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Aleksy Tarasenko-Struc

Ana Mendieta, ‘Untitled (Silueta Series, Mexico)’, 1976

Tarasenko-Struc1 (1)_edited.jpg

Hello! I hold the position of Clinical Ethics Fellow at the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College. I completed a PhD in Philosophy at Harvard University and work primarily on topics at the intersection of ethics and social philosophy. 

Research Interests

One of my research programs concerns dehumanization as a category of acts, attitudes, and social practices. Victims of inhumanity commonly complain that they were treated as objects, animals, or subhuman monsters, or that their humanity was invisible to those who abused them. I defend a unified theory of the dehumanization at issue—its nature, kinds, and moral profile—and argue that the wrong of various forms of inhumanity toward people is best explained by my theory. I also apply this theory to topics in bioethics, where it can help pinpoint the special wrong of certain inappropriate medical practices

Another research program is mapping out the scope and limits of justified paternalism in medicine: interference with a patient’s freedom for her own good. I want to know when and why the principle of respect for autonomy gives way to other obligations toward the patient, such as that of beneficence. Underlying this research program is the idea that forced treatment is very hard to morally justify because it typically constitutes an invasion of the unwilling patient’s body, with significant implications for suicide intervention as well as the treatment of people with eating disorders and substance use disorder.

In other strands of my research, I try (1) to understand what it is to have decisional capacity, (2) to trace the proto-ethical pressures of our human affective capacities, and (3) to explore the moral significance of the fact that many of our moral obligations are obligations to others.


Recent and Upcoming Talks


6/24: Inhumanities Workshop: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

'The Moral Puzzle of Anorexia Nervosa

10/23: American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Annual Conference

'Do Suicide Attempters Have a Right Not to Be Stabilized in an Emergency?' 

10/23: American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Annual Conference

'The Wrong of Nonconsensual Sterilization'

10/23: American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Annual Conference

'Love and the Value of a Subject'

 01/24: Panel Discussion: American Philosophical Association Eastern Division

 06/23: Workshop Talk: Keble College, University of Oxford

 01/23: Online Seminar: Society for the Philosophy of Sex and Love

 05/22: Workshop Talk: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

'Can People Be Treated as Animals?' 

06/2022: Northwestern University Society for the Theory of Ethics and Politic

04/2022: Rice Workshop in Humanistic Ethics

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