of action to aesthetics in the work of Emmanuel Levinas. 

I am editor in chief of the Journal of Value Inquiry. 


B.A., Bradley University (Illinois)
M.A., State University of New York, Stony Brook
Ph.D., State University of New York, Stony Brook



Image result for foot on goodness and virtue



My research interest focuses mostly on metaethical and moral psychological issues involved in defending an Aristotelian approach to ethics. I draw my inspiration from ancient moral philosophy (especially Aristotle), Aquinas, Kant, and contemporary neo-Aristotelian approaches such as found in the writings of G.E.M. Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Rosalind Hursthouse, and Michael Thompson. 

My current research lies in investigating the nature of virtue: what is a virtue? What makes it good? What role should virtues play in ethical evaluation?

Here is a talk I gave in 2018 at the Royal Institute of Philosophy in London: Virtues as Perfections of Human Powers 


Selected Publications


Philippa Foot on Goodness and Virtue, (edited collection) Palgrave-MacMillan, 2018

Philippa Foot's Moral Thought, Bloomsbury, 2013


"Passion, Virtue, and Rational Life" forthcoming in Philosophy and Social Criticism

"Philippa Foot," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2018

"Moral Growth: A Thomistic Account," The Theory and Practice of Virtue Education (Routledge 2018) 

"Skill, Practical Wisdom, and Ethical Naturalism, " Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 2015

"Human Nature, Virtue, and Rationality," in Aristotelian Ethics in Contemporary Perspective, ed. Julia Peters, Routledge, 2013.

"Ethical Naturalism and the Constitution of Agency" The Journal of Value Inquiry, Volume 46, 2012, pp 13-23

"Virtue Ethical without Right Action," The Journal of Value Inquiry, Vol. 44, 2010, pp 209-224

"What is Natural About Foot's Ethical Naturalism," Ratio, Vol. 22, No. 3, September 2009, 308-321.

"Human Nature, Personhood, and Ethical Naturalism," Philosophy, Vol. 84, No. 3, July 2009, 413-427.

"Moral Status in Virtue Ethics" Philosophy, Vol.  82, Number 3, July 2007, 449-473.

As John R. Wright:

"Moral Discourse, Pluralism, and Moral Cognitivism" Metaphilosophy, Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2006, 91-111

"Transcendence Without Reality" Philosophy, Volume 80, Number 313, July 2005, 361-384