Department of Philosophy

Paul Formosa

Paul FormosaBSc, GradDipArts, BA(Hons), PhD University of Queensland

Paul completed his PhD in philosophy in 2008. He joined the Department of Philosophy at Macquarie in 2009. He has been a Macquarie University Research Fellow (2009-2011) and an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow (2012-2016). In 2016 he became a Senior Lecturer. Paul has published widely on topics in moral and political philosophy, with a focus on Kantian ethics, moral evil and the ethics of videogames.

Current and recent research grants

  • "Dignity and respect: a Kantian theoretical approach to practical rationality and human agency", ARC DECRA Grant, 2012-2015. Funding: $475,000.
  • Macquarie University Themed Workshop Grant. Project: 'Capabilities Approaches to Justice: Theory and Practice. With Professor Catriona Mackenzie. Funding: $2,500
  • "Justice, Deliberative Democracy, Civic Virtue and Political Identity: the Contemporary Relevance of Kant's Political Philosophy", Macquarie University Research Fellow, 2009-2012. Funding: $300,000. 



33. Paul Formosa, Kantian Ethics, Dignity and Perfection, Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Edited Books

32. Paul Formosa, Avery Goldman, Tatiana Patrone (eds.), Politics and Teleology in Kant, University of Wales Press, 2014.

Refereed Journal Articles

31. Formosa, P., Ryan, M., & Staines, D. (2016). "Papers, Please and the systemic approach to engaging ethical expertise in videogames". Ethics and Information Technology, 18(3), 211-225.

30. Paul Formosa, "Dignity and Respect: How to Apply Kant's Formula of Humanity", Philosophical Forum 45, no. 1 (2014): 49-68.

29. Paul Formosa and Catriona Mackenzie, "Nussbaum, Kant, and the Capabilities Approach to Dignity", Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17, no. 5 (2014): 875-892.

28. Paul Formosa, "Evils, Wrongs and Dignity: How to Test a Theory of Evil", Journal of Value Inquiry 47, no. 3 (2013): 235-53.

27. Paul Formosa, "Is Kant a Moral Constructivist or a Moral Realist?", European Journal of Philosophy 21, no. 2 (2013): 170-196. Reprinted in the Virtual Issue on Kant, European Journal of Philosophy (2012). Online ISSN: 1468-0378.

26. Paul Formosa, "Kant's Conception of Personal Autonomy", Journal of Social Philosophy 44, no. 3 (2013): 193-212.

25. Paul Formosa, "A Life without Affects and Passions: Kant on the Duty of Apathy", Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophy 13 (2011): 96-111.

24. Paul Formosa, "Kant on the Highest Moral-Physical Good: The Social Aspect of Kant's Moral Philosophy", Kantian Review 15, no. 1 (2010): 1-36.

23. Paul Formosa, "Kant on the Limits of Human Evil", Journal of Philosophical Research 34 (2009): 189-214.

22. Paul Formosa, "Thinking, Willing, and Judging", Crossroads 4, no. 1 (2009): 53-64.

21. Paul Formosa, "A Conception of Evil", Journal of Value Inquiry 42, no 2 (2008): 217-39.

20. Paul Formosa, "The Problems with Evil", Contemporary Political Theory 7, no. 4 (2008): 395-415. Feature Article: Theory and Practice.

19. Paul Formosa, "'All Politics Must Bend Its Knee Before Right': Kant on the Relation of Morals to Politics", Social Theory and Practice 34, no. 2 (2008): 1-25.

18. Paul Formosa, "Kant on the Radical Evil of Human Nature", The Philosophical Forum 38, no. 3 (2007): 221-46.

17. Paul Formosa, "Is Radical Evil Banal? Is Banal Evil Radical?", Philosophy and Social Criticism 33, no. 6 (2007): 717-35.

16. Paul Formosa, "Understanding Evil Acts", Human Studies 30, no. 2 (2007): 57-77.

15. Paul Formosa, "Moral Responsibility for Banal Evil", Journal of Social Philosophy 37, no. 4 (2006): 501-20.

Refereed Book Chapters

14. Paul Formosa, "The Moral Law," in The Encyclopedia of Political Thought, eds. Michael Gibbons et. al., Wiley-Blackwell (2015): 12 pages.

