Dr.Spence, E.H. (Edward)

Twente University

Section: Philosophy
Faculty: Behavioral Sciences

Visiting address

Faculty of Behavioral Sciences Twente University

Mail address

P.O. box 217 7500 AE Enschede The Netherlands




+31 (0)53 489 2895

Edward Spence, BA (Honors, First Class), PhD (University of Sydney), is a senior lecturer in moral philosophy and professional ethics in the School of Communication and Creative Industries, Charles Sturt University, Australia. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE) in Canberra. He is also an Affiliate research member of the 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology. Edward was one of two successful applicants worldwide selected and seconded from Charles Sturt University for the period 1 September 2006 to 31 August 2009 to work as a Research Fellow on an International Research Project led by Professor Philip Brey. The topic of the project was the Evaluation of the Cultural Quality of New Media and the Good Life in the Department of Philosophy, University of Twente in the Netherlands. His specific research sub-project was the Normative Evaluation of Digital Information and the Good Life. This project was funded by the National Research Council of the Netherlands (NWO).
He is the lead author of Advertising Ethics (with Brett Van Heekeren) and Corruption and Anti-Corruption: A Philosophical Approach (with Seumas Miller and Peter Roberts), both published in 2005 by Pearson/Prentice Hall, USA; He is the author of Ethics Within Reason: A Neo-Gewirthian Approach (2006) Lexington Books (a division of Rowman and Littlefield) Lanham: USA, and the leading author of Media, Markets and Morals (with Andrew Alexandra, Anne Dunn and Aaron Quinn) Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell (2011). He is editor (with Philip Brey and Adam Briggle) of the book, The Good Life in a Technological Age (in press), Routledge. He is also the author of several refereed papers in international journals on professional ethics, including media ethics, new media ethics, the ethics of computer games, the ethics of technology, and information ethics and computer ethics.
He is the founder and producer of the Theatre of Philosophy, a project whose aim is the introduction of philosophy to the general public through drama and audience participation through discussion. Conceived by Edward in 1997, the Theatre of Philosophy project combines philosophical talks presented by academic philosophers with original plays performed by professional actors in public forums which can take the form of restaurants, pubs, theatres, vineyards, opera houses, or other type of venue accessible to the public. Several of Edward’s authored philosophy plays have been performed at Arts and Cultural Festivals throughout Australia, including the Australian Fringe Festival and Festival Hellenica in Adelaide and the Greek Festival in Sydney. In 2004, his philosophy play, The Philosophy of Love: Love in the Age of Terror, was performed at the Sydney Opera House and in 2005 his philosophy play, The Philosophy of Freedom: Ancient Wisdom for a New World, was performed at the Museum of Sydney. In 2011, his philosophy play, Wise After the Fact, a play on the distinction between information, knowledge and wisdom, was performed for the Greek Festival of Sydney.
Edward teaches in the School of Communication and Creative Industries at Charles Sturt University in subjects on applied philosophy and professional ethics, including media and new media ethics, journalism ethics, advertising ethics, public relation ethics, theatre-media ethics and information ethics, in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. He has taught and supervised MA students in Philosophy and ICT (PSTS) in the course, Technology and the Good Life, at the University of Twente, Netherlands (2006-2009).

Scientific publications (selection)


  • Elliott, D. and Spence, E. (forthcoming) New Ethics for New Media. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell


  • Spence, E. (2014). The Advertising of Happiness and the Branding of Values. In Michael Boylan (Ed.).Business Ethics (2nd edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA: Pearson/Prentice Hall.


  • Spence, E. (2013) Wisdom and Well-being in a Technological Age Synesis: A Journal of Science, Technology, Ethics, and Policy


  • Boylan, M., Ackerman F.N., Palmer-Fernandez, G., Anderson, S.C., and Spence, E. 2012. Using Fictive Narrative to Teach Ethics/Philosophy, Teaching Ethics, Vol.12, Number 1- Fall 11.
  • Brey, P., Briggle, A. & Spence, E. (Eds.) (2012). The Good Life in a Technological Age, New York/ Oxon: Routledge. available online
  • Spence, E. (2012) Virtual Rape, Real Dignity: Meta-Ethics for Virtual Worlds. In Hallvard Fossheim, Tarjei Mandt Larsen and John Richard Sageng (Eds.) The Philosophy of Computer Games, Springer.
  • Spence, E. (2012). Deception: Playing Us False - Real people, Unreal values. In Wendy N. Wyatt and Kristie Bunton (Eds.) The Ethics of Reality TV. Continuum
  • Spence, E. (2012). Government Secrecy, the Ethics of WikiLeaks and the Fifth Estate. International Review of Information Ethics (IRIE), Special Issue on the Ethics of Secrecy.


  • Spence, E. , Alexandra, A, Quinn, A and Dunn, A. 2011. Media, Markets and Morals. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. available online
  • Spence, E. (2011) Faith in Reason: The Unity of the Right, the Good and the Good Life. In Hayden Ramsay and John Haldane (Eds.), Truth and Faith in Ethics. Exeter: Imprint Academic.'
  • Spence, E. 2011. Is Technology Good for Us? A Eudaimonic Meta-Model for Evaluating the Contributive Competence of Technologies for a Good Life. Nanoethics, 5:335–343.
  • Spence, E. 2011a. Information, Knowledge and Wisdom: Groundwork for the Normative Evaluation of Digital Information and Its Relation to the Good Life, Ethics and Information Technology, Volume 13, Number, 3, Pages 261-275.


