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Department of


Lawrence Hinman, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Philosophy

Lawrence M. Hinman joined the faculty of the department of philosophy at USD in 1975 and retired in August 2014. During the intervening years he taught over forty courses in the College, including numerous team-taught courses, and over the years a number of his class lectures have gradually taken shape as scholarly articles. His two books, Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach to Moral Theory, 5/e and Contemporary Moral Issues: Diversity and Consensus, 4/e, both grew out of courses he taught regularly at USD. His research and publication has always been tightly tied to his teaching.

His Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach to Moral Theory (Wadsworth, 2013) arose out of teaching our ethical theory course (now Phil 320) for our majors; it is now in its fifth edition. Contemporary Moral Issues (Prentice-Hall, 2012) is now in its fourth edition. He also co-edited a special issue of Stem Cell Reviews in 2005 on alternative sources of stem cell lines, which tied in with his Ethics at the Frontiers of Science. He published about forty scholarly articles and has presented papers around the world.

Professor Hinman has been deeply involved in the life of USD. He served as department chair, RRT chair, founding director of The Values Institute, co-director and co-founder of the Center for Ethics in Science & Technology, and was the recipient of numerous grants from federal programs and private foundations. He founded USD’s Ethics across the Curriculum and co-founded the Stockdale Lecture on Ethics & Leadership, in both cases bringing nationally and internationally recognized scholars and leaders to USD.

He has also served outside the university. He was honored as one of San Diego Magazine’s Fifty People to Watch, was a member of Jerry Sander’s transition team for mayor, served on the boards of both the American Philosophical Association and Association of Practical and Professional Philosophy.

Curriculum Vitae (203.0 KB)


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)