Professor Thomas Hurka is currently (until June 2023) Chancellor Henry N. R. Jackman Distinguished Professor of Philosophical Studies at the University of Toronto. He gained a B.Phil. and D.Phil. in Philosophy at University of Oxford University, after a B.A. at the University of Toronto.
Hurka has published on a number of topics, however his main area of research and teaching is moral and political philosophy, especially normative ethical theory. His writings focus on perfectionist moral theories: authored books include Perfectionism (OUP) and Virtue, Vice, and Value (OUP). He has also discussed the justification of punishment, population ethics, nationalism, friendship, and the morality of war.
In 2011, Professor Hurka published a non-academic book The Best Things in Life (OUP), about the many things – pleasure, knowledge, achievement, virtue, personal love – that can make life desirable. Later, in 2014, he published British Ethical Theorists From Sidgwick to Ewing (OUP), the first full historical study of an important strand in the development of modern moral philosophy. The book follows a series of British ethical theorists from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, who shared key assumptions that made them a unified and distinctive school.