University of Sheffield
Department of Philosophy
PhD
Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Areas of Interest
Applied Ethics
  •  7
    Kein scharfsinniger Unsinn, aber auch nicht einfach Unsinn (review)
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 69 (2): 331-337. 2021.
  •  14
    Acting Irrespective of Hope
    Kantian Review 25 (4): 605-630. 2020.
    Must we ascribe hope for better times to those who act morally? Kant and later theorists in the Frankfurt School tradition thought we must. In this article, I disclose that it is possible – and ethical – to refrain from ascribing hope in all such cases. I draw on two key examples of acting irrespective of hope: one from a recent political context and one from the life of Jean Améry. I also suggest that, once we see that it is possible to make sense of ‘merely expressive acts’, we can also see th…Read more
  •  3
    Was ist orthodoxe kritische Theorie?
    In Rüdiger Dannemann, Henry W. Pickford & Hans-Ernst Schiller (eds.), Der Aufrechte Gang Im Windschiefen Kapitalismus: Modelle Kritischen Denkens, Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden. pp. 141-154. 2018.
    Lukács hat einst provokativ auf seine Frage „Was ist der orthodoxe Marxismus“ geantwortet, dass er in einer bestimmten Methode bestehe. Was aber wenn wir heute fragen, worin orthodoxe kritische Theorie besteht? Meine Antwort ist hierbei nicht eine bestimmte Methode, aber dafür nicht weniger provokant. Was die kritische Theorie kritisch macht ist auch nicht – trotz der vorherrschenden Meinung – ein Begründungsprogram. Im Gegenteil, nur ohne ein Begründungsprogram ist kritische Theorie angemessen …Read more
  •  22
    Dogmatischer Dogmatismusvorwurf: Eine Replik auf Stefan Müller-Doohm und Roman Yos
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 67 (1): 42-58. 2019.
    Does theorising always presuppose a programme of justification? Does the Critical Theory of Adorno and Horkheimer do so? Do they claim it does? The answer should be a resounding ‘no’ to all three questions. In regard to the second and third question, I have sketched an argument to that effect in an earlier paper in this journal. In this paper, I offer a rejoinder to the critical reply offered by Stefan Müller-Doohm und Roman Yos on behalf of the Habermasian mainstream in Frankfurt School Critica…Read more
  •  18
    Like two heavyweight boxers exchanging punches, but neither landing the knock-out blow, Kantians and Hegelians seem to be in a stand-off on what in contemporary parlance is known as the Empty Formalism Objection. Kant's ethics is charged with being merely formal and thereby failing to provide the kind of specific guidance that any defensible ethical system should have the resources to provide. Hegel is often credited with having formulated this objection in its most incisive way, and a wealth of…Read more
  •  13
    An Unblinkered View of Best Interests
    with Wayne Martin, Elizabeth Hall, Tom O'Shea, Antal Szerletics, and Vivienne Ashley
    British Medical Journal 1 (345): 1-3. 2012.
  •  14
    In this paper, we take up two objections Raymond Geuss levels against John Rawls' ideal theory in Philosophy and Real Politics. We show that, despite their fundamental disagreements, the two theorists share a common starting point: they both reject doing political philosophy by way of applying an independently derived moral theory; and grapple with the danger of unduly privileging the status quo. However, neither Rawls' characterization of politics nor his ideal theoretical approach as response …Read more
  •  45
    Can one both be an Aristotelian in ethics and a negativist, whereby the latter involves subscribing to the view that the good cannot be known in our social context but that ethical guidance is nonetheless possible in virtue of a pluralist conception of the bad? Moreover, is it possible to combine Aristotelianism with a thoroughly historical outlook? I have argued that such combinations are, indeed, possible, and that we can find an example of them in Adorno's work. In this paper, I reply to thre…Read more
  •  8
    Can one both be an Aristotelian in ethics and a negativist, whereby the latter involves subscribing to the view that the good cannot be known in our social context but that ethical guidance is nonetheless possible in virtue of a pluralist conception of the bad? Moreover, is it possible to combine Aristotelianism with a thoroughly historical outlook? I have argued that such combinations are, indeed, possible, and that we can find an example of them in Adorno's work. In this paper, I reply to thre…Read more
  •  21
    A whole lot of misery: Adorno's negative Aristotelianism
    European Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Can one both be an Aristotelian in ethics and a negativist, whereby the latter involves subscribing to the view that the good cannot be known in our social context but that ethical guidance is nonetheless possible in virtue of a pluralist conception of the bad? Moreover, is it possible to combine Aristotelianism with a thoroughly historical outlook? I have argued that such combinations are, indeed, possible, and that we can find an example of them in Adorno's work. In this paper, I reply to thre…Read more
  •  9
    A whole lot of misery: Adorno's negative Aristotelianism
    European Journal of Philosophy 25 (2): 861-874. 2017.
    To read Adorno as a negativist Aristotelian was always going to be controversial. It is, thus, unsurprising that the common critical concern running through the three reviews assembled here is the Aristotelianism I ascribe to Adorno. I am immensely grateful for these generous and thoughtful contributions, and in what follows I will try to do justice to the concerns they raise. I focus on the ascription of Aristotelianism as the major concern, but I also discuss related and wider comments, regard…Read more
  •  22
    Was ist orthodoxe Kritische Theorie?
