The aim of this research theme is to approach issues in ethics and political philosophy via various historically-informed philosophical traditions in a way that transcends the analytic/continental divide. Recent work includes that of Gordon Finlayson on the thought of the Frankfurt School, on feminist ethics and on Agamben; Andrew Chitty on the ethical thought of Hegel and Marx, and property rights; and Anthony Booth on the ethics of belief-formation.
- The ethics of health and disease
Several members of the Department have research interests in the ethics of health and disease. These include Paul Davies’ work on the notion of a ‘good death’; Tanja Staehler’s interest in the phenomenology of pregnancy and maternity; and Katerina Deligiorgi’s interest in medical conceptions of human agency.
- Hegelian and post-Hegelian ethical and political philosophy
Hegel is known for levelling objections to the abstractness and one-sidedness of the moral philosophy of Kant and Fichte, and for arguing against the view that pure reason can be practical. In one way or another such views have shaped post-Hegelian criticisms of morality and moral philosophy, notably in Marx, Marxism, Critical Theory, and more recently in Feminist philosophy. All of these traditions have developed ideas of critical philosophy that eschew morality as their normative basis. This has given rise to numerous ongoing controversies concerning the interpretations of the philosophies of these authors, as well as the substantive issues about what kind of ethical philosophy they may or may not endorse, about the nature of philosophical criticism, and how to do political philosophy.
These issues are explored in Katerina Deligiorgi’s research on Hegel about the relation between ethics and politics, a topic which is central to Andrew Chitty’s work, and which Gordon Finlayson pursues in various articles on the Frankfurt School Critical Theorists.
- Finlayson, Gordon (2013) To the things themselves again: observations on what things are and why they matter. In: The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World. Oxford University Press, Oxford. (In Press)
- Finlayson, Gordon (2013) Women and the standpoint of the concrete other: from discourse ethics to feminist social criticism. In: Dialogue, Politics and Gender Identity. Cambridge University Press. (In Press)
- Finlayson, Gordon (2012) Morality in the basement? Problems with normative grounds in Habermas. Constellations. ISSN 1351-0487 (In Press)
- Finlayson, James Gordon and Freyenhagen, Fabian, eds. (2011) Habermas and Rawls: disputing the political. Routlege Studies in contemporary Philosophy. Routledge, London and New York. ISBN 9780415876865
- Deligiorgi, Katerina (2011) Religion, love, and law: Hegel's early metaphysics of morals. In: The Blackwell Companion to Hegel. Blackwell, United Kingdom, pp. 23-44. ISBN 9781405170765
- Deligiorgi, Katerina (2011) What a Kantian can know a priori? A defense of moral cognitivism. In: Politics and Metaphysics in Kant. University of Wales Press, Wales, pp. 153-174. ISBN 9780708323779
- Finlayson, James Gordon and Freyenhagen, Fabian (2010) Introduction: The Habermas-Rawls dispute: analysis and re-evaluation. In: Habermas and Rawls: Disputing the Political. Routledge, pp. 1-21. ISBN 978-0-415-87686-5
- Finlayson, Gordon (2010) “Bare life” and politics and in Agamben’s reading of Aristotle. Review of Politics, 72 (1). pp. 97-126. ISSN 0034-6705
- Finlayson, Gordon (2009) Morality and critical theory. On the normative problem of Frankfurt School social criticism. Telos, 146. pp. 7-41. ISSN 0090-6514
- Finlayson, James Gordon (2007) Political, moral and critical theory: on the practical philosophy of the Frankfurt School. In: The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy. Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy . Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 626-670. ISBN 978-0-19-923409-7
- Finlayson, Gordon (2005) Habermas's moral cognitivism and the Frege-Geach challenge. European Journal of Philosophy, 13 (3). pp. 319-344. ISSN 0966-8373
- Finlayson, Gordon (2005) Habermas: a very short introduction. Oxford Very Short Introductions. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780192840950