I've heard a lot of cliches about writing PhDs. I'd like to say it was like climbing a mountain, or running a marathon, but really, mountain-climbing and marathon-running are over in relative moments compared with the length of time it takes to develop a dissertation. In reality, it was three and a half years of hard work and stress and procrastination and stress and hard drive failure and stress and more hard work. A lot of people helped make this thesis a reality, in ways that ranged from mentoring, brainstorming, reading, and discussing through to moral and emotional support, whip-cracking, and cups of tea.
I would like to firstly acknowledge the amazing support, wisdom, and guidance from my supervisors Professor John Weckert, Dr. Steve Matthews, and Dr. Jason Grossman. I am extremely grateful for all the time they put into helping me formulate my ideas and bring them to fruition in this dissertation. John, in particular, weathered the adventure the entire time, and his kind, relaxed, and thoughtful comments and suggestions were greatly appreciated, as was his willingness to answer silly questions at all times of day and from all corners of the globe. I do apologise for any more grey hairs though! Steve and Jason came later to the supervisory team but their thorough reading and useful comments were very welcome, especially Steve's specific help in the theory-related areas, and Jason's overall mentoring support and whip-cracking skills.
I'd also like to thank the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics for providing me with a warm, friendly, collegial atmosphere in which to work, and for the opportunities to present my ideas to fellow academics and learn more about the diverse areas of moral and applied philosophy.
A great many people read through parts of my thesis and made interesting and useful comments on various aspects. In particular I would like to thank Penelope Robinson, Peter Hardy, and David Olsen for reading through various thesis chapters, and friends on Twitter and Livejournal who engaged me on related topics. I would also like to thank my friends for coming on the journey with me, particularly my Canberra friends, Chris Corkery, Catherine Gray, Daniel Thomas, Rowan Martin-Hughes, Jason Vickery, and Wendy Jellett, who put up with me for three of the more stressful years of my life. I would also like to thank some online friends who helped me by sending me interesting related articles, and who offered their support and friendship: Aaron D., Zeke Coley, and Amanda Dean.
My parents and family were also extremely supportive throughout the time, with my parents offering not only support of all types but interesting discussion around the topics of my thesis. In particular, I would like to thank my father, Peter Flick, who eagerly discussed food manufacturing standards and various legal aspects thereof in a pertinent and interesting way. I'd also like to thank my mother, Robyn Flick, whose loving and practical nature I have always admired. Lachlan Flick helped me out immensely by designing some of the icons for the designs in Chapter 4. The rest of my family has also been fantastic the entire time, and I very much appreciate that and the interest they have taken in my studies.
Last, but not least, I would like to thank my partner, Nicholas FitzRoy-Dale. He has done almost all of the above: supported, read, commented, discussed, whip-cracked, and made extremely awesome cups of tea. Thank you, Nicholas. Without your love and support I would never have finished.
Thank you, every one of you.