Skip to main content

Richard Rowland

I completed my PhD in Philosophy in 2013 at the University of Reading. My PhD thesis, The Normative and the Evaluative: A Defence of the Buck-Passing Account of Value, dealt with normativity and value, specifically with the relationship between normative reasons and value. I argued that all forms of goodness and value should be analysed in terms of reasons for pro-attitudes. I have published a couple of pieces on this topic, namely Richard Rowland (2013). Wrong Kind of Reasons and Consequences. Utilitas 25 (3):405-416 and Richard Rowland (2011). Why Pass Every Buck? On Skorupski's Buck-Passing Account of Normativity. Ratio 24 (3):340-348. And I have several other publications on this topic in the mix.

I have also published on topics in meta-ethics and normativity more generally; Richard Rowland (2013). Moral Error Theory and the Argument From Epistemic Reasons. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 7 (1):1-24.

Research Interests

My current research interests are in Meta-ethics and Political Philosophy. For the past year I have been presenting and tweaking a paper in which I argue that a widely held view about distributive justice, which is central to luck egalitarianism, according to which responsibility and choice play an ineliminable role in the requirements of distributive justice is misguided. I undermine the arguments for believing the view that responsibility matters for distributive justice and show that we should not believe that it is justified by default. Following on from this paper I hope to develop a more positive view about the requirements of distributive justice and develop further positive arguments against the view that responsibility and choice matter for distributive justice.

I am