Joe Bowen

Joseph’s interests are in moral, legal, and political theory. Particularly, he is interested in the nature of rights, of harm, and of wronging. His thesis examines the relationship between right-ascriptions and harmless wrongdoing. Relatedly, he has an interest in the justification and limits of defensive harming, and just war theory.

Claire Field

Claire Field is a PhD student working on normativity. She is particularly interested in normative uncertainty and ignorance in ethics and epistemology. She is supervised by Jessica Brown and Brian Weatherson, and is supported by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities.

Her paper ‘It’s OK to Make Mistakes: Against the Fixed Point Thesis’ has just become available online at Episteme.

She is currently doing an internship funded by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities in which she is collaborating with a charity called Theatre Nemo ( in their efforts to set up a Holistic Support Centre for people leaving prison. She is in the process of interviewing people and writing an article about the process of leaving prison and its effects on the self, motivation, responsibility, and reoffending.

She is also currently visiting at the University of Michigan.

Jakob Hinze

My main research interests are in the area of democratic theory, especially epistemic democracy, the relation of knowledge and political power, and the significance of disagreement in public discourse. In particular, I want to investigate if and to what extent the concept of epistemic peerhood is applicable to politics, and whether an individual’s share of the political power should hinge on that person’s amount of knowledge about public issues.

Josh Kelsall

My research interests are primarily in political and moral philosophy, and my PhD is on Trust and Public Engagement.

Tom McKenna

Tom’s main research interests are in global justice, philosophy of law and moral philosophy. He is particularly interested in understanding the relationship between harm, fault and remedial obligations with a specific focus on how—if at all—these apply within the context of global poverty. His thesis centres around the question: Do we owe the global poor more than charity?

Janis Schaab

Janis Schaab’s research primarily focuses on Kantian approaches in contemporary ethics, metaethics, and moral psychology. More specifically, his thesis explores the prospects of the view known as Kantian Constructivism, according to which the source of morality’s normativity resides in the form of our own will. Despite this rather theoretical focus, his research also branches out into more applied areas such as the nature and foundations of rights, the significance of human dignity, and the demandingness of our positive duties (e.g., duties of beneficence).

Joe Slater

Joe Slater is a final year PhD student. His research concerns the demandingness of morality: Is it problematic if a moral theory makes huge demands concerning our moral obligations, or should we expect morality to ask a lot of us? He also has an interest in effective altruism, and is a member of the Giving What We Can chapter in St Andrews.

Joe recently wrote a blog post on effective altruism.