Professor Adrian Walsh

Professor - Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Adrian Walsh

Phone: +61 2 6773 2657



Adrian Walsh works predominantly in political philosophy, the philosophy of economics and applied ethics, although he also has a keen interest in questions of philosophical methodology and in political questions concerning the proper boundaries between scientific disciplines. He has published widely in these areas.
Walsh has been at UNE since 1997 and in that time he has taught on a diverse range of topics including, bioethics, critical reasoning, social and political philosophy, game theory, the metaphysics of personhood and philosophical method.  He has held research fellowships at the University of St Andrews and the University of Helsinki and is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Philosophy. At the present time he is working on a book on Water and Distributive Justice.  His most recent publication is the co-edited book The Ethical Underpinnings of Climate Economics (Routledge 2016).


BA(Hons)(Flinders), Ph.D. (Melb)

Teaching Areas

Coordinator PHIL101 - Bioethics
Coordinator HUMS103 – Controversies: Foundations of Critical Social Analysis
Coordinator PHIL151 - Introduction to Philosophy A: The Examined Life
Coordinator PHIL308/508 - Friendship, Love and Sex
Coordinator PHIL342/542 - Ethical Theory 
Coordinator PHIL375/575 - Social Philosophy: Issues in Applied Ethics
PHIL401H - Philosophy Hons Coursework
PHIL402H - Philosophy Hons Dissertation

Research Interests

Adrian Walsh’s research interests are concentrated in Political Philosophy and Applied Ethics.  In political philosophy he has worked on questions of distributive justice, the normative underpinnings of economic theory, the concept of meaningful work and the ethical status of markets and of commercialisation. In applied ethics he is interested in questions surrounding the commercialisation of many ordinary social practice such as sport, the allocation of water and organ donation. He also has been deeply involved in recent debates about the extent to which the importation of methods from one discipline to another might be regarded as unwarrantedly imperialistic. He is currently working on a book on the just distribution of water.


Scientific Imperialism: Exploring the Boundaries of Interdisciplinarity (with Uskali Mäki and Manuela Fernandez Pinto), forthcoming, London: Routledge, 2017.

“Just Water, History and the Philosophical Justification of Water Property Rights”, in L. Noble, J. Williams, R. Bartel and S. Harris (eds.), Water Policy: Imagination and Innovation: Interdisciplinary approaches(London: Routledge, forthcoming, 2017).

“Commercialisation and the Corrosion of the Ideals of Medical Professionals” in Therese Feiler, Andrew Papanikitas, Joshua Hordern (eds.), Marketisation, Ethics and Health care: Policy, Practice and Moral Formation (forthcoming Routledge, 2018).

“We-Thinking as the Motivational Driver for Socially Responsible Behaviour” submitted to Handbook on the Economics of social responsibility, edited by Lorenzo Sacconi and Giacomo Degli Antoni (Edward Elgar, forthcoming, 2017).

“Climate Change Policy, Economic Analysis and Price-Independent Conceptions of Value” in Walsh, Purves and Hormio (eds.), Ethical Underpinnings of Climate Economics (Routledge, 2016), pp.198-218.

The Ethical Underpinnings of Climate Economics (edited with Säde Hormio and Duncan Purves​), Routledge, 2016.

Compensation for blood plasma donation as a distinctive ethical hazard: Reformulating the Commodification Objection”, HEC Forum: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Hospitals’ Ethical and Legal Issues, Vol. 27 (4), 2015,  pp. 401-16​.

“Sport, commerce and the market”, M McNamee and W Morgan (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Sport, Routledge, 2015, pp. 411-425.

“Against Virtue Parsimony: Markets, Good Intentions and Political Life”, Public Affairs Quarterly, vol.28.2, April 2014, pp.169-191.

“Kansalaisten oikeuksien ja vakaan julkisen talouden yhteensovittaminen: Pohjoismaiden tapaus”, Tieteessä Tapahtuu, 3, 2014, pp.37-40.

“Do we have austerity obligations”, (with Pekka Mäkelä), Conversation, 5 May 2014.

“Imperialism, Progress, Developmental Teleology, and Interdisciplinary Unification” (with Steve Clarke), International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. 27, Issue 3, 2013, pp. 341-351.

“Thought Experiments in Ethics”, Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopaedia of Ethics, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2013, vol. VIII,  pp. 5142-5144.

“Ethics of Competitive Sport”, Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopaedia of Ethics, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2013, vol. III,  pp. 1743-1748.

