Dr Samuel Douglas

Dr Samuel Douglas

Casual Academic

Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (Philosophy)

Career Summary


During (and since) my PhD candidature, I accrued over 10 years of experience delivering and developing philosophy coursework, with a strong focus on professional and discipline-specific ethics, for students across a range of undergraduate degree programs including Communications, Psychology, Business, Engineering and Social Science. This has involved sourcing content and relevant examples, as well as negotiating the realities of teaching difficult, unfamiliar, confronting ideas in cross-disciplinary settings. I have also developed and delivered undergraduate seminars and lectures in areas of Philosophy of Language and 20th century History of Philosophy. 

As an early career researcher, one of my primary aims is to contribute to philosophy by exploring ways that it can effectively reach, and positively impact upon, a wider audience. This will involve participating in projects that expose members of the community outside of higher education to philosophical concepts, ideas, and discussions across a range of areas such as ethics, metaphysics, critical reasoning and epistemology. Such exposure would be carried within a reflective framework, with the aim of forming an enhanced understanding of which ‘on-the-ground’ methods are most effective in these situations. My collaboration on Educational Ethics: Dilemmas of Diversity is one such undertaking.

Ultimately, the experience gained in working through community engaged projects aligns with my longer-term aim of setting up a world-standard public philosophy program. I am also seeking to develop a body of work that defends a causal theory of reference against scepticism about the existence of determinate linguistic meaning.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Newcastle


  • Philosophy of Language
  • Professional Ethics

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
220107 Professional Ethics (incl. police and research ethics) 30
220313 Philosophy of Language 40
220202 History and Philosophy of Education 30

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Education


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Journal article (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2019 Forster DJ, McPherson A, Douglas S, 'Interview with Professor Meira Levinson: Democracy, dilemmas and educational ethics', Global Studies of Childhood, 9 109-119 (2019)

© The Author(s) 2019. In the following interview, Meira Levinson (Harvard Graduate School) discusses the field of educational ethics and how it can enhance justifiable youth activ... [more]

© The Author(s) 2019. In the following interview, Meira Levinson (Harvard Graduate School) discusses the field of educational ethics and how it can enhance justifiable youth activism to enact citizenship education and recover democracy. She introduces readers to her philosophical approach for developing normative case studies that aim to be inclusive of divergent views on knowledge and value in schooling. Professor Levinson visited the School of Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia, in August 2018, to advise the Educational Ethics: Dilemmas of Diversity Network project team. During her visit she discussed with local teachers and school leaders about how educational practices can ethically address differences, diversities and decision-making in pluralist democracies.

DOI 10.1177/2043610619846080
Co-authors Daniella Forster
2018 Douglas SP, 'The Qua-Problem and Meaning Scepticism', Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, 17 71-78 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.22381/LPI1720184
Citations Scopus - 4

Conference (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Douglas S, Forster DJ, 'What s in a dilemma? Generative thinking from teacher ethics', What s in a dilemma? Generative thinking from teacher ethics, Napier Building, North Terrace campus, The University of Adelaide, SA (2017)
Co-authors Daniella Forster
2010 Douglas SP, 'Implications of the non-normativity of meaning', Australasian Association of Philosophy Conference (AAP2010) Abstracts, Sydney, NSW (2010) [E3]

Other (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Douglas SP, 'Voluntary assisted dying: Solving the impossible trolley problem', (2017) [O1]
2017 Douglas SP, 'Grenfell Tower fire disaster: Engineering responsibility', (2017) [O1]

Research Projects

Educational Ethics: Dilemmas of Diversity 2017 -

This interdisciplinary study is designed to develop ‘real-life’ case studies to help teachers learn how to make better ethical decisions at work. The research will explore teachers’ critical experiences about ethical choices and identify common difficulties and important characteristics. The project will create rich normative case studies (NCS) of modern ethical dilemmas that are recognisable to experiences in Australian schools. It will contribute to professional development in educational ethics for pre-service and serving teachers.

see: www.educationalethics.org 

A three-year fully funded PhD scholarship has been granted in the area of educational ethics with the aim of developing pedagogy to support teacher moral imagination and judgement. The scholarship is attached to an existing program of research about ethical teaching in a pluralist democracy; Educational Ethics: Dilemmas of Diversity. The program focuses on the identification, analysis and interrogation of educational dilemmas which are intrinsic to the moral nature of teachers’ work, but specifically recognisable to Australian teachers’ experiences through the identification of localised social, political, economic, and cultural characteristics and tensions. I congratulate the successful applicant, Ms Sarah Gurr.

For more information about the scholarship please see: 



Name Organisation
Associate Professor Tom Grant Griffiths University of Newcastle
Doctor Margot Winifred Ford University of Newcastle
Doctor Rachel Anne Buchanan University of Newcastle
Doctor Daniella Jasmin Forster University of Newcastle
Doctor Samuel Paul Douglas University of Newcastle


Dr Samuel Douglas


Casual Academic
Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Academic Division

Casual Academic
School of Education
Faculty of Education and Arts

Casual Research Assistant
School of Architecture and Built Environment
Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

Focus area


Contact Details

Email samuel.douglas@newcastle.edu.au


Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308