I am a philosopher and political theorist, who joined Stirling's Philosophy department as a Lecturer in August 2019.
Before taking up this role, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Ethics in Society at Stanford University for two years. I completed my PhD at the University of Warwick in 2017 (thesis title: "Living Well by Design: An Account of Permissible Public Nudging"), and was awarded my MPhil in political theory from the University of Oxford in 2013. I first studied philosophy and politics while doing my BA (Hons) at Trinity College Dublin.
My main research interests are in political philosophy and (practical) ethics, though increasingly these interests are moving me towards exploring topics in moral psychology and social epistemology too.
My work focuses primarily on the ethics of influence, broadly understood. Within this, I've been working on: the political morality of nudging (i.e., behavioural public policy); how we might accommodate social embeddedness into our understanding of autonomy and paternalism (including some work on trust); salience and attention, and the ways in which these can be adjusted or curated for the purposes of epistemic and/or ethical ends; and the ethics and politics of “caring technologies”.
Given the close relationship between my philosophical topics and public policy, I'm keen to be involved in projects that reach beyond the academy.
I am a member of the Neuroethics Collective (based out of the University of British Columbia) and the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs (CEPPA, University of St Andrew's). I also co-edit a collaborative blog, Justice Everywhere, about philosophy in public affairs (http://justice-everywhere.org/).
Niker F & Specker Sullivan L (2018) Trusting Relationships and the Ethics of Interpersonal Action. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 26 (2), pp. 173-186. https://doi.org/10.1080/09672559.2018.1450081
Niker F, Reiner PB & Felsen G (2018) Updating our Selves: Synthesizing Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Incorporating New Information into our Worldview. Neuroethics, 11 (3), pp. 273-282. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12152-015-9246-3
Niker F, Reiner PB & Felsen G (2018) Perceptions of Undue Influence Shed Light on the Folk Conception of Autonomy. Frontiers in Psychology, 9 p. 11, Art. No.: 1400. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01400
Felsen G, Niker F & Reiner PB (2016) Pre-Authorization: A Novel Decision-Making Heuristic That May Promote Autonomy. The American Journal of Bioethics, 16 (5), pp. 27-29. https://doi.org/10.1080/15265161.2016.1159761
Since joining Stirling, I have taught on several modules, broadly covering moral and political philosophy, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
In 2019/20, this has included: lecturing on moral responsibility and John Stuart Mill's political philosophy in introductory philosophy module; teaching topics on moral psychology relating to "Humanity as an Ethical Idea"; coordinating a module on "Feminist Philosophy"; and convening the moral, political, and legal philosophy strand of a SASP MLitt seminar in which we studied Bernard Williams' "Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy".
Going forward, I intend to coordinate a module on "Global Justice" in Spring 2021, which will focus on the ethics of migration as its main topic after discussing the various theories of global justice.