Dennis Cooley

Department Head
Professor of Philosophy and Ethics
Northern Plains Ethics Institute, Director
Springer's International Library of Bioethics, Editor
School of Humanities

DEPT 2340, PO Box 6050
North Dakota State University
Fargo ND  58108-6050
Office: 701-231-7038
Minard 422J


Dr. Dennis Cooley is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics and Director of the Northern Plains Ethics Institute at NDSU. Cooley received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Rochester in 1995. His teaching and research interests include theoretical and applied ethics with a focus on pragmatism, bioethics, business ethics, personhood, and death and dying.  He is the author or editor of five books, including Technology, Transgenics, and a Practical Moral Code (Springer), Death’s Values and Obligations: A Pragmatic Framework (Springer), and co-edited Passing/Out: Identity Veiled and Revealed (Ashgate), and a number of professional ethics articles.

Cooley is editor of Springer’s International Library of Bioethics, the NPEI’s Northern Plains Ethics Journal, and former Associate Editor of Elsevier France’s Ethics, Medicine and Public Health. His service to the profession also includes executive board membership on both the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE) and Humanities ND (NEH), as well as serving as co-chair of APPE’s Program Committee and APPE’s Secretary.  Cooley is the former Secretary General of the International Academy of Medical Ethics and Public Health.

What made you want to be a professional philosopher?

Philosophy, especially professional ethics, is a practical enterprise, which I learned quickly whilst working for various businesses. We cannot function individually or socially without morality to guide our interactions and growing to who we should be. I wanted to make my small contribution to helping people do that with my teaching and research.

What makes you excited about working with students?

Philosophy and ethics make people think critically, but perhaps more importantly, creatively. It is amazing to watch students come to understand why the world is as it is, but even better for them to imagine what it could be. The added benefit is how much they have challenged and taught me over the years.

Classes at NDSU:

    1. Introduction to Philosophy
    2. Contemporary Moral Issues
    3. Business Ethics
    4. Ethics, Engineering, and Technology
    5. Philosophy of Law
    6. Philosophy and Literature
    7. Aesthetics

Dr. Cooley's complete CV can be found here.


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