Sarah Conly

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of Philosophy Department

Teaching this semester

PHIL 2320. Bioethics

Examines issues central for physicians, biological researchers, and society: cloning, genetic engineering, biological patenting, corporate funding for medical research, use of experimental procedures, and others.

PHIL 2341. Philosophy of Law

An introduction to legal theory. Central questions include: What is law? What is the relationship of law to morality? What is the nature of judicial reasoning? Particular legal issues include the nature and status of privacy rights; the legitimacy of restrictions on speech and expression; the nature of equality rights; and the right to liberty.

Sarah Conly is the author of Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism (Cambridge University Press 2013) and One Child: Do We Have a Right to More? (Oxford University Press, 2016.)

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  • Ph.D., Cornell
  • M.A., Cornell
  • B.A., Princeton


Current Projects

I am working on a book on liberty: when it is important, when it is not, and why.

I am also working on a paper to appear in the Oxford Handbook to Population Ethics.

Recent Publications

One Child: Do We Have a Right to More? Oxford University Press, 2016

Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism, Cambridge University Press, 2013

“Paternalism and Consequentialism,” in the Handbook to Paternalism, Jason Hanna and Kalle Grill, eds., Routledge, forthcoming

“La liberté de choix: est-elle importante?” Nudges et Normativités, Editions Hermann, (Paris) forthcoming) (translation of  “When Freedom of Choice Doesn’t Matter,” below)

 “Paternalism, Food, and Personal Freedom,” in Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics, Anne Barnhill, Tyler Doggett, and Mark Budolfson, eds., Oxford University Press, forthcoming

“Paternalism and the Limits of Liberty,” in the Handbook of Libertarianism, Jason Brennan, David Schmidtz, and Bas van der Vossen, eds., Routledge, forthcoming  

“Coercive Paternalism,” in Behavioural Public Policy, forthcoming

“The Right to Have Children,” The Philosophers’ Magazine, November, 2016, pp. 78-82

“ A Puzzle for Paternalism: Personal Values,” Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, vol. 14,  2016, pp. 735-745

“When Freedom of Choice Doesn’t Matter,” La Revue Toqueville/Toqueville Review, vol. 37, #1, 2016, pp. 39-58

“The Right to Preventive Health Care,” Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, Vol. 37, #4, August 4, 2016, pp. 307-321

 “Do We Have the Right to More Than One Child?” Population and Sustainability, vol. 1, #1, , July 26,  2016

“Withdrawing, Withholding and Freedom” American Journal of Bioethics, vol. 16, #7, June 16, 2016

 “The Case for Banning Cigarettes,” Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 42, # 5, 2016

"Here’s Why China’s One-Child Policy was a Good Thing,” Op-Ed, Boston Globe, Oct. 31, 2015

"Three Cheers for the Nanny State," Op-ed, New York Times, March 25, 2013

"Coercive Paternalism in Health Care:  Against Freedom of Choice," Public Health Ethics, vol. 6 #3 (published on line Sept. 2013)

"Against Autonomy: Author Meets Critics: Precis," Journal of Medical Ethics,  on line edition, Dec. 12, 2013

"Against Autonomy: Author Meets Critics: Response," Journal of Medical Ethics, on line edition,  Feb. 14, 2014

"Contre l’Autonomie, French translation of Against Autonomy," Presses de l’Université Laval, tr. Gérald Baril, 2015