Catherine Nolan

Catherine Nolan defended her dissertation, The Ethics and Metaphysics of Vital Organ Donation, at SUNY Buffalo in 2015. She is presently an affiliate associate professor at the University of Dallas. She is interested in questions at the intersection of metaphysics and bioethics. Her dissertation focused on the definition of death and the impossibility of diagnosing it with certainty in time to explant vital organs, concluding that it is more practical to attempt to avoid causing death than to diagnose death.

Nolan's more recent research has been on the definitions of gender and sex, and she has recently presented “Metaphysical Positions for Trans Persons” at the PANTC 2016 conference, and is currently working on an article entitled “Difficult Determinations of Sex,” in which she proposes a definition of “male” and “female” which takes into account intersex individuals—those with disorders of sex development.

Catherine Nolan

Working Groups

  • End of Life Issues
  • Philosophical Foundations of Bioethics

Selected Work

  • "Organ Donation and Beliefs about Death” at the Center for Body, Mind, and Culture 2015 Conference at Florida Atlantic University, FL
  • “Back for Seconds? How Death is Irreversible” at the 2014 International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying Conference at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA
  • “Van Inwagen's Composite Objects and the Irreversibility of Death” at the 2014 Eastern Regional Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers, Niagara Falls, NY
  • “Irreversibility in Criteria for Death” at the 2014 Graduate Student Conference on Biomedical Epistemology and Bioethics at the University of Miami in Miami, FL
  • “A Defense of an Elitist Virtue Ethics Within a Christian Framework” at the 2014 National American Catholic Philosophical Association Meeting in Washington, D.C.
  • “Dead or Dying: Autonomous and Ethical Irreversibility in Vital Organ Donation” at the 2014 Conference on Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas, in Dallas, TX