Tom Cavanaugh

Thomas Cavanaugh


Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-6356 Kalmanovitz Hall 156



Professor Thomas Cavanaugh teaches medical ethics, a first-year seminar entitled What is Wisdom? (for which he received an NEH Enduring Questions grant), and, more recently, in the Honors College where he offers a course entitled Wisdom’s Lovers: Ancient and Medieval Philosophers. His most recently completed project concerns the Hippocratic Oath, which founds medicine as an exclusively therapeutic practice that especially excludes deliberately injuring patients. In 2018, Oxford University Press published his book entitled, Hippocrates’ Oath and Asclepius’ Snake: The Birth of the Medical Profession.

Cavanaugh also has a continuing project addressing agency and the moral import of intentions. In 2006, the Clarendon Press of Oxford University published his book entitled Double-Effect Reasoning: Doing Good and Avoiding Evil.

Ph. D., University of Notre Dame
A.B., Thomas Aquinas College
Medical Ethics: Hippocratic Oath, Medical Professionalism, Internal Medical Ethic
Ethics: Double-effect Reasoning, Intention-sensitive ethics, History of Ethics, Thomistic Ethics
Selected Publications

Cavanaugh, T.A. (2018). Hippocrates’ Oath and Asclepius’ Snake: The Birth of the Medical Profession. New York: Oxford University Press.

Cavanaugh, T.A. (2006). Double-Effect Reasoning: Doing Good and Avoiding Evil. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Awards & Distinctions

2015 National Endowment for the Humanities; Enduring Questions National Grant for First-Year Seminar course entitled “What is Wisdom?”

2012/2013 USF Dean’s Scholar Award