Michael Cholbi


  • Philosophy
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Room 13.13

40 George Square, Edinburgh
Post code


Michael Cholbi is Professor and Personal Chair in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. He has published widely in ethical theory, practical ethics, and the philosophy of death and dying. His books include Suicide: The Philosophical Dimensions (Broadview, 2011), Understanding Kant’s Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and Grief: A Philosophical Guide (Princeton University Press, 2022). He is the editor of several scholarly collections, including Immortality and the Philosophy of Death (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015); Procreation, Parenthood, and Educational Rights (Routledge, 2017); The Future of Work, Technology, and Basic Income (Routledge, 2019); The Movement for Black Lives: Philosophical Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2020); New Directions in the Ethics of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, revised edition (Springer, 2023); Debating a Post-Work Future (Routledge, forthcoming); and the Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Suicide (forthcoming). He is the the co-editor of the textbook Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives (Routledge, 2020).  His work has also appeared in a number of scholarly journals, including Ethics, Mind, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. In recent years, he has been an academic visitor at Australian National University, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Turku (Finland), and the Hastings Center.

His current research interests are

  • death and dying, including suicide and assisted dying, immortality, and grief
  • Kantian ethics, particularly respect for persons, equality, and rational agency
  • ethics of work and labor
  • paternalism
  • procreative and parental ethics
  • moral concern for the self (self-regarding duties, etc.)


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Ph.D, University of Virginia, 1999 [President's Fellow and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellow]

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Founder,  International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying
  • Fellow, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
  • Editorial board and executive management committee, Journal of Applied Philosophy
  • Board of advisors, Social Theory and Practice
  • Editorial board, Philosophical Quarterly
  • Editorial board, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
  • International advisory board, Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
  • Former editor, Teaching Philosophy
  • Multiple roles within the American Philosophical Association, including Divisional Executive Committee Member, the Committee on Teaching Philosophy, and the Committee on Public Philosophy

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Professor Cholbi welcomes enquiries from students interested in supervision in any area of his research, including:

  • philosophy of death of dying, including grief, suicide and assisted dying, value of death, attitudes toward mortality, etc.
  • ethics of work and labour
  • paternalism 
  • moral concern for the self, including duties to self, etc.
  • equality, respect, and topics in Kantian ethics

Current PhD students supervised

  • James Carey (meaningful work and autonomy)
  • James Morrissey (morality of political dissent)
  • Ellie Palmer (death in Japanese philosophy)

Past PhD students supervised

Research summary

Professor Cholbi's research profiles on:

Professor Cholbi's personal website: https://michael.cholbi.com/