Faculty Scholars Program

Sean Aas, MA, PhD

Class of 2020
  • Assistant Professor and Senior Research Scholar
Georgetown University
Scholar Project

Sean Aas is a Senior Research Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics and an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department at Georgetown University. His primary areas of research are bioethics, and social and political philosophy. Dr. Aas is especially interested in questions about boundaries and the basis of our rights in bodies, especially the question around rights in prostheses, transplants, and other atypical parts. Much of his work has a significant focus on issues of disability: disability as social construct, disability and political egalitarianism, disability and health.

Dr. Aas has published papers on these topics in various journals and collections, including Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Synthese, and the Journal of Medical Ethics. He is currently planning an academic monograph theorizing the nature and limits of our rights in our bodies and their parts.

Dr. Aas earned a PhD in philosophy from Brown University in 2013, and served as a Fellow at the Justitia Amplificata Project at Goethe University in Frankfurt and a Fellow at the Department of Clinical Bioethics in the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda prior to joining the Kennedy Institute of Ethics.

For more information, visit: www.seanaas.info

Rights in Bodies: Theoretical Frameworks and Practical Applications

Grant Cycle: 2016 - 2017

Professor Aas’s project is on the boundaries of our body rights, which brings concepts from political philosophy to bear on bioethical issues concerning the boundaries of the body, including but not limited to: tissue markets; conscription of research subjects; and acquisition of organs for transplant. This project, an attempt to develop a full theory of bodily rights, draws on Professor Aas’s background in bioethics and political philosophy, making much, in particular, of insights gleaned from engagement with the literature on disability and diverse embodiment. His ambition is to develop conceptual and normative resources bioethicists need to make substantial progress towards consensus answers to pressing practical dilemmas involving our rights in our bodies.


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