Ramona Ilea, PhD

UC Box 
Drake House 201 (Forest Grove)

Pacific University Oregon Convocation 2015 and 2022 Speaker

President’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (Pacific University Oregon), 2015


Ethics and Society

First-Year Seminar: Meaning, Origins, Identity

Environmental Ethics

Animal Ethics

Language and Logic

Ethics, Medicine, and Health Care

Ethics and Civic Engagement

Philosophy of Mathematics

Topics in Moral Philosophy (a 400-level course focused on one topic, e.g., it was focused on Sympathy and Empathy in 2012)

College Student Success


Publications and Presentations


General Editor, Essays in Philosophy, Volume 18.1 (Effective Altruism), 18.2 (Moral Pscyhology and War), 19.1 (Latin American Feminist Philosophy), 19.2 (The Philosophy of Memory), 20.1 (Is Procreation Immoral?), 20.2 (The Philosophical Dimensions of Urban Transportation), 21 (Activism and Philosophy), 22 (Migration and Mobility), 23 (Analytic Philosophy and the Islamic Tradition), 24 (Care Ethics Otherwise).

Experiential Learning in Philosophy, edited by Julinna Oxley and Ramona Ilea, Routledge Press, Forthcoming in August 2015

Consequentialism and Environmental Ethics, edited by Avram Hiller, Ramona Ilea, and Leonard Kahn. Routledge Press, December 2013.



  1. Monica Janzen, Benjamin Hole, Ramona Ilea. “Civically Engaged Philosophy as a Way of Life" in American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy, vol. 6, 2023
  2. Benjamin Hole, Monica Janzen, Ramona Ilea. "Radically Hopeful Civic Engagement" in Teaching Philosophy, May 19, 2022
  3. Adam Feltz, Jacob N Caton, Zac Cogely, Mylan Engel, Silke Feltz, Ramona Ilea, L. Syd Johnson, Tom Offer-Westord, "Developing an Objective Measure of Knowledge of Factory Farming" Philosophical Psychology, March 2022
  4. Ramona Ilea. “Singer, Wittgenstein, and Morally Motivating Examples” in Between the Species, vol. 22, issue 1, 2018
  5. Ramona Ilea. “Rights and Capabilities: Tom Regan and Martha Nussbaum on Animals,” The Moral Rights of Animals, Lexington Books, March 2016
  6. Ramona Ilea. “Cultivating Citizenship: Student-Initiated Civic Engagement Projects in Philosophy Classes.” Co-authors: Susan Hawthorne, Monica Janzen, Chad Wiener in Experiential Learning in Philosophy. Ed. Julinna Oxley and Ramona Ilea. New York, Routledge Press, 2015
  7. Ramona Ilea, Susan Hawtorne, “Beyond Service Learning: Civic Engagement in Ethics Classes”, Teaching Philosophy, Volume 34, No. 4, September 2011, pp. 219-240
  8. Ramona Ilea. “The ‘Mutant’ Cure or Social Change?  Debating Disability and the X-Men,” X-Men and Philosophy, Blackwell, March 2009, pp. 170-183
  9. Ramona Ilea. “Intensive Livestock Farming: Global Trends, Increased Environmental Concerns, and Ethical Solutions,” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Volume 22, Issue2, 2009, pp. 153-167 (Cited in over 150 publications)
  10. Ramona Ilea. “Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach and Non-Human Animals: Theory and Public Policy,” Journal of Social Philosophy, Volume 39 Issue 4, Winter 2008, pp. 547-563



Engaged Philosophy http://www.engagedphilosophy.com/

With Dr. Monica Janzen

Funded by an American Philosophical Association Grant Fund 2013-2014 and a Pacific University Faculty Development Grant summer 2012-2013



Dr. Ilea has done over 60 conference presentations. Here are a few:

