Legal, moral and political philosophy | On


The Legal, Moral and Political Philosophy Research Hub is one of the three research poles of the Stirling Philosophy Unit. It functions as a center of research activity in the unit, including publications, conferences and workshops, research grants and a wide range of interdisciplinary, impact and public engagement activities.

Themes explored in this group include the nature of practical reason and normativity; the universality of moral claims and other practical claims; human rights as a legal and moral concept; the nature and purpose of rights and duties, including human rights and property rights; the relationship between regulation, paternalism and autonomy; and aspects of Aristotelian, Kantian and Humian traditions. It provides a channel through which the unit contributes to three university-wide research themes: Cultures, Communities and Society; Global security and resilience; and live well.

Developing organically from the work of its members, the cluster is the source of recent and ongoing projects on the foundations of human rights, the legitimacy of legal and political interventions, and the nature of practical reason and its relation with politics. Recent collaborative projects include:

  • Standards for the new public sphere, AHRC research project (2019-22), in collaboration with Warwick Philosophy and the Doteveryone think tank. This project investigates the opportunities and challenges that new social media pose for a well-constituted public sphere, and aims to develop a set of standards that can underpin a media policy framework suited to the Internet age. The project focuses on the relationship between three fundamental principles: a principle of epistemic value support the acquisition and sharing of knowledge; a principle of liberal autonomy protect equal rights of participation and constitute participants as an autonomous political entity; and a principle requiring an appropriate space for privacy.
  • Mind in Your Pocket (Extended Mind Technologies) Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2018-22), in collaboration with the University of British Columbia, Fordham University of New York, the University of Colorado and the University of Twente. Bringing together philosophy and neuroscience, and affiliated with the Neuroethics Collective, this project studies the neuroethical implications of the technologically extended mind. [Also part of the Mind and Knowledge cluster]

In addition, the Legal, Moral and Political Philosophy cluster recently won a number of awards supporting individual research projects, including Rights, roles and individual (British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, 2016-17). Cluster members co-edit the Justice Everywhere blog and recent collaborative publications, including Philosophical foundations of human rights (OUP 2015) and Political philosophy in times of pandemic (Bloomsbury 2021).

We have strong research links with colleagues at the University of Ghana, and cluster members play an ongoing role in Stanford University’s Coding Caring: Human Values ​​for Intimate AI. The cluster hosts the Stirling Interdisciplinary Political Philosophy Group involving colleagues in criminology, law and politics (if you are interested in participating, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

The recent doctoral students supervised within the pole have worked on the ethics of global poverty, feminist methodologies in moral philosophy, the nature and justification of rights, the foundations of liberalism, the moral responsibilities of collective agents and non- institutions. agentiales, market ethics, the nature of privacy and the human right to cultural heritage. Our research students have held academic positions at the universities of British Columbia, Leeds, McGill, Oxford, St. Gallen and Stockholm, among others.


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