Laura Purdy

Professor Emerita of Philosophy


Laura Purdy

"Philosophy emphasizes the importance of, and helps students develop skills in, critical thinking. I think students major in Public Affairs to become thoughtful citizens who might also work in areas of public life where melding political knowledge with ethics is an asset."

For Professor Purdy, teaching is all about helping students think critically, especially about the moral and political issues that face them as persons and citizens. Her own areas of specialization are applied ethics (particularly bioethics, reproduction, and issues having to do with children) and feminism. She enjoys teaching students who are open-minded and want to learn, and is also quite fond of the beautiful Wells campus.


1970 B.A. San Jose University
1971 M.A. San Jose University
1974 Ph.D. Stanford University

Select Publications

Purdy, L. "The Politics of Preventing Premature Death." in Boylan, M. (ed.). Public Health Policy and Ethics, 2004.

Purdy, L. & Teays, W. Bioethics, Justice, & Health Care. Wadsworth, 2002.

Purdy, L. Reproducing Persons. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1996.

Courses Taught

  • Logical and Critical Thinking
  • Ethics
  • Bioethics Today
  • Reproductive Ethics
  • Ethics and the Human Genome Project
  • Ethics, Law, and Social Policy
  • Moral and Political Issues in Education
  • Issues in Feminism
  • Reproductive Ethics