  1. “Clothing Ethics and Sustainability,” International Symposium on Fashion and Sustainability, Jindal Global Business School, India, April 2022
  2. “How Philosophers Can Foster Student Activism”, Philosophy and Activism Series (https://www.philosophyofactivism.com/), December 2021,
  3. “Radical Hope for Teaching Civic Engagement in Ethics Courses” with Benjamin Hole, at the Northwest Philosophy Conference, November 2021
  4. Invited 90-minute talk and interview on “Arhivele Viitorului”/“The Future’s Archive,” a Romanian Culture Show with each episode featuring experts from different disciplines, October 2021 (This episode was viewed over 5,000 times on YouTube alone)
  5. “Radical Hope for Teaching Civic Engagement in Ethics Courses” with Benjamin Hole, at the 6th Annual Public Philosophy Network Conference, October 2021*
  6. “Radical Hope for Teaching Civic Engagement in Ethics Courses” with Benjamin Hole, at the 14th Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, August 2021 *
  7. “Engaged Philosophy: Switching On Student Power” with Monica Janzen and Susan Hawthorne, Philosophy and the Climate Change Crises”, June 2021 *
  8. “Advancing Civic Engagement with Student Led Projects” Workshop Leader and Speaker, University of Missouri Center for Community Engagement and Outreach, April 2021
  9. “Incorporating Activist Projects in Philosophy Classes” Panel Presenter and Organizer, American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, North American Society for Social Philosophy Group Session, April 2021
  10. “Animals and the Law” Panel Presenter and Organizer, American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, Animals and Society Group Session, April 2021
  11. “Clothing Ethics: What We Wear as Important as What We Eat” University of Missouri Philosophy Department Colloquia, March 2021
  12. “The Environmental Impact of Overpopulation: Author Meets Critics” – Critic, Ohio State University, November 2020
  13. “Philosophy and Activism” at the Philosophy of Activism Workshop, United Kingdom, September 2020
  14. “Advancing Civic Engagement with Student-Led Projects” Philosophy Department Colloquium, University of Waterloo, November 2019
  15. “Understanding Our Clients: Philosophy, Ethology and the Law” panel presenter, the 27th Annual Animal Law Conference, October 2019
  16. “The Effectiveness of Animal Ethics Education” (with Adam Feltz, Silke Feltz, Zac Cogley, Jacob Caton, Mylan Engel, and Syd Johnson) Northwest Philosophy Conference, October 2019
  17. “Philosophy and Activism: Compatible or in Tension?” Public Philosophy Network conference, October 2019 *
  18. “Activism and Philosophy” panel organizer and presenter, The 10th Annual Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, August 2019 *
  19. “Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach: Theory and Public Policy” University of Portland, February 2019
  20. “The Capabilities Approach” and “Harm-Benefit Analyses” at the Translational Animal Bioethics Workshop, University of Wisconsin Madison, August 2018
  21. “Applied Ethics and Animal Consumption” (authors: Adam Feltz, Jacob Caton, Zac Cogley, Mylan Engel, Silke Feltz, Ramona Ilea, & Syd Johnson; presented by Adam, Jacob, and Silke), Midsouth Philosophy Conference, March 2018
  22. A Call for Clothing Ethics,” The 9th Annual Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, August 2017*
  23. “Should Effective Altruists Appeal to Empathy?” American Philosophical Association Conference – Pacific Division, April 2017 *
  24. “Student-Initiated Civic Engagement Projects” (with Sierra Barnes) American Philosophical Association Conference – Pacific Division Poster Session, April 2017 *
  25. “Appealing to Sympathy” The 33rd International Social Philosophy Conference, July 2016 *
  26. “Cultivating Citizenship: Student-Initiated Civic Engagement Projects” (with Monica Janzen and Susan Hawthorne), American Philosophical Association – Pacific Division, APA Committee for Public Philosophy Full Session, April 2014
  27. “Rights and Capabilities: Tom Regan and Martha Nussbaum on Animals,” American Philosophical Association – Central Division, Main Program, February 2014 *
  28. “Sympathy and Utilitarianism: Allies or Enemies?” The 6th Annual Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, August 2013 *
  29. “Philosophy and Activism: Compatible or In Tension?” Keynote speech at the Minnesota Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, April 2013
  30. “Philosophy and Animal Activism: Compatible or In Tension?” American Philosophical Association Conference – Pacific Division, April 2012
  31. “Factory Farming, Animal Protection, and Environmental Issues,” Yale University Bioethics Center Animal Ethics Seminar Series, January 2009
  32. “Sympathy, Moral Psychology, and Utilitarianism,” The Tenth Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies, September 2008 *
  33. “The Capabilities Approach and Non-Human Animals,” American Philosophical Association – Pacific Division, Main Program (Winner of a Graduate Student Outstanding Paper Prize, American Philosophical Association – Pacific Division), April 2005 *


Research Interests

There is a common conception that philosophy is interesting and deep, but it does not make much of a difference in the real world. This is in part because in the 20th century, philosophers in the Anglo-American, or analytic, tradition aspired to the objectivity of the sciences; and this aspiration led philosophers to think that they needed to be neutral on controversial social/political issues. My work fits within a growing movement to reverse this trend. I argue that it is possible for philosophical work to contribute to public debates and social issues in ways that do not undermine our roles as philosophers. Through systematic and rigorous thinking about our distinctive roles, skills, and knowledge, philosophers will be better able to make valuable contributions to important social issues. Philosophers' engagement in the world, collaboration with others, and the motivation to search more deeply for new and innovative ideas will enrich and further issues of public concern.



PhD Philosophy, University of Minnesota, 2006

MA Philosophy, University of Minnesota, 2003

BA Philosophy, University of Toronto, 2000


Selected Recent Service

Interim Director of the Center for a Sustainable Society, January 2017 - July 2017, Spring 2022 - present

Member, Faculty Development Committee, Fall 2021-present

Program Chair, Environmental Studies: Policy, Culture, and Society, August 2017 – present

Faculty adviser for the Animal Ethics Club, Spring 2009-Present

Department Chair, Philosophy Department, Summer 2013 - July 2017, spring 2022

Member, Advisory Board, Pacific Center for Civic Engagement, Fall 2009-Spring 2012

Faculty adviser for the Philosophy Club, Fall 2007-2012

Pacific University Sustainability Committee, Chair: Fall 2010-Spring 2012, Chair Elect: Fall 2009-Spring 2010


Prof. Ramona Ilea likes to make crafts out of recycled materials. For example she made a dress and jewelry made out of 27 containers of Purely Decadent ice cream (which she says is the best ice cream ever)! It was an outfit she wore on Halloween and it was part of Junk to Funk, a fashion show of outfits made from recycled materials. Right now, she enjoys making things with little bits of fabric and modifying clothes (real clothes, not ice cream container ones!). In the past, she crocheted with plarn (yarn made from torn/useless plastic bags), making rugs, purses, etc, make wallets from soy milk and juice containers, as well as beads/jewelry from all kinds of scrap paper and other "trash." She says, "Unlike other kinds of activism I do, this is not a social justice project. It's just relaxing!" To learn more about her personal journey and hobbies, see this short interview.