1. Social Equality

Starting from my paper:

‘Fairness, Respect, and the Egalitarian Ethos’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 27: 97-122. Download (JSTOR).

I have been attempting to develop an account of a ‘Society of Equals’ which is distinct from the type of distributive equality which at the time formed the mainstream of thinking on equality in analytic political philosophy. This approach runs through my writing on disability (three papers written over a decade, but by coincidence all published in 2009):

‘Disability Among Equals’, in Disability and Disadvantage ed K. Brownlee and A. Cureton, Oxford University Press 2009, pp 114-137. Download as Word File

‘Disability, Status Enhancement, Personal Enhancement, and Resource Allocation’, Economics and Philosophy 2009 25: 49-68. Download

‘Cognitive Disability in a Society of Equals’, Metaphilosophy 2009 40: 402-15. Download

It is explored in several other papers on equality, including:

‘Fairness, Respect and the Egalitarian Ethos Revisited’, Journal of Ethics 2010 Download

‘Scanlon on Material and Social Inequality’, Journal of Moral Philosophy Download

And three more that are forthcoming:

‘Social Equality and Social Inequality’, in Social Equality: Essays on What It Means to be Equals eds. Carina Fourie, Fabian Schuppert, and Ivo Wallimann-Helmer, Oxford University Press.

‘Political Philosophy and the Real World of the Welfare State’, Journal of Applied Philosophy

‘Social Equality and Relative Poverty’, in The Equal Society ed George Hull



A short book, for Norton Press, in their Global Ethics series, in conjunction with Amnesty International, was published in 2012, with a paperback edition in 2013.

HRH cover

Further papers include:

‘The Content of the Human Right to Health’, in The Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights, ed. Rowan Cruft, Matthew Liao, and Massimo Renzo, Oxford University Press. Forthcoming

‘The Demands of the Human Right to Health’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society: Supplementary Volume 2012 Vol 86, pp. 217-237. Download

‘The Human Right to Health’, in Global Health Ethics ed S. Benatar and G. Brock, Cambridge University Press. Cambridge University Press 2011.


EPP cover

This book, published by Routledge in May 2011, brings together published and unpublished work in a number of areas of public policy, such as the regulation of drugs, animal experimentation, gambling, and the regulation of safety. The point of the book is not only to shed light on these areas, but also to consider the appropriate methodology for connecting philosophy and public policy. For a review in NDPR click here. Among other things it builds on my AHRC Project, running for four years, on The Ethics of Risk, which in turn was a successor to work conducted for the Railway industry on the puzzle of why it is that the railways in the UK have generated such a poor reputation for safety when by all statistical measures the risk of death or injury when travelling by train is very low indeed, especially when compared to travelling by road. My initial discussion of this issue is contained in a report, written in 2002, called:

Railway Safety and the Ethics of the Tolerability of Risk. Download

Further papers on the topic are:

‘The Moral Problem of Risk Imposition: A Survey of the Literature’ (with Madeleine Hayenhjelm) European Journal of Philosophy. (2012) Download

‘Five Types of Risky Situation’ Law Technology and Innovation 2011 (2) 151-163 

‘What is the Value of Preventing a Fatality?’ in Risk: Philosophical Perspectives ed Tim Lewens, Routledge 2007. Download as Word File

‘Risk, Fear, Blame, Shame and the Regulation of Public Safety’, Economics and Philosophy 2006 Download (Open Access)


This work, primarily with Shepley Orr, is a continuation of the Ethics of Risk project. So far it has led to:

‘Reconciling Cost-Effectiveness with the Rule of Rescue: The Institutional Division of Moral Labour’ with Shepley Orr, Theory and Decision 2014. Download (Open Access)

‘Evaluating interventions in health: a reconciliatory approach’, with S. Edwards, S. Richmond, S. Orr, and G. Rees. Bioethics, 2012 26 (9), 455-463. Download

 A report on value-based pricing commissioned by Pfizer:

‘What Values Should Count in HTA for New Medicines Under Value Based Pricing in the UK?’ with Shepley Orr and Stephen Morris, Download

A report for UK Government:

Cross Sector Weighting and the Values of QALYs and VPFs: A Report for the Inter-Departmental Group on the Valuation of Life and Health, with Shepley Orr. (2009)Download


Disad cover

(With Avner de-Shalit, Political Science, Hebrew University) How should we understand the nature of disadvantage? How can societies identify the least advantaged? What policies should they adopt to deal with disadvantage? The resulting book, Disadvantage, was published by Oxford University Press, in May 2007, with a paperback edition in 2013. A transcript of an introduction to the project, delivered at the launch of the Oxford Centre for the Study of Social Justice is available here.

Further papers on the topic include:

‘On Fertile Functionings: A Response to Martha Nussbaum’, with Avner de-Shalit, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 2013 Vol 14, pp. 161-165. Download

‘The Apparent Asymmetry of Responsibility’ (with Avner de-Shalit) in Responsibility and Distributive Justice ed. C. Knight and Z. Stemplowska, Oxford University Press 2011, pp. 216-229.


The Centre For Philosophy, Justice and Health is a partnership between many UCL departments, including Philosophy, Political Science, Laws, the Medical School, and Epidemiology. Its main aim is to provide a UCL based focus for research into distributive justice and health, through conferences, workshops, papers, public engagement and teaching. Further Details



This is an ad hoc workshop series I co-ordinated for about 10 years, but has probably run its course, involving an international and inter-disciplinary group of researchers loosely based around the website The Equality Exchange all of whom are interested in how broadly egalitarian political philosophy and public policy decision-making may interact and shed light on each other. The first workshop took place over two days hosted by UCL’s School of Public Policy in April 2003 and many others have followed in London. Further workshops took place in Harvard in April 2004, May 2006, and May 2008 on Human Rights (all organised by Mathias Risse) and in Stanford in September 2006 (organised by Debra Satz). In 2009, one workshop took place in Dublin in May (organized by Jurgen De Wisplaeare) and one in Namibia in August, co-organised with Mark Hannam. This latter conference led to the publication Southern Africa: 2020 Vision. A further meeting took place in Frankfurt in January 2012, organised by Christian Schemmel, and another took place in London in September 2013, organsied by James Wilson and Laura Valentini. Further Details