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Dr. Adam M. Willows is a theologian and philosopher specialising in ethics, philosophical theology and interdisciplinary engagement with the sciences. After completing his PhD at Durham University he worked at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Leeds before joining the University of Winchester as a Senior Lecturer in 2018. His work focuses on the nature of moral character, agency and virtue ethics.

Adam's work emphasizes the potential for philosophical and theological traditions to interact with each other and other disciplines - especially the sciences - to mutual benefit. His doctoral thesis was a study of how theological thought on the virtues is well placed to respond to philosophical and psychological criticisms of virtue ethics. His doctoral supervisors were Professors Chris Insole and Mark McIntosh.
On completing his doctorate in 2015, he joined the University of Notre Dame (USA) as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Human Distinctiveness project, a collaboration between evolutionary anthropologists and theologians studying human nature and human development. His work there focused on the role of exemplars in moral learning, aiming to show how a wide variety of exemplars fictional characters, children, animals, and whole communities can contribute to a more complete account of moral development.
In 2017 he moved to the University of Leeds, where he joined the international St. Andrews Science-Engaged Theology project. There he worked with Professor Mark Wynn on the coherence between moral rationalism and the philosophy and science of action, a project which continues in his current research. In September 2018 he took up the post of Senior Lecturer at the University of Winchester. He teaches in the Institute for Value Studies and the Department of Philosophy, Religions and Liberal Arts.

Areas of expertise

  • Moral Character
  • Virtue Ethics
  • Agency and Moral Action
  • Interdisciplinary Engagement with the Sciences


Open access versions of most of my publications are available. Click the title to read online, or access the version of record via the DOI.

  • A Defence of Theological Virtue Ethics, Bloomsbury Series in Philosophy of Religion (London: Bloomsbury, forthcoming).
  • ‘My Good, Your Good, and the Good: Conceptual Mapping and Altruism’, in Theology and Conceptual Mapping, ed. Erin Kidd and Jakob Rinderknecht (Lanham: Fortress, 2018).
  • ‘Change and Constancy in the Nature of Wisdom Over Time’, in The Evolution of Human Wisdom, ed. Celia Deane-Drummond and Agustin Fuentes (London: Lexington Books, 2017).
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