Jonathan Beever

Beever logo
Department of Philosophy
University of Central Florida
Orlando, Florida
 
   
   
 

Beever's research is focused broadly on the concept of ecological ethics, or the moral relationships between human animals and their biotechnologies, nonhuman animals, and the natural environment.
You can download his research statement here.

Current research and publishing projects are along the following themes:

 UCF
                                        Ethics Certificate logo
Moral Theory
As the scientific understanding and social impact of ecology develops, environmentalism is as important as and more relevant than it ever was.  Yet, contemporary theories of environmental value are inadequate for at least one of two reasons:  either they fail to offer a sufficient scope, or they fail to offer metaethical justification sufficient for application in policy and practice. In response, Beever works to develop a moral theory based on a biosemiotic theory of meaning.
Sound Silence
                                        Environment logo

Environmental Ethics
Beever works on ethical questions in environmental philosophy, pushing boundaries to consider not only "natural" environments but also digital environments as well. Central to this work is the relationship between ethics and science, especially the conservation and computational sciences.

His work in the philosophy of soundscape ecology focuses explicitly on this intersection. He leads an interdisciplinary team of graduate and undergraduate students in studying the nature and value of soundscapes as they relate both human/cultural and nonhuman experiences.

His work on digital ethics examines the relationship between digital technologies and the human experience of the world more broadly. You can read more about this work in his 2019 book Understanding Digital Ethics (Beever, McDaniel, & Stanlick. Routledge).

 Uexkülls schema
                                        of the inner world of an animal Semiosis and Value
Semiotics, the study of signification, is a broad reaching discipline indebted to the work of American pragmatist C.S. Peirce. Beever's interest in semiotics is two-fold. He is engaged in the developing project of biosemiotics and have developed a view of biosemiotic ethics.. He is secondly interested in the conceptual work of semiotics, developing projects related to C.S. Peirce, Jakob von Uexkull, and Jean Baudrillard. He has applied semiotic analysis and framing to topics of sentience, ecology, and terrorism.
    - Watch a talk on Aldo Leopold and environmental value
a tree
Environmental Bioethics
Beever's work in bioethics focuses on the historical, conceptual, and practical intersections between traditional bioethics, public health ethics, and environmental ethics. He is interested specifically in questions of emerging biotechologies and philosophies of ecologies that give us reasons to rethink the value conflicts at the heart of bioethics.
    - Watch a panel discussion on GMOs and the environment
Engineering Thinker,
                                        Purdue2015

Engineering Ethics and Scientific Integrity
Beever's interest in science and ethics has led to several interdisciplinary projects, including in engineering ethics education. Beever has collaborated with colleagues at Purdue, Penn State, and at the University of Central Florida to develop institutional ethics programs that go beyond traditional Responsible Conduct of Research models in developing moral literacy skills in the sciences and engineering.
    - watch a series of videos on Reflexive Principlism:
        1. Ethical Decision-Making in Science and Engineering
        2. BioEthical Principlism
        3. Reflexive Principlism in Engineering
        4. Reflexive Principlism and the Design Process
    - listen to podcasts on ethics here: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/ucf-forum/

Beever is currently PI of an institutional transformation grant from the National Science Foundation (2020-2025) studying the intersections of individual value foundations and institutional ethics frameworks in the process of STEM enculturation.