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Athabasca University

Dr. Chris McTavish

Academic Co-ordinator, Philosophy



  • Ph.D., Philosophy (Loyola University of Chicago)
  • M.A., Philosophy (University of Alberta)
  • B.A. Honors, Philosophy (University of Alberta)


Chris McTavish has been at Athabasca University since 2010.

Chris's areas of specialization include Ethics, History of Ethics and Phenomenology. His studies focus on a number questions that arise at the crossroads of ethics and phenomenological methodology. For instance: are we aware of a sincere motivation to act for-the-sake-of-another human being?, and, if so, what are the shades and layers of meaning that are operative within such a lived experience?

Chris's dissertation, "An Experiential Approach to Kant's Moral Philosophy," explored many of the phenomenological descriptions that underlie the principal conclusions in Kant's ethics, and it critically compared Kant's descriptions with the phenomenological insights of Emmanuel Levinas. Chris is especially interested in a notion that he finds in these two thinkers that he calls "the moral asymmetry of inter-human happiness," i.e., that the desire for happiness of other human beings reveals an ethical meaning that is in some sense prior to one's own pursuit of happiness.

In his spare time Chris enjoys spending time with his family and friends. Like many fellow Canadians, he especially loves hockey and curling and all of the social relations that accompany these winter time activities.

Updated September 10 2014 by Student & Academic Services

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