Richmond Home
Dr.  Jessica  Flanigan
Dr. Jessica Flanigan
Associate Professor of Leadership Studies and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law, Richard L. Morrill Chair in Ethics & Democratic Values

Jessica Flanigan is the Richard L. Morrill Chair in Ethics and Democratic Values at the University of Richmond, where she teaches Leadership Ethics, Ethical Decision Making in Healthcare, and Critical Thinking. Her research addresses the ethics of public policy, medicine, and business. In "Pharmaceutical Freedom" (Oxford University Press, 2017), she defends rights of self-medication. In "Debating Sex Work" (Oxford University Press, 2019), she defends the decriminalization of sex work.

Flanigan has also published in journals such as Philosophical Studies, The Journal of Business Ethics, Leadership, The Journal of Moral Philosophy, and the Journal of Political Philosophy. She is currently writing a book about the ethics of pregnancy and a book about language and ethics. She is a proponent of effective altruism.

Distinguished Educator Award, University of Richmond, 2020
Selected Publications

 Flanigan, Jessica and Watson, Lori, Debating Sex Work (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).

Flanigan, Jessica, Pharmaceutical Freedom: Why Patients Have a Right to Self-Medicate (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).


Flanigan, Jessica, and Alec Greven. “Speech and Campus Inclusivity.” Public Affairs Quarterly 35, no. 3 (July 2021): 178-203.  

Flanigan, Jessica, Ben Bramble, and Charles Weijer. “The Ethics of Human Challenge Trials: COVID-19 and Beyond.” Cato Unbound: A Journal of Debate (March 2021).  

Blumenthal-Barby, Jennifer, Sean Aas, Dan Brudney, Jessica Flanigan, S. Matthew Liao, Alex London, Wayne Sumner, and Julian Savulescu. “The Place of Philosophy in Bioethics Today.” American Journal of Bioethics Online First (June 30, 2021).

Flanigan, Jessica. "The Ethics of Prenatal Injury." Journal of Moral Philosophy (October 2020): 1-23.

Flanigan, Jessica. "The Rawlsian Mirror of Justice." Philosophy and Public Issues 10, no. 1 (2020): 69-99.

Flanigan, Jessica and Freiman, Christopher. "Drug War Reparations." Res Philosophica 97.2 (2020), 141-168. 

Flanigan, Jessica. "Boundary Problems and Self-Ownership," Social Philosophy and Policy 36.2 (2019), 9-35. 

Flanigan, Jessica. “Sweatshop Regulations and Workers' Choices,” Journal of Business Ethics 153.1 (2018), 79-94. 

Flannigan, Jessica, "Duty and Enforcement," Journal of Political Philosophy 27.3 (2018), 341-362. 

Flanigan, Jessica, "All Liberty Is Basic," Res Publica 24.4 (2018), 455-474. 

Flanigan, Jessica, "Philosophical Methodology and Leadership Ethics," Leadership 14.6 (2018), 707-730. 

Flanigan, Jessica, “Rethinking Freedom of Contract,” Philosophical Studies 174.2 (2017), 443-463. 

Flanigan, Jessica, “Seat Belt Mandates and Paternalism,” Journal of Moral Philosophy 14.3 (2017), 291-314. 

Flanigan, Jessica, “Obstetric Autonomy and Informed Consent,” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 19.1 (2016), 225-244. 

Flanigan, Jessica, “Non-Culpable Ignorance and HIV Criminalization,” The Journal of Medical Ethics, 40.12 (2014), 798-801. Editor's Choice. DOI: 10.1136/medethics-2012-101119

Flanigan, Jessica, “Economic Freedom and the ACA,” Public Affairs Quarterly, 27.3 (2013), 215-241. 

Flanigan, Jessica, “Public Bioethics,” Public Health Ethics, 6.2 (2013), 170-184. 

Flanigan, Jessica, "Charisma and Moral Reasoning,” Religions, 4.2 (2013), 216-229. 


Flanigan, Jessica. “Ethical Failure and Leadership: Treatment and Selection.” In Debating Bad Leadership: Reasons and Remedies, edited by Anders Örtenblad, 87-102. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.

Ph.D., Princeton University 2012
Program in Political Philosophy
M.A., Washington University 2006
Political Science
B.A., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 2004
Philosophy and Political Science
Contact Information
119F Jepson Hall
(804) 287-6353
(804) 287-6062 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Political Philosophy