University of Sheffield
Department of Philosophy
PhD
Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Areas of Interest
Applied Ethics
  •  1179
    Adorno’s politics: Theory and praxis in Germany’s 1960s
    Philosophy and Social Criticism 40 (9): 0191453714545198. 2014.
    Theodor W. Adorno inspired much of Germany’s 1960s student movement, but he came increasingly into conflict with this movement about the practical implications of his critical theory. Others – including his friend and colleague Herbert Marcuse – also accused Adorno of a quietism that is politically objectionable and in contradiction with his own theory. In this article, I recon- struct, and partially defend, Adorno’s views on theory and (political) praxis in Germany’s 1960s in 11 theses. His oft…Read more
  •  675
    Honneth on social pathologies: a critique
    Critical Horizons 16 (2): 131-152. 2015.
    Over the last two decades, Axel Honneth has written extensively on the notion of social pathology, presenting it as a distinctive critical resource of Frankfurt School Critical Theory, in which tradition he places himself, and as an alternative to the mainstream liberal approaches in political philosophy. In this paper, I review the developments of Honneth's writing on this notion and offer an immanent critique, with a particular focus on his recent major work "Freedom's Right". Tracing the use …Read more
  •  276
    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
  •  246
    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
  •  134
    Review essay: Adorno's negative dialectics of freedom
    Philosophy and Social Criticism 32 (3): 429-440. 2006.
  •  106
    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
  •  95
    Taking reasonable pluralism seriously: an internal critique of political liberalism
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 10 (3): 323-342. 2011.
    The later Rawls attempts to offer a non-comprehensive, but nonetheless moral justification in political philosophy. Many critics of political liberalism doubt that this is successful, but Rawlsians often complain that such criticisms rely on the unwarranted assumption that one cannot offer a moral justification other than by taking a philosophically comprehensive route. In this article, I internally criticize the justification strategy employed by the later Rawls. I show that he cannot offer us …Read more
  •  85
    Mental capacity and decisional autonomy: An interdisciplinary challenge
    with Gareth S. Owen, Genevra Richardson, and Matthew Hotopf
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (1). 2009.
    With the waves of reform occurring in mental health legislation in England and other jurisdictions, mental capacity is set to become a key medico-legal concept. The concept is central to the law of informed consent and is closely aligned to the philosophical concept of autonomy. It is also closely related to mental disorder. This paper explores the interdisciplinary terrain where mental capacity is located. Our aim is to identify core dilemmas and to suggest pathways for future interdisciplinary…Read more
  •  38
  •  37
    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
  •  36
    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
  •  33
    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
  •  31
    Empty, Useless, and Dangerous? Recent Kantian Replies to the Empty Formalism Objection
    Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 63 163-186. 2011.
  •  22
    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
  •  22
    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
  •  19
    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
  •  16
    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
  •  14
    Moral philosophy
    In Deborah Cook (ed.), Theodor Adorno: Key Concepts, Acumen Publishing. 2008.
    © Editorial matter and selection, 2008 Deborah Cook. Introduction Moral philosophy used to be full of promises. In ancient times, it aimed at providing a guide to the good life that integrated moral matters with other concerns. In modern times, it set out to present a supreme principle of morality from which a full-blown system of obligations and permissions was meant to be derived, guiding or constraining our conduct. However, if Adorno is to be believed, the promises of moral philosophy have n…Read more
  •  13
    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.
  •  12
    Editorial
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (3): 310-310. 2007.
  •  11
    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
  •  10
    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
  •  8
    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
  •  6
    Brill Online Books and Journals
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (3). 2007.
  •  6
    No easy way out : Adorno's negativism and the problem of normativity
    In Stefano Giacchetti Ludovisi & G. Agostini Saavedra (eds.), Nostalgia for a Redeemed Future: Critical Theory, University of Delaware. 2009.
    In this paper, I will address a question that has long overshadowed T.W. Adorno?s critical theory, namely, the question of whether or not it is possible to account for normativity within his negativistic philosophy. I believe that we can answer this question in the affirmative, but in this paper my aim will be more limited. I will clarify the problem and lay out the response strategies that are open to those hoping to defend Adorno?s theory. And I will argue that the problem cannot be dismissed …Read more
  •  6
    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