•  504
    Honneth, Butler and the Ambivalent Effects of Recognition
    Res Publica 21 (1): 43-60. 2015.
    This paper explores the ambivalent effects of recognition through a critical examination of Axel Honneth’s theory of recognition. I argue that his underlying perfectionist account and his focus on the psychic effects of recognition lead him to overlook important connections between recognition and power. These claims are substantiated through Butler’s theory of gender performativity and recognition; and issues connected to the socio-institutional recognition of transgender identities. I conclude…Read more
  •  432
    This paper examines recent forms of post-identity thought within contemporary gender theory, specifically the works of Rosi Braidotti, Elizabeth Grosz and Bobby Noble. Despite the many insights that these theories offer, I argue that they suffer from what Lois McNay has labelled ‘social weightlessness’ insofar as their models of subjectivity and agency are disconnected from the everyday realities of social subjects. I identify two ways in which this social weightlessness is manifested in radical…Read more
  •  429
    Feminist and trans perspectives on identity and the UK Gender Recognition Act’
    British Journal of Politics and International Relations 18 (3): 671-687. 2016.
    This article examines Sheila Jeffreys’ analysis of the UK’s Gender Recognition Act (GRA) and her critique of trans identities. Situating her position within a wider radical feminist perspective, I suggest that her arguments against the GRA are grounded in a problematic understanding of sex and gender. In so doing, I defend how sex and gender are understood in the GRA. Furthermore, I show that radical feminist concerns about sex reassignment surgery and the complicity of trans individuals with st…Read more
  •  385
    When Should we Regret?
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (5): 608-623. 2017.
    In this paper, I develop and defend the ‘Justified Decision Perspective’ in answer to the question of when we should regret the things we have done. I claim that one should not regret a past decision one has made so long as it was justified in relation to the kind of person one was at the time of acting. On this time-indexing account, judging a decision to be justified – at least for the purposes of assessing one’s regrets – is a matter of identifying the practical reasons that were epistemicall…Read more
  •  350
    Recognition and social freedom
    European Journal of Political Theory (1). 2022.
    In this article I describe and defend an account of social freedom grounded in intersubjective recognition. I term this the ‘normative authorisation’ account. It holds that a person enjoys social freedom if she is recognised as a discursive equal able to engage in justificatory dialogue with other social agents about the appropriateness of her reasons for action. I contrast this with Axel Honneth’s theory of social freedom, which I term the ‘self-realisation’ account. According to this view, the…Read more
  •  338
    Sexual Interactions and Sexual Infidelity
    The Journal of Ethics 25 (4): 449-466. 2021.
    This paper establishes what constitutes a sexual interaction between two or more people. It does this by first defining a sexual activity as one in which the agent intends to satisfy a sexual desire. To understand what it means to engage in a sexual activity with another person, it draws from Bratman’s account of shared collaborative activity. A sexual interaction is defined as one in which two or more people engage in a sexual activity together, with the intention of satisfying a sexual desire …Read more
  •  301
    Autonomy, age and sterilisation requests
    Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (5): 310-313. 2017.
    Sterilisation requests made by young, childfree adults are frequently denied by doctors, despite sterilisation being legally available to individuals over the age of 18. A commonly given reason for denied requests is that the patient will later regret their decision. In this paper I examine whether the possibility of future regret is a good reason for denying a sterilisation request. I argue that it is not and hence that decision-competent adults who have no desire to have children should have t…Read more
  •  279
    Authenticity, intersubjectivity and the ethics of changing sex
    Journal of Gender Studies 25 (5): 557-570. 2016.
    This paper examines how specific concepts of the self shape discussions about the ethics of changing sex. Specifically, it argues that much of the debate surrounding sex change has assumed a model of the self as authentic and/or atomistic, as demonstrated by both contemporary medical discourses and the recent work of Rubin (2003). This leads to a problematic account of important ethical issues that arise from the desire and decision to change sex. It is suggested that by shifting to a properly i…Read more
  •  218
    How should one decide whether to undergo an experience that changes who one is? In her discussion of ‘transformative experiences’, L.A. Paul argues that to choose rationally when deliberating first-personally, one should base one’s decision on ‘revelation’, i.e. to discover out what the experience will be like. If this solution is taken as the sole means by which a transformative choice is made, then I argue it is problematic. This is because (i) it overlooks the role that one’s practical identi…Read more
  •  64
    The Role of Regret in Medical Decision-making
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (5): 1051-1065. 2017.
    In this paper, I explore the role that regret does and should play in medical decision-making. Specifically, I consider whether the possibility of a patient experiencing post-treatment regret is a good reason for a clinician to counsel against that treatment or to withhold it. Currently, the belief that a patient may experience post-treatment regret is sometimes taken as a sufficiently strong reason to withhold it, even when the patient makes an explicit, informed request. Relatedly, medical res…Read more
  •  59
    Critical Phenomenology: An Introduction
    with Elisa Magri
    Polity. 2022.
    Phenomenology is one of the leading movements in twentieth-century philosophy and continues to exert a strong influence on many contemporary philosophical traditions and investigations. In recent years, phenomenological insights have been increasingly developed in relation to philosophy of illness, disability, race, gender, sexuality, and politics, leading to the emergence of critical phenomenology as a new, prominent field for interdisciplinary research. Magrì and McQueen's Critical Phenomenolo…Read more
  •  45
    A Defence of Voluntary Sterilisation
    Res Publica 26 (2): 237-255. 2020.
    Many women identify sterilisation as their preferred form of contraception. However, their requests to be sterilised are frequently denied by doctors. Given a commitment to ensuring women’s reproductive autonomy, can these denials be justified? To answer this question, I assess the most commonly reported reasons for a denied sterilisation request: that the woman is too young, that she is child-free, that she will later regret her decision, and that it will lower her well-being. I argue that thes…Read more
  •  39
  •  21
    In this book Paddy McQueen examines the role that 'recognition' plays in our struggles to construct an identity and to make sense of ourselves as gendered beings. It analyses how such struggles for gender recognition are shaped by social discourses and power relations, and considers how feminism can best respond to these issues.
  •  18
    This paper uses the concepts of slavery, citizenship, the body and political subjectivity to interrogate how gendered bodies are produced, regulated and normalised. It explores the ‘wrong body’ claim within transsexual narratives to analyse how we can be enslaved by/to our body. The coercive force of embodied existence is demonstrated by examining how gender norms act on us through our bodies, thus identifying the body as a major conduit of power. It argues that the ‘wrong body’ claim must be un…Read more
  •  6
    Key concepts in philosophy
    Palgrave-Macmillan. 2010.
    Key Concepts in Philosophy is an accessible account of philosophical concepts, theories and key thinkers with an emphasis on recent developments in the field. Containing over 300 entries, the terms are ordered alphabetically and cross referenced for ease of use. Suggestions for further reading follow the explanations, encouraging further reflection and independent learning.