Department of Philosophy

Ethics and political philosophy

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.

Faculty members in this group include Anthony BoothAndrew Chitty, Paul Davies, Katerina Deligiorgi, Gordon Finlayson and Tanja Staehler. Browse the headings below to explore their work.

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.

Relevant publications