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Fabienne Peter


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.

I am a past editor of Economics and Philosophy  and a past associate editor of the Journal of Applied Philosophy.


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)

More comprehensive lists of publications are available here:


  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Ethics
  • 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

Further Links


Email: f.peter at warwick
Office: Department of Philosophy, Social Sciences Building, S2.57
Advice and feedback hours: by appointment

Twitter: @annefabpeter