Frances Kamm

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Frances Kamm
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Analytic philosophy
Main interests
Ethics, bioethics, philosophy of law, political philosophy, Kantianism

Frances M. Kamm (/kæm/) is an American philosopher specialising in normative and applied ethics. At Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Kamm is currently the Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Professor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences. Before joining the Harvard faculty in 2003, she was on the faculty of New York University and also worked as an ethics consultant for the World Health Organisation. She is a fellow of the Hastings Center, an independent bioethics research institution in Garrison, New York.

In August 2007, Professor Kamm delivered the annual Oslo Lecture in Moral Philosophy. In 2008, she delivered the Uehiro Lectures at Oxford University in England. In 2011, Kamm was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as an ethics consultant. In 2013, she delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at the University of California, Berkeley.[1]

Professor Kamm teaches the Gamma Cohort of the 2017 Harvard Kennedy School MPP program.[citation needed]

Selected works[edit]

  • Creation and Abortion, 1992.
  • Morality, Mortality, Vol. 1: Death and Whom to Save From It, 1993.
  • Abortion and the Value of Life: A Discussion of Life's Dominion, Columbia Law Review, 1995.
  • Morality, Mortality, Vol. 2: Rights, Duties, and Status, 1996.
  • Ethical Issues in Using and Not Using Embryonic Stem Cells'. Stem Cell Reviews 1, Summer 2006.
  • Moral Intuitions, Cognitive Psychology and the Harming/Not Aiding Distinction, Ethics, 1998.
  • Intricate Ethics: Rights, Responsibilities, and Permissible Harm. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

She is a member of the editorial boards of Philosophy & Public Affairs, Legal Theory, Bioethics, and Utilitas.


Professor Kamm has held ACLS, AAUW, and Guggenheim fellowships, and has been a Fellow of the Program in Ethics and the Professions at the Kennedy School, the Center for Human Values at Princeton, and the Center for Advanced Study at Stanford.

See also[edit]

External References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Interviews with Kamm
Critical discussion of her work
  • Unger, Peter, Living High and Letting Die Oxford University Press, 1996. (Unger argues that the intuitions [considered case judgments] on which Kamm relies in her work are, in fact, unreliable. Kamm responds in Intricate Ethics.)
  • Kahneman, Daniel, 'Can We Trust Our Intuitions?' in Alex Voorhoeve Conversations on Ethics. Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-19-921537-9 (Kahneman argues that Kamm's case-based method does not give us access to the reasons we have for making intuitive judgments.)