Justin Oakley

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Justin Oakley
Born 1960
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Analytic
Main interests
Notable ideas
True Friendship Professional Ethics

Justin Oakley is a bioethicist and moral philosopher. He has been part of the revival of the ethical doctrine known as virtue ethics, an Aristotelian doctrine which has received renewed interest in the past few decades.

Oakley is particularly well known for his work on professional ethics and also the so-called 'problem' of friendship. The problem of friendship looks at how a strict application of impartialist ethical doctrines, such as utilitarianism and Kantianism, conflicts with our notions of friendship or 'true friendship'. In 1995, he published, with Dean Cocking, the now widely cited article "Indirect Consequentialism, Friendship, and the Problem of Alienation" in the journal Ethics.[1]


Oakley studied his Bachelor of Arts at Swinburne University of Technology, graduating in 1981, and completed his PhD in Philosophy at La Trobe University in 1989.[2] He teaches in the Master of Bioethics program run by Monash University Centre for Human Bioethics.

Work and awards[edit]

Oakley joined the Centre for Human Bioethics at Monash University (established by colleague and friend Peter Singer) in 1990 and served as its Director for 13 years, from 1999 to 2012.[3] In February 2012, he became Deputy Director[3] to spend more time on his research.

In 2004, he was awarded the Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Oakley supports the Australian Rules Football team the Geelong football club.


Books authored or edited:

  • Informed Consent and Clinician Accountability The Ethics of Report Cards on Surgeon Performance, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007 (co-edited with Steve Clarke).
  • Bioethics (International Library of Essays in Public and Professional Ethics), Aldershot, Ashgate, 2006 (edited collection).
  • Virtue Ethics and Professional Roles, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2001 (pbk. 2005) (with Dean Cocking).
  • Morality and the Emotions, London, Routledge, 1992


  1. ^ "Indirect Consequentialism, Friendship, and the Problem of Alienation". Ethics, JSTOR. 
  2. ^ "Associate Professor Justin Oakley » Biography". Monash University, Arts. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "New Centre Director". Monash University, Arts. 25 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Eureka Prizes - 2004 Research Ethics". Australia Museum. 2004. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-27.