“Commodification”, Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopaedia of Ethics, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2013, vol. II,  pp. 905-907.

“Imposing options on people in poverty: the harm of a live donor organ market”, Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 38, No. 5, 2012, pp. 153-154.

“Challenge 7: The market, morals, ethics, and poverty”, The Conversation, June 2012.

“Usury and its critics: from the Middle Ages to modernity” (with Constant Mews), M. Ariff and M Iqbal (eds.), The Foundations of Islamic Banking, Theory, Practice and Education, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, 2011, pp. 211-221

"The Commodification of the Public Service of Water: A Normative Perspective", Public Reason, 3 (2), 2011, pp. 44-60.

"A Moderate Defence of the Use of Thought Experiments in Applied Ethics", Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, vol. 14, 2011, pp 467-481.

"Virtue and Natural Resource Management" (with Mark Shepheard) , J. Williams and P.  Martin (eds.), Defending the Social Licence of Farming, CSIRO Publications, Melbourne, 2011, pp. 23-36.

"Scientific Imperialism and the Proper Relations between the Sciences" (with Steve Clarke), International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol.23, no.2, July 2009, pp.195-207.

"The Morality of Money: An Exploration in Analytic Philosophy", (with Tony Lynch), Palgrave McMillan, 2008.

"Commercial Medicine and the Profit Motive", Journal of Value Inquiry, Vol. 40, (2-3) 2006, pp.341-357

Ethics, Money and Sport: This Sporting Mammon (with Richard Giulianotti), Oxford: Routledge, 2007.

"Money Motives, Moral Philosophy and Biological Explanations: A Commentary on Lea and Webley: Money as Tool, Money as Drug", Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 29 (2), April 2006.

"The Use of Thought Experiments in Health Care Ethics", in Richard Ashcroft, Angus Dawson, Heather Draper and John McMillan, Principles of Health Care Ethics 2nd edition, John Wiley and Sons, 2007, pp.177-183

"Report Cards, Informed Consent and Market Forces", in Informed Consent and Clinician Accountability: the Ethics of Auditing and Reporting Surgeon Performance, edited by Steve Clarke and Justin Oakley, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 180-191

"HRM and The Ethics of Commodified Work in a Market Economy" in Pinnington, A.H., Macklin, R.H., and Campbell, T. (Eds.) Human Resource Management: Ethics and Employment, Oxford University Press, 2006.

"The Morality of the Market and the Medieval Schoolmen", Politics, Philosophy and Economics, 2004, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 241-257.

"The Development of Price Formation Theory and Subjectivism about Ultimate Values" (with Tony Lynch), Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp 263-278, 2003.

"Monetary Valuation in the law, Incommensurability and the Objection from Substitutability", Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy, Vol. 28, pp. 102-121, 2003.

"Are Market Norms and Intrinsic Valuation Mutually Exclusive?", Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol.79, no.4, December 2001, pp.525-543.

"The Mandevillean Conceit and the Profit Motive" (with Tony Lynch), Philosophy, Vol. 78, 2003.

"This Sporting Mammon: A Normative Critique of the Commodification of Sport "(with Richard Giulianotti), Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, Vol.28, no.1, 2001, pp.53-77.

"The Good Mercenary?" (with Tony Lynch), Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol.8, no.2, June 2000, pp.133-53.

"Consumer Sovereignty, Rationality and the Mandatory Labelling of Genetically Modified Food" (with John Burgess), Business and Professional Ethics Journal, Vol.18, nos.3&4, Fall-Winter 1999, pp.7-26.

"Generosity, Virtue and Blocked Exchange", Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics, vol.1, no.2, November 1999, pp.72-85

"Factory Work, Burdens and Justice", Journal of Social Philosophy, vol.30, no.3, Winter, 1999, pp.325-46.

"Teaching, Preaching and Queaching about Commodities", The Southern Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 36, no.3, 1998.

"Is Genetic Engineering Wrong Per Se?" (with John Burgess), Journal of Value Inquiry, Vol.32, no 3 (September 1998), pp.393-406.

"Market Pathology and the Range of Commodity Exchange: A Preliminary Sketch", Public Affairs Quarterly, vol.12, no.2, 1998, pp.203-19.

"Exclusion, Commodification and Plant Variety Rights Legislation" (with Andrew Alexandra), Agriculture and Human Values, vol.14, no.4, 1997, pp.313-23.

"Meaningful Work as a Distributive Good", Southern Journal of Philosophy, Vol.32, no.2, June 1994, pp.233-50.