Dr. David Silver – Director

David Silver, Director

David Silver is Associate Professor and Director at the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, and holds the Chair in Business and Professional Ethics at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. He is also an associate member of the UBC Department of Philosophy and a faculty affiliate of the National Core for Neuroethics.

Prof. Silver has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Arizona (1997). His dissertation was A Virtue Theory of Practical Reason and concerns the intersections between metaphysics, epistemology and ethics.

Current Research

My research interests concern the business corporation, and its role within democratic society. I have been developing a “normative theory of the firm” which explores how the way we normatively think about the firm affects how we relate to each other as human beings, and in particular, how it affects the possibility of our living together in a society that respects the democratic governance of society.


2000. “Personal Identity and Psychological Continuity.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60. (With Michael Rea). Online
2001. “Religious Experience and the Facts of Religious Pluralism.” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 49: 1-17. Online
2002. “Collective Responsibility and the Ownership of Actions”. Public Affairs Quarterly 16 (3): 287-304. Online
2002. “Religious Experience and the Evidential Argument from Evil.” Religious Studies 38 (3): 339-353. Online
2003. “Lethal Injection, Autonomy and the Proper Ends of Medicine”, Bioethics 17 (2): 205-11. Online
2003. “Evolutionary Naturalism and the Reliability of our Cognitive Faculties.” Faith and Philosophy. PDF
2004. “The Legacy of Injustice: Wronging the Future, Responsibility for the Past” in Historical Justice, ed. Lukas H. Meyer, Nomos Verlag. (With Rahul Kumar). PDF
2005. “Corporate Codes of Conduct and the Value of Autonomy”, Journal of Business Ethics 59 (1-2), pp. 3-8. Online
2005. “A Strawsonian Defense of Corporate Moral Responsibility,” American Philosophical Quarterly, 42(4) October 2005. pp. 279-295. Online
2006. “Collective Responsibility, Corporate Responsibility and Moral Taint”, Midwest Studies in Philosophy 30 (1), pp. 269-278. Online
2008. “Defending the Independence Constraint: a Reply to Snider”, Religious Studies. 44(2), 203-207. Online
2008. “The Ethics of Exclusion”. in The Future of Citizenship. (with Rahul Kumar) Ed. Jose V. Ciprut. MIT Press. PDF
2011. “Towards an Epistemology of Objective Normative Authority”. APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Law 10(2)., pp. 11-17. Online
2012. “Citizens as Contractualist Stakeholders.” Journal of Business Ethics. 109 (1), pp. 3-13. Online
2013. “Fair Compensation for Workers in the Great Recession”.
2015. “Business Ethics After Citizens United: a contractualist analysis”. Journal of Business Ethics 127 (2), pp. 385-397. Online
2016. “Competition, Value-creation and The Self-Understanding of Business”, Business Ethics Journal Review 4 (10), pp. 59-65. Online
2018. “The Moral Accountability of the Financial Industry for the Global Financial Crisis”. Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 42: 95-116. Online
2021. “Pandemic Preparation, Democracy and the Morality of the Market”, Business Ethics Journal Review. Online
2021. “Democratic Governance and the Ethics of Market Compliance”, Journal of Business Ethics, 173: 525-537. Online
2023 “Hobby Lobby and the Moral Structure of the Employee-Employer Relationship” in Working as Equals, Oxford University Press. Online
2023. “Meaningful Work and the Purpose of the Firm,” Journal of Business Ethics, 185(4), pages 825-834. Online


2009. Review of Mitchell Silver’s A Plausible God: Secular Reflections on Liberal Jewish Theology. in Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies. PDF
2015. Review of Norman Bowie’s Business Ethics in the 21st Century, in Business Ethics Quarterly.