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Dr Arianne Shahvisi

Dr Arianne Shahvisi

Dr Arianne Shahvisi (BA, MSc, MSt, PhD)

Senior Lecturer in Ethics
T: +44 (0)1273 872873
Location: Medical Teaching Building, Rm 3.07C, BSMS, University of Sussex, BN1 9PX

Areas of expertise: Applied philosophy; bioethics; social epistemology; feminist philosophy; philosophy of science

Research areas: Reproductive ethics; feminist bioethics; migration; gender; race; scientific methodology; academic freedom

Other relevant positions: Affiliated faculty member in Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics, University of Brighton; and Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health, University of Sussex


Dr Arianne Shahvisi studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, where she also completed an MSc in Astrophysics. She then moved to Oxford, where she took a second masters in Philosophy of Physics, before returning to Cambridge to begin a PhD in philosophy, working with Jeremy Butterfield and Huw Price. Her thesis explored the origins of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, unpicking the highly improbable conditions of the early Universe.

Before coming to BSMS, Arianne worked as an assistant professor in the philosophy department at the American University of Beirut for two years, where she was the recipient of a Mellon Foundation Arts and Humanities Research Fellowship.

Arianne’s writing has been published in Prospect, New Statesman, Jacobin, and Media Diversified, she has featured on BBC Radio and Channel 4 News, and has advised on policy around abortion provision and women's health. She was awarded the Kamal Salibi Award for services to academic freedom in 2015.

Arianne serves as an editorial board member of Kohl: Journal for Feminist Research on Gender and the Body in the MENA Region and is science editor for literary magazine The Offing, which seeks out and supports work by those marginalized in literary spaces. She was a judge for the 2019 Literary Science Writing Award for PEN America.


Arianne’s research interests are broad and cross-disciplinary. They are united by their application of rigorous philosophical methods of analysis to real-world issues of moral concern. Her work is strongly defined by concerns relating to gender, race, class, science, and globalisation, and the power differentials present in all. Her current projects focus on the social epistemology of explanation, migration and borders, the ethics of genital alterations, and global health ethics.


Arianne teaches undergraduate and postgraduate humanities courses and supervises doctoral students. She offers courses on the philosophy of mind, moral philosophy, social and political determinants of health, and feminist bioethics. Students interested in any of these topics are encouraged to get in touch to discuss undergraduate dissertations or graduate theses.

Selected publications

Shahvisi, A. (2019). Particles do not conspire. Journal for General Philosophy of Science (Accepted).  

Shahvisi, A. (2019). Austerity or Xenophobia? The Causes and Costs of the “Hostile Environment” in the NHS. Health Care Analysis, 1-18.

Shahvisi, A., & Finnerty, F. (2019). Why it is unethical to charge migrant women for pregnancy care in the NHS. Journal of Medical Ethics, 45:489-496. 

Shahvisi, A. (2019). Tropicality and abjection: What do we really mean by “Neglected Tropical Diseases”?. Developing world bioethics.

Shahvisi, A. (2018). Beyond orientalism: exploring the distinctive feminism of democratic confederalism in Rojava. Geopolitics, 1-25.

Shahvisi, A. ““Women’s empowerment,” Imperialism, and the Global Gag Rule” Kohl: A Journal of Body and Gender Research, 2019.

Shahvisi, A. (2019). Medicine is patriarchal, but alternative medicine is not the answer. Journal of bioethical inquiry, 16(1), 99-112.

Shahvisi, A. (2018, July). Hermeneutical injustice and outsourced domestic work. In Women's Studies International Forum (Vol. 69, pp. 18-25). Pergamon.

Shahvisi, A. (2018). Health worker migration and migrant healthcare: Seeking cosmopolitanism in the NHS. Bioethics, 32(6), 334-342.

Shahvisi, A., Meskele, E., & Davey, G. (2018). A human right to shoes? Establishing rights and duties in the prevention and treatment of podoconiosis. Health and human rights, 20(1), 53.

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