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 65 (3): 456-469. 2017.
    Name der Zeitschrift: Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie Jahrgang: 65 Heft: 3 Seiten: 456-469.
  •  2
    This book fills the void, making a substantial contribution not only to work on Rawls's thought but to contemporary debates in ethics and justice as well.
  •  42
    In this paper, we take up two objections Raymond Geuss levels against John Rawls′ ideal theory in Philosophy and Real Politics. We show that, despite their fundamental disagreements, the two theorists share a common starting point: they both reject doing political philosophy by way of applying an independently derived moral theory; and grapple with the danger of unduly privileging the status quo. However, neither Rawls′ characterization of politics nor his ideal theoretical approach as response …Read more
  • . 2017.
  •  282
    Consider the following objection of Bennett to Kant: The least swallowable part of Kant's whole theory of freedom is the claim that the causality of freedom is not in time. This follows from Kant's doctrine that time is an appearance, and anyway the theory of freedom needs it: it is because the noumenal cause of an event is not in time, and thus is not itself an event, that it escapes the causality of nature. Kant is unembarrassed: ‘Inasmuch as it is noumenon, nothing happens in it; there can be…Read more
  •  30
    Hidden substance: Mental disorder as a challenge to normatively neutral accounts of autonomy
    with Tom O'Shea
    International Journal of Law in Context 9 (1): 53-70. 2013.
    Mental capacity and autonomy are often understood to be normatively neutral - the only values or other norms they may presuppose are those the assessed person does or would accept. We show how mental disorder threatens normatively neutral accounts of autonomy. These accounts produce false positives, particularly in the case of disorders that affect evaluative abilities. Two normatively neutral strategies for handling autonomy-undermining disorder are explored and rejected: a blanket exclusion of…Read more
  •  161
    In this article, I argue that autonomy has to be conceived substantively in order to serve as the qualifying condition for receiving the full set of individual liberal rights. I show that the common distinction between content‐neutral and substantive accounts of autonomy is riddled with confusion and ambiguities, and provide a clear alternative taxonomy. At least insofar as we are concerned with liberal settings, the real question is whether or not the value and norm implied by an account of aut…Read more
  •  36
    Personal autonomy and mental capacity
    Psychiatry 8 (12): 465-7. 2009.
    The Mental Capacity Act 2005 has put the assessment of mental capacity for decision-making at the forefront of psychiatric practice. This capacity is commonly linked within philosophy to autonomy, that is, to the idea, or ideal, of self-government. However, philosophers disagree deeply about what constitutes autonomy. This contribution brings out how the competing conceptions of autonomy would play out in psychiatric practice, taking anorexia nervosa as a test case. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All righ…Read more
  •  23
    Editorial
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (3): 310-310. 2007.
  •  58
    Adorno's Ethics Without the Ineffable
    Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 2011 (155): 127-149. 2011.
    There is a perennial problem affecting Theodor W. Adorno’s philosophy: his theory seems to lack the resources to account for his normative claims. James Gordon Finlayson has offered an intriguing solution. He argues that within Adorno’s philosophy it is possible to access a kind of good that is suitable as a normative basis for his ethics: the good involved in the experiences of trying to have insights into the ineffable. In this paper, I show that this proposal is unsuitable both (1) as a norma…Read more
  •  13
    Autonomy's Substance
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (1): 114-129. 2017.
    © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Applied Philosophy published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for Applied Philosophy. In this article, I argue that autonomy has to be conceived substantively in order to serve as the qualifying condition for receiving the full set of individual liberal rights. I show that the common distinction between content-neutral and substantive accounts of autonomy is riddled with confusion and ambiguities, and provide a clear alternative taxonomy. At least inso…Read more
  •  12
    XIII—Ethical Critique
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3): 253-268. 2013.
    If we grant that there can be no ethical validation that is external to our own ethical outlook, does this mean that we can only engage in internal piecemeal reflection, or could we still reflect on the whole of our outlook? In this paper I argue that the latter is possible, and that it is necessary if we face an ethical outlook that is wrong as a whole
  •  135
    Review essay: Adorno's negative dialectics of freedom
    Philosophy and Social Criticism 32 (3): 429-440. 2006.
  •  31
    Ethical (Self‐)Critique
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3): 253-268. 2013.
    If we grant that there can be no ethical validation that is external to our own ethical outlook, does this mean that we can only engage in internal piecemeal reflection, or could we still reflect on the whole of our outlook? In this paper I argue that the latter is possible, and that it is necessary if we face an ethical outlook that is wrong as a whole
  •  286
    Adorno's practical philosophy: Living Less Wrongly
    Cambridge University Press. 2010.
    Adorno notoriously asserted that there is no 'right' life in our current social world. This assertion has contributed to the widespread perception that his philosophy has no practical import or coherent ethics, and he is often accused of being too negative. Fabian Freyenhagen reconstructs and defends Adorno's practical philosophy in response to these charges. He argues that Adorno's deep pessimism about the contemporary social world is coupled with a strong optimism about human potential, and th…Read more