Professor James S.J. Schwartz Schwartz (Ph.D, Wayne State University) is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy. He is author of The Value of Science in Space Exploration (Oxford University Press, 2020) and editor of The Ethcis of Space Exploration (Springer, 2016).  He actively pursues an interdisciplinary project on the philosophy and ethics of space exploration, which has points of contact with ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of science, science policy and law, and space science.  Here his work has centered on four major projects:

  • To articulate and defend the intrinsic and instrumental value of the knowledge and understanding we derive from space science.
  • To critically examine the scope of and motivation for planetary protection policies, and more broadly, to contribute to ongoing discussions surrounding the ethics of planetary protection. 
  • To outline a set of requirements for engaging in ethically permissible human space settlement.
  • To highlight the practical scarcity of space resources (such as near-Earth Asteroid resources) and to focus the space resource conversation more on issues of justice.  

Dr. Schwartz also has research interests in environmental ethics, philosophy of mathematics, and metaphysics. His publications have appeared in: Philosophia Mathematica; Environmental Ethics; Ethics & the Environment; Space Policy; Advances in Space Research; Futures; Journal of the British Interplanetary Society; International Journal of Astrobiology; AstropoliticsTheology and Science; and Acta Astronautica. He has also contributed chapters to a number of anthologies, including Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology (Oxford University Press, 2020); Human Enhancements for Space Missions: Lunar, Martian, and Future Missions to the Outer Planets (Springer, 2020); Yearbook on Space Policy 2015 (Springer, 2017); The Ethics of Space Exploration (Springer, 2016); Dissent, Revolution and Liberty Beyond Earth (Springer, 2016); Human Governance Beyond Earth: Implications for Freedom (Springer, 2015); and The Meaning of Liberty Beyond Earth (Springer 2015).


Areas of Research Interest

Ethics of Space Exploration

Space Settlement

Space Resource Exploitation

Planetary Protection and Environmental Protection in Space

Epistemic Value (the value of Knowledge and Understanding)

Areas of Teaching Interest

Ethics of Space Exploration

Space Politics

Introductory Logic

Formal Logic

Critical Reasoning

Environmental Ethics

Philosophy of Mathematics



Recent Publications (since 2017):

  • The Value of Science in Space Exploration. Oxford University Press, 2020.
  • "The Accessible Universe: On the Choice To Require Bodily Modification for Space Exploration." To appear in Human Enhancements for Space Missions: Lunar, Martian, and Future Missions to the Outer Planets, edited by Konrad Szocik. Springer, 2020.
  • "Myth-Free Space Advocacy Part IV: The Myth of Public Support for Astrobiology." To appear in Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology, edited by Kelly Smith and Carlos Mariscal. Oxford University Press, 2020.
  • "Where No Planetary Protection Has Gone Before". International Journal of Astrobiology 18 (2019): 353-361. 
  • "Mars: Science Before Settlement." Theology and Science 17 (2019): 324-331.
  • “Space Settlement: What’s the Rush?” Futures 110 (2019): 56-59.
  • "The Great Colonization Debate". With Kelly Smith, Keith Abney, et alFuture 110 (2019): 4-14.
  • "Worldship Ethics: Obligations to the Crew." Journal of the British Interplanetary Society 71 (2018): 53-64.
  • "Myth-Free Space Advocacy Part III: The Myth of Educational Inspiration." Space Policy 42 (2018): 24-32.
  • "Myth-Free Space Advocacy Part II: The Myth of the Space Frontier." Astropolitics 15 (2017): 167-184.
  • "Myth-Free Space Advocacy Part I - The Myth of Innate Exploratory and Migratory Urges." Acta Astronautica 137 (2017): 450-460.
  • "Some Ethicsal Constraints on Near-Earth Resource Exploitation." Lead author with Tony Milligan. In Yearbook on Space Policy 2015, edited by C. Al-Ekabi, C. Baranes, P. Hulsroj, and A. Lachen, pp. 227-239. Springer, 2017.

For a more complete collection of Dr. Schwartz's publications, please visit either my Academia.edu profile or my ResearchGate.net profile.


P.I., "Celebrating the Scientific Legacy of NASA and Apollo: Symposium and Student Competitions", NASA Kansas Space Grant Consortium, 2019.