Stuart  Rachels

Stuart Rachels

Associate Professor


  • PhD, Philosophy, Syracuse University, 1998
  • BA, Philosophy and Politics, Oxford University, 1993
  • BA, Philosophy, Highest Honors, Emory University, 1991


Stuart Rachels is an associate professor specializing in ethical theory. He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and was educated at Emory University, the University of Oxford, and Syracuse University.

Dr. Rachels’ work has appeared in Nous, Philosophical Studies, Mind, the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Bioethics, Ratio, The Journal of Ethics, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, and Philosophical Perspectives. Growing up, Stuart learned the most from Donald Rutherford, Robert McCauley, James Rachels, Derek Parfit, Jonathan Bennett, and John Hawthorne.

In a past life, Stuart was the youngest chess master in U.S. history (11 years, 10 months), and in 1989 he tied for first in the U.S. Chess Championship. At that time, he was the youngest American champion since Bobby Fischer. For fun, Stuart plays Bridge, reads books, watches The Shield, quotes old Simpsons episodes, listens to Elvis Costello, and watches movies.


Spring 2024 Office Hours:

Mondays and Wednesdays – 12:00pm-1:00pm and by appointment


Selected Publications

  • “Vegetarianism,” to appear in The Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Animals, edited by Tom Beauchamp and Raymond Frey.
  • “On Three Alleged Theories of Rational Behavior,” Utilitas, Vol. 21, Issue 4 (December 2009), pp. 506-520.
  • “The Reviled Art,” in Philosophy Looks at Chess, edited by Benjamin Hale (Open Court Press, 2008), pp. 209-225.
  • “Nothing Matters in Survival” (with Torin Alter), The Journal of Ethics, Vol. 9, No. 3-4 (October, 2005), pp. 311-330.
  • “Six Theses About Pleasure,” Philosophical Perspectives 18: Ethics (December, 2004), pp. 247-267.
  • “Repugnance or Intransitivity: A Repugnant But Forced Choice,” The Repugnant Conclusion: Essays on Population Ethics, Jesper Ryberg and Torbjorn Tannsjo, eds. (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004), pp. 163-186.
  • “Epistemicism and the Combined Spectrum” (with Torin Alter), Ratio, Vol. XVII, No. 3 (September 2004), pp. 241-255.
  • “A Set of Solutions to Parfit’s Problems.” Nous, Vol. 35, No. 2 (June 2001), pp. 214-238.
  • “Is Unpleasantness Intrinsic to Unpleasant Experiences?” Philosophical Studies, Vol. 99, No. 2, May (II) 2000, pp. 187-210.
  • “Counterexamples to the Transitivity of Better Than.” Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 76, No. 1 (March 1998), pp. 71-83.
  • Review of Tim Mulgan, Future People: A Moderate Consequentialist Account of our Obligations to Future Generations (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006), Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 85, Issue 3 (2007), pp. 499-509 .
  • Review of Mary Warnock, Making Babies: Is there a Right to Have Children? The Philosophical Review, Vol. 114, No. 2 (April 2005), pp. 130-132.
  • Review of Christine M. Koggel, Perspectives on Equality: Constructing a Relational Theory, Mind, Vol. III, No. 442 (April 2002), pp. 443-446.
  • Review Essay of Contingent Future Persons, Jan C. Heller and Nick Fotion, eds., Bioethics 13 (1999), pp. 160-167.
  • “Introduction,” The Journal of Ethics, Vol. 9, No. 3-4 (October, 2005), pp. 308-309. “A Special Issue in Honor of James Rachels.”
  • “Intransitivity,” in Volume II of the Encyclopedia of Ethics (second edition), edited by Lawrence C. Becker, Mary Becker and Charlotte Becker (Routledge: 2001), pp. 877-879.