Most of my scholarship sits at the intersection of philosophy, literature and economics. I am particularly interested in late 18th Century authors like Adam Smith and Mary Wollstonecraft and the relationship between their work and conduct literature, the novel and the rise of the middle class. I also spend considerable time thinking about neoliberalism, free markets, bureaucracy and organizations. When that gets to be too much I work on phenomenological approaches to uncanny robots and modern tech in literature and pop culture. 

I received my PhD in philosophy from Fordham University, NY, an MA in literary theory from Leuven University, and an MBA from Babson College, MA.


My areas of expertise: philosophy in/and literature, business ethics, philosophy of economics. Current project:

Self-help, corporate feminism and 18th C conduct manuals - Bestselling self-help books promising female empowerment and professional success are much more popular than the feminist tracts critiquing them. While radical feminists write off the chart-toppers in the genre as “corporate,” “neoliberal” or simply “faux” feminism, the authors of the widely read self-help genre offer an appealing message: women can be ambitious without making people (too) uncomfortable as long as they follow a set of rules. This project proposes a fresh approach to “corporate feminism” by tracing this discomfort with female ambition back to its roots in early commercial society when many of the rules for proper feminine behavior that still hold today were formulated quite explicitly in the so-called “conduct literature.” 


At Tilburg U I teach courses at both in the BA program and at the MA level where coordinate the Philosophy MA track "Ethics of Business and Organization." Much of my teaching is interdisciplinary, applying rigorous philosophical thinking to (contemporary) issues in business, economics, politics, science and pop culture. I most enjoy seminar-style courses in which active collaboration and lively debate are front and center. 

Before coming to TiU, I taught philosophy courses at Fordham U (a large university in NYC), Centre College (a small liberal arts college in Kentucky), and Babson College (an internationally oriented business school in the Boston area).  Faced with political turmoil, “fake news,” and scientific innovation, students today need plentiful opportunity to develop critical thinking skills. I believe that engagement with philosophical thought is crucially important to the education of independent, creative minds ready to take on complex problems. 


Recent publications

  1. "Each of us is indeed alone:" Vulnerability in In Search of Lost Time

    Slegers, R. (2022). "Each of us is indeed alone:" Vulnerability in In Search of Lost Time. In A. Elsner, & T. Stern (Eds.), The Proustian Mind Routledge.
  2. Infamous Monster Women - Siren Mythology and the Case of Elizabeth Ho…

    Slegers, R. (2022). Infamous Monster Women: Siren Mythology and the Case of Elizabeth Holmes. Ethical Perspectives, 29(1), 115-137.
  3. Privacy en surveillance

    Slegers, R. (2022). Privacy en surveillance. In Ethisch zakendoen (pp. 197-209). LannooCampus.
  4. The Ethics and Economics of Middle Class Romance - Wollstonecraft and…

    Slegers, R. (2021). The Ethics and Economics of Middle Class Romance: Wollstonecraft and Smith on Love in Commercial Society. The Journal of Ethics, 25(4), 525-542.
  5. Meedogenloos glimlachen op weg naar economisch succes: - Advies uit d…

    Slegers, R. (2020). Meedogenloos glimlachen op weg naar economisch succes: Advies uit de 18de eeuw voor de (zaken)vrouw van vandaag. Ethiek & Maatschappij, 22(1-2), 57-74.

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