Dr. Heathwood's principle research area is ethics, where he works mainly on well-being and on issues in metaethics. Theories of well-being answer the question, What is ultimately of benefit and harm to us? Most of Dr. Heathwood’s work on this topic concerns desire-based theories of well-being, according to which welfare consists in getting what one wants. Relatedly, Dr. Heathwood also defends desire-based theories of the nature of pleasure and pain. In metaethics, Dr. Heathwood has written on the nature of value and reasons for action, and their relation to desire-based theories of welfare and pleasure. He is also interested in the defensibility of non-naturalist moral realism, and to this end has written on whether there can be ungrounded moral facts and on the nature of irreducible normativity. Dr. Heathwood also has interests in meta-epistemology, the philosophy of religion, and metaphysics.
ethics, metaethics, axiology, welfare, well-being, value, reasons, desire, desire-satisfaction theory of welfare, preferentism, pleasure and pain, normativity, abortion, philosophy of religion, the ontological argument, philosophy of time, value pluralism