13. Paul Formosa, "The Ends of Politics: Kant on Sovereignty, Civil Disobedience, and Cosmopolitanism," in Politics and Teleology in Kant, eds. Paul Formosa, Avery Goldman, & Tatiana Patrone, University of Wales Press, 2014: 37-58.

12. Paul Formosa, Avery Goldman, and Tatiana Patrone, "Introduction: The Connection between Politics and Teleology in Kant", in Politics and Teleology in Kant, eds. Paul Formosa, Avery Goldman, & Tatiana Patrone, University of Wales Press, 2014: 1-18.

11. Paul Formosa, "The Role of Vulnerability in Kantian Ethics," in Vulnerability: New Essays in Ethics and Feminist Philosophy, eds. Catriona Mackenzie, Wendy Rogers, and Susan Dodds. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014: pp. 88-109.

10. Paul Formosa, "Kant on the Moral Ontology of Constructivism and Realism," in Kant und die Philosophie in weltbürgerlicher Absicht [Kant and Philosophy in a Cosmopolitan Sense], eds. Stefano Bacin, Alfredo Ferrarin, Claudio La Rocca, and Margit Ruffing. De Gruyter: Berlin, 2013: vol 3.,pp. 185-196.

9. Paul Formosa, "Discipline and Autonomy: The Kantian link between Education and Morality," in Kant and Education: Interpretations and Commentary, eds. Klas Roth & Chris Surprenant. New York: Routledge, 2011: 163-76.

8. Paul Formosa, "Thinking, Conscience and Acting in the Face of Mass Evil", in Power, Judgement and Political Evil: In Conversation with Hannah Arendt, eds. Andrew Schaap, Danielle Celermajer, & Vrasidas Karalis. Farnham: Ashgate, 2010: 89-104.

Refereed Conference Proceedings

7. Ryan, M., Staines, D., & Formosa, P. (2016). Four Lenses for Designing Morally Engaging Games. In Proceedings of 1st International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG (pp. 1-16).

Book Reviews, Review Essays, Book Notes and other short publications

6. Paul Formosa (2016). Evil and Moral Psychology, written by Peter Brian Barry. Journal of Moral Philosophy, 13(4), 495-497.

5. Paul Formosa (2016). Means, Ends, and Persons: The Meaning and Psychological Dimensions of Kant's Humanity Formula, by Robert Audi. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, DOI: 10.1080/00048402.2016.1168458.

4. Paul Formosa, "Review of Kant's Anatomy of Evil," Kantian Review 16, no. 2 (2011): 150-56.

3. Paul Formosa, "Book Note on Patriotism: Philosophical and Political Perspectives," Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87, no. 1 (2009): 175-76.

2. Paul Formosa, "Review of The Idea of Evil," Kantian Review 14, no. 1 (2009): 129-36.

1. Paul Formosa, "Barriers to Evil", Crossroads 1, no. 2 (2007): 49-52.


Paul currently teaches or has taught the following units:

  • PHL 132 Happiness, Goodness and Justice
  • PHL 357 Theories of Justice
  • PHL 382 Agency and the Self
  • PHL 354 Philosophy Capstone Unit
  • PHIL705 Foundations of Research in Ethics
  • PHIL706 Research Topics in Ethics

Postgraduate Supervision

  • Robert Snell, "A Dark Universal: Towards a Thomistic Theory of Evil", MRes 2016.
Current Students
  • Robert Snell, "Towards a Thomistic Theory of Evil", PhD.
  • Andrew Bain, "Kant and Tolerance", MRes.
  • Jonathan Robinson, "Vice", PhD.
  • Sacha Molitorisz, "The Ethics of Internet Privacy", PhD.
  • Kelly Hamilton, "Collective Emotions", PhD.

Administrative responsibilities

2017 - present: Member of the University Senate
2015 - present: Member of the Faculty of Arts Board
2015 - 2017 Department HDR convenor

Contact details

Location: Building W6A Room 728
Phone: (61 2) 9850 8817
Fax: (61 2) 9850 8892

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