Samuel Reis-Dennis

WEBSITE(S)| SamuelReisDennis

My primary philosophical fields are normative ethics, moral psychology, and bioethics. I am interested in the ways in which social strength and weakness inform the way we feel and express moral emotions and shape our interpersonal relationships, including doctor-patient interactions. Some of my current projects focus on the nature and importance of dignity in social and political life (particularly in the context of healthcare), and on the psychology and ethics of resentment and guilt. My writing, on these topics and others, has appeared in leading philosophy and bioethics journals, including MindThe Australasian Journal of Philosophy, The Journal of Medical Ethics, and The Hastings Center Report. Before coming to Rice, I was Assistant Professor at Albany Medical College in the Department of Bioethics Education and Research. There, I was also a Clinical Ethics Consultant at Albany Medical Center.



  • “Guilt: The Debt and the Stain,” committed to Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind
  • “Rank Offence: The Ecological Theory of Resentment,” Mind, 2021
  • ‘I Love Women’: An Explicit Explanation of Implicit Bias Test Results,” (with Vida Yao), Synthese, 2021
  • “Anger: Scary Good,” The Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 2019
  • “Responsibility and the Shallow Self,” Philosophical Studies, 2018

Applied Ethics

  • “Dignity and the Founding Myth of Bioethics,” Hastings Center Report, 2023
  • “Death Row Organ Donation, Revisited,” (with Laura Hansman), Bioethics, 2023
  • “Rationing Ventilators,” (with Megan Applewhite), in Difficult Decisions in Surgical Ethics, eds. Vassyl Lonchyna, Peggy Kelley, and Peter Angelos (Springer, 2022)
  • “The Irrelevance of Data to the Ethics of Infant Intersex Surgery,” (with Elizabeth Reis), Journal of Pediatric Ethics, 2021
  • “The Ethics of Elective Growth Hormone Therapy in Children with Idiopathic Short Stature,” (with Kevin Kecskemeti (first author)), Journal of Clinical Ethics, 2021
  • “Are Conscientious Objectors Morally Obligated to Refer?,” (with Abram Brummett), Journal of Medical Ethics, 2021
  • “Ethical Considerations in Vaccine Allocation,” (with Megan Applewhite), Immunological Investigations, 2021
  • “Tolerance for Uncertainty and Professional Development: A Normative Analysis,” (with Martha Gerrity and Gail Geller), Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2021
  • “The Need for a Unified Ethical Stance on Child Genital Cutting,” (with Brian Earp (first author), Arianne Shahvisi, and Elizabeth Reis), Nursing Ethics, 2021
  • “Understanding Autonomy: An Urgent Intervention,” Journal of Law and the Biosciences, 2020
  •  “Rehabilitating Blame,” in Ethics and Error in Medicine, eds. Fritz Allhoff and Sandra Borden (Routledge, 2019)
  • ‘“What’s in a name?’: The University of Oregon, De-Naming Controversies, and the Ethics of Public Memory” (With Matthew Dennis), Oregon Historical Quarterly, 2019
  • “What ‘Just Culture’ Doesn’t Understand About Just Punishment,” Journal of Medical Ethics, 2018
  • “Freezing Eggs and Creating Patients: Moral Risks of Commercialized Fertility,” (with Elizabeth Reis), Hastings Center Report, 2017
  • “Are Pediatricians to Blame for Unnecessary Genital Surgeries?” (with Elizabeth Reis), American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, 2017

Research Areas

Normative ethics, moral psychology, bioethics


PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2017

BA, Cornell University, 2010

Advisory Role

Director of Graduate Studies


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