  • Spence E. 2010. Information Ethics Without Metaphysics: A Neo-Gewirthian Approach, International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction, VOL: 6; Issue: 1; pages 1-14. ISSN: 1548-3908.
  • Spence E. 2010a. The Epistemology and Ethics of Internet Information: A Neo-Gewirthian Approach, Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society (ICES), Vol 8 No 1.
  • Spence E. 2010b. Groundwork for a Neo-Epicurean Approach to a Sustainable Good Life in a Technological World, Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics. Volume 10, Numbers, 1 and 2, Pages, 73-81.
  • Spence E. and Briggle, A. 2010. Cosmopolitanism Online: How to Build A Virtual Cosmopolis. In Charles Wankel (Ed.) Emerging Ethical Issues of Life in Virtual Worlds. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.


  • Spence E. (2009b) A Universal Model for the Normative Evaluation of Internet Information, Ethics and Information Technology, Volume, 11, Number 4, Pages 243-253.
  • Spence E. 2009a. The Epistemology and Ethics of Media Markets in the Age of Information, in Yvonne Thorhauer and Stefan Blachfellner (Eds.), Business Intelligence Meets Moral Intelligence, International Review of Information Ethics (IRIE) Vol.10 (February 2009), Issue No. 010, 45-52.
  • Spence, E. 2009. Corruption in the Media. International Journal of Applied Philosophy, Volume 22:2 – Fall 2008, pp. 231-241.
  • Spence, E. 2009a. The Epistemology and Ethics of Internet Information. In Alessandro D’Atri and Domenico Sacca (Eds.) Information Systems: People, Organizations, Institutions, and Technologies: ItAIS:The Italian Association for Information Systems. Physica-Verlag Heidelberg, pp. 305-312.


  • Spence, E. 2008. Metaethics for the Metaverse: The Ethics of Virtual Worlds. In Current Issues in Computing and Philosophy, edited by A. Briggle, K. Waelbers and P.A.E. Brey. Amsterdam: IOS. available online
  • Spence, E.H. 2008. Meta Ethics for the Metaverse: The Ethics of Virtual Worlds. In Current Issues in Computing and Philosophy, edited by A. R. Briggle, K. Waelbers and P. A. E. Brey. Amsterdam: IOS Press. available online
  • Spence, E.H. 2008. Understanding Luciano Floridi's Metaphysical Theory of Information Ethics. A Critical Appraisal and an Alternative Neo-Gewirthian Information Ethics. Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers (APA) 8 (1).
  • Spence, E.H., and A Quinn. 2008. Information Ethics as a Guide for New Media. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 23 (4):264-279. available online


  • Spence, E. 2007. Plato's Ring of Corruption. Paper read at Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Greek Research, 23-26 June 2005, at Adelaide.
  • Spence, E. 2007. Positive Rights and the Cosmopolitan Community: A Right-Centred Foundations for Global Ethics. Journal of Global Ethics 3 (2).


  • Simmons, P. and Spence, E. 2006. The Practice and Ethics of Media Release Journalism. Australian Journalism Review 28 (1):167-181.
  • Spence, E.H. 2006. Ethics within Reason: A Neo-Gewirthian Approach. Lanham (USA): Lexington Books. available online


  • Spence, E. 2005. Corruption in the Media. Paper read at Contemporary Issues in Governance: Proceedings of the GovNet Annual Conference, at Melbourne.
  • Spence, E. 2005. Philosophy Plays: A Neo-Stoic Way of Performing Public Philosophy. Paper read at Greek Research in Australia: Proceedings of the Biennial Conference of Greek Studies, at Flinders.
  • Spence, E. 2005. The Commodification of Values: What Plato and Epicurus Can Teach us about Advertising Ethics – Ancient Wisdom for a New World. Paper read at Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Corporate and Marketing Communications, at Nicosia, Cyprus.
  • Spence, E. 2005. Conflicts of Interest and Corruption in Auditing. In Ethics and Auditing, edited by T. C. a. K. Houghton. Canberra: ANU Academic Press. available online
  • Spence, E., Miller, S., and Roberts, P. 2005. Corruption and Anti-corruption: An Applied Philosophical Approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA: Pearson/Prentice Hall. available online
  • Spence, E., Van Heekeren, B. 2005. Advertising Ethics. Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA: Pearson/Prentice Hall.


  • Spence, E. 1999. A Commentary on Deryck Beyleveld’s “Gewirth and Kant on Justifying the Supreme Principle of Morality. In Gewirth, Critical Essays On Action, Rationality, And Community, edited by M. Boylan. Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. available online

Professional/Popular publications (selection)


  • Spence, E. (forthcoming) Everything That Matters: The Philosophy of Love, Freedom and Happiness. Melbourne: Nautilus Publishing.


  • Spence, E. (2012) Challenge 15: Let’s get ethical; embracing the cosmos leads to better decision-making. The Conversation,
  • Spence, E. (2012) Eudaimonia: the philosophy of happiness. Neos Kosmos Newspaper, Melbourne, January, 17, 2012.
  • Spence, E. (2012) Media Corruption. Invited article for the Philosopher’s Magazine, UK, Issue 58, 3rd Quarter.


Edward Spence’s colloquim: Collective Wisdom, Technology and Wellbeing: the Very Idea

June 12, 2014 — Prof. Ed Spence’s presentation at UT Department of Philosophy colloquia series: Collective Wisdom, Technology, and Wellbeing – The Very Idea. [more...]