Nancy Nyquist Potter

Professor of Philosophy, Core Faculty Member, Interdisciplinary MA in Bioethics & Medical Humanities, Affiliated Faculty, Division of Humanism and Ethics, Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, School of Medicine Affiliated Faculty, Department of Women and Gender Studies, and Associate with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Nancy Nyquist Potter has published extensively in feminist ethics and political philosophy as well as the interdisciplinary field of philosophy and psychiatry. Her current research is on the connections between theories of knowledge and ethics, with special attention to nosological and diagnostic issues, and on the relationship between voice, silence, and uptake, in particular for patients living with mental illness. She teaches courses ranging from Aristotle, Ethical Theory, and The Nature of Violence to Race, Gender and Mental Illness, and Philosophy of Mental Illness. She is co-Principle Investigator with Mona Gupta, M.D., Ph.D. on a CIHR grant to study types of knowing that psychiatrists draw on when making diagnoses. Her last book-length publication was a critical analysis of borderline personality disorder (Oxford University Press, 2009) and her newest book, The Virtue of Defiance and Psychiatric Engagement, is now out (Oxford University Press). Professor Potter is a past-president of the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry and continues to serve on their Executive Council, as well as on local hospital ethics committees. She is a Core Faculty Member of the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Bioethics and Medical Humanities, an Adjunct Faculty with Women and Gender Studies, and an Associate with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She also sings in the Louisville Master Chorale.