B.Ed., MA, Ed.D, DPhil



DPhil, University of Oxford, 1985.

Ed.D, University of British Columbia, 1980.

MA, University of British Columbia, 1976.

B.Ed., University of British Columbia, 1974.

"Philosophy asks the most fundamental questions about the nature of reality and how we ought to live, including questions about what we ought to value."


Yolande Westwell-Roper (DPhil, University of Oxford, 1985) was born and raised in North Vancouver. She began her formal training in philosophy at the University of British Columbia and completed it at Oxford University in England. She is a moral philosopher with a wide range of interests including metaphysics and epistemology, social and political philosophy, philosophy of religion, philosophy of education and biomedical ethics.

Before coming to Capilano University, Westwell-Roper taught philosophy at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Oxford University, Kwantlen College (now Polytechnic University) and Langara College. She also taught in the faculty of education at the University of British Columbia, and in other BC schools. She was the first woman in Vancouver to work full-time in a permanent, post-secondary philosophy position.

For many of her years at CapU, Westwell-Roper has coordinated the Philosophy department. She has sat on numerous hiring committees for faculty and administrative appointments. For three years while teaching at CapU, she sat on the Ethics Committee at Lions Gate Hospital.

Westwell-Roper's husband, Andrew, also completed his doctorate in philosophy at Oxford and works in Vancouver's high-tech industry. They have one daughter who has a combined MD/PhD from UBC. Westwell-Roper's main hobby, apart from cooking and keeping fit, is closely connected to her job, namely philosophical reading and inquiry. That's an interest she acquired from her father at a young age.

I have taught the big philosophical questions to undergraduates for over four decades. I find students are naturally interested in philosophical questions if the questions are explained clearly as issues that make an enormous difference to how they think and feel about the world.

So far at CapU, I have taught Phil 101 (Ethics), 102 (Knowledge and Reality), 110 (Critical Thinking), 117 (Philosophy of Religion), 200 (Political Philosophy: Classic Theories), 201 (Political Philosophy: Problems and Issues), 207 (Business Ethics), 209 (Biomedical Ethics), 301 (Ethics and the Meaning of Life) and 401 (Morality and Global Justice).

My interests include the moral point of view, the possibility of moral facts, the free-will problem, the nature of religious belief, meaning in life, personal autonomy and issues in applied ethics, especially those related to paternalism, justice, politics, education and medicine.


Westwell-Roper, Yolande. Review of Perspectives on AIDS: Ethical and Social Issues, ed. C. Overall and W.P. Zion, Oxford University Press, 1991. In Dialogue (Journal of the Canadian Philosophical Association). 33.1: 172-176, 1994.

Westwell-Roper, Yolande. Review of The Last Choice: Preemptive Suicide in Advanced Age, by C.G. Prado, Greenwood Press, 1990. In Dialogue (Journal of the Canadian Philosophical Association) 31.4: 727-729, 1992.

Westwell-Roper, Yolande. Autonomy and Paternalism, DPhil Thesis, University of Oxford, 1985.


I have presented philosophy lectures in over 250 teaching sections.

Thirty Year Certificate of Service, Capilano University, 2018.

Paid Educational Research Leave, Capilano University, 2007-09.

University Fellowship, University of British Columbia, 1978-79.

Teaching Fellowship, University of British Columbia, 1976-78.

Knights of Columbus Fellowship, University of British Columbia, 1967-68.