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Honors Program

Lawrence Hinman

Professor, Philosophy

Lawrence M. Hinman, PhD, has been a member of the faculty since 1975.  He i currently serves as the co-director of the Center for Ethics in Science & Technology ( Hinman offers undergraduate courses on ethics, including ethical theory, applied ethics, and ethics and contemporary science.  His research focuses on ethical issues in emerging science and technology, including search engines, privacy and surveillance, stem cell research and therapy, neuroscience, and robotics. He has been very active in bring ethics-related resources to the Web, founding Ethics Updates in 1994 and Ethics Videos in 2000.  He has also done extensive work in academic integrity and ethics across the curriculum.


Ph.D., Loyola University, Chicago
M.A., University of San Diego, MFC
B.A., Loyola University, Chicago


Dissertation research, University of Bonn (1970-72)
NEH Summer Seminar, Yale, Phenomenology (1977)
NEH Summer Institute, Johns Hopkins, Kantian Ethical Thought (1983)

Scholarly and Creative Work

Initially, Hinman’s research focused on modern and contemporary European thought and epistemology, including articles on Descartes, Kant, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Marx, Heidegger, Gadamer, and Wittgenstein.  He has dealt with a wide range of topics, including play, alienation, skepticism, forms of life, metaphor, hermeneutics, emotions, the Holocaust, wisdom, fallacies, and moral imagination.  He has also done extensive work on academic integrity and also on integrating ethics into K-12 and college curricula.  During the last decade, he has written increasingly on topics in ethics and science, including ethical issues in sociobiology, computing, reproductive technologies, stem cell research, end-of-life decisions, search engines, and robotics. 

His articles have appeared in many journals, including Nature Biotechnology, Ethics, The Monist, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics, Stem Cell Reviews, International Review of Information Ethics, Ethics and Information Technology, Computers and Society, Criminal Justice Ethics, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Studies, and International Philosophical Quarterly.

He is the author of two books, Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach, 4th ed. (Wadsworth, 2007) and Contemporary Moral Issues: Diversity and Consensus, 3rd ed. (Prentice Hall, 2005).  He is currently working on a book in robotic ethics.

He has been a member of the executive boards of the American Philosophical Association and the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.

Teaching Interests

Hinman has taught a variety of courses at USD in logic, modern and contemporary philosophy, and ethics.  Hinman has initiated and participated in a wide range of team-taught, interdisciplinary courses, many of which were in the Honors Program, including courses on the Holocaust, ethics and literature, Native American ethics, computing ethics, ethics and education, ethics and gender, and—most recently—Ethics at the Frontiers of Science.  He co-authored two successful grants to NIH to develop team-taught interdisciplinary values courses.

 Hinman received USD’s Davies Award for Faculty Achievement in 1988 and a Distinguished University Professorship in 1996.