Chad M Stevenson

PhD Philosophy

  • Philosophy
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Dugald Stewart Building

3 Charles Street, Edinburgh
Post code


I was a PhD philosophy candidate at the University of Edinburgh; I defended my thesis (examiners Prof. Michael Hauskeller & Dr. FIlip Melo Lopes) in September 2022 and submitted the final copy in December 2022. I was fortunate to have been supported by the James Forrester PhD scholarship, and I was supervised by Dr. Guy Fletcher (primary) and Prof. Michael Cholbi (secondary). My doctoral thesis focused on meaning in life, and I argued for a radically consequentialist theory which I called asymmetric welfarism; that a life is meaningful to the extent it promotes or protects the well-being of other welfare subjects.

Previously, my philosophical education was at the University of Melbourne. During my MA,  I was supervised by Dr. Daniel Halliday (primary) and Dr. Karen Jones (secondary). My primary research interests are problems in the philosophy of well-being, ethics, and meaning in life. Moving forward my research profile will expand into AI ethics and political philosophy.


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2022 PhD, University of Edinburgh

2018 M.A., University of Melbourne.

2013 Postgraduate diploma, University of Melbourne.

2012 Graduate diploma, University of Melbourne.

2007 Bachelor of Music performance, Box Hill Institute.

Undergraduate teaching

While at Edinburgh, I taught the following:

- Greats: From Plato the Enlightenment, 2019-2020, 2020-2021

- Morality and Value, 2019, 2020

Research summary

- well-being and the good life.

- ethics and morality

- Meaning, worth, and value.


Current research interests

Currently I am carving up my doctoral thesis into manuscripts and submitting them for publication. After which I shall turn my attention towards political philosophy (socialism and capitalism) and AI and data ethics; my aim is to see what applications my doctoral and masters work could have for these areas (if any).

Past research interests

My doctoral work focused on meaning in life. I aimed to investigate the following question: what, if anything, makes a life meaningful? I advanced a theory about meaning in life I called asymmetric welfarism: the view that a life is meaningful insofar as it makes other welfare subjects betters off. Aside from marshalling arguments in its favour and responding to objections, I contended that opposing intuitions and competing theories were better understood as tracking different evaluative dimensions of a life which are less appreciated in the literature. In my Masters work I advanced a novel theory of well-being which I called the poker-hand account. I argued such a view captured a number of intuitions other types of theories couldn't, and proposed such an account could provide insight into current work on several long standing problems within the literature on the good life.

Conference details

See CV for details.