I’m a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick, specialising in moral and political philosophy and in social epistemology, including political epistemology. I served as Head of Department from 2017 to 2020. Before coming to Warwick, I have held positions at Harvard University and at the University of Basel. I’ve also held visiting positions at the Research School of Social Sciences at ANU and the Murphy Institute at Tulane University.
My main philosophical contributions to date are in political philosophy and social and political epistemology. I have also published on the philosophy of economics and on health equity. More recently, I have started to work on issues in moral philosophy, especially meta-ethics and moral epistemology.
I have written extensively on political legitimacy. I am interested in the question of what, if anything, justifies democracy. I have published a book on Democratic Legitimacy and I am the author of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on “Political Legitimacy”.
One of my current research projects focuses on the normative foundations of conceptions of political legitimacy. I started this project when I held a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship in 2010/11. A key question this project explores is how expertise bears on the justification of political decisions. The project has led to papers on a range of topics in political epistemology (see my list of publicationsLink opens in a new window). I’m currently consolidating this line of research by writing a book on The Grounds of Political Legitimacy.
Relatedly, I’m also currently involved in an AHRC-funded collaborative research project on Norms for the New Public SphereLink opens in a new window. The project explores the norms that can underpin the regulation of social media platforms in relation to their increasingly important role in political debate.
Another cluster of research projects focuses on issues in meta-ethics and in social epistemology. This strand of my research focuses on reasons for action and for belief, and on questions such as the following. How much trust in our epistemic capacities and in our moral capacities is warranted? How should we respond to disagreements, including to political disagreements? Are reasons fundamental normative facts?
Recent Publications (full list)
- 'Epistemic Norms of Political Deliberation.' In Michael Hannon and Jeroen de Ridder (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology. New York: Routledge, 2021, pp. 395 – 406.
- 'Truth and Uncertainty in Political Justification.' In Elizabeth Edenberg and Michael Hannon (eds.) Political Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021, pp. 64 - 75.
- 'The Grounds of Political Legitimacy.' Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6(3): 372 - 390, 2020 (penultimate version).
- 'Normative Facts and Reasons.' Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 119(1): 53 - 75, 2019.
- 'Epistemic Self-Trust and Doxastic Disagreements'. Erkenntnis 84: 1189–1205, 2019.
More comprehensive lists of publications are available here:
- Fabienne Peter publications
- Academia pageLink opens in a new window
- Google Scholar pageLink opens in a new window
- PhilPapers profileLink opens in a new window
- Introduction to Philosophy
- Contemporary Political Philosophy
- Moral Epistemology
- Philosophy of Social Science
- Philosophy and Economics (with Peter Hammond)
- Topics in Moral and Political Philosophy (MA module)
- Democratic Legitimacy and Justification (MA module, with Matthew Clayton)
Public Writing, Interviews, and Podcasts
- Interview by Daniele Lorenzini and Federico Testa on Biopolitics and Democracy (April 2022)
- Article in The New Statesman on “Can Authoritarianism Ever be Justified?" (August 2021)
- Blog post for Warwick Knowledge Centre on “The Experts are Back – But How Much Political Power Should Experts Have?Link opens in a new window” (March 2020)
- Blog post at Open for Debate on “Political Debate in the Digital AgeLink opens in a new window” (February 2020)
- InterviewLink opens in a new window with Lisa Bortolotti on Norms for the New Public SphereLink opens in a new window research project (December 2019)
- Article in The Conversation on social media rules for influential politicians (July 2019)
- Interview by Richard Marshall at 3:16 am (April 2018)
Filmed interview on the grounds of political legitimacy by Luc Foisneau, CNRS (May 2017)
Blog post at Philosophers' Magazine on the 2017 general election (May 2017)
- Video of a public debate in Opatija on "Democracy or Decision-making by Experts"? (June 2016)
- Blog post at The Forum on "Democracy or Decision-making by Experts"? (2016)
- Podcast of panel discussion at LSE: Is Politics based on Morality? (2015)
- Podcast interview (in German) about my article 'The Human Right to Political Participation' (2014)
- Postcast interview about my book Democratic Legitimacy by Robert Talisse at New Books in Philosophy (2011)
Email: f.peter at warwick
Office: Department of Philosophy, Social Sciences Building, S2.57
Advice and feedback hours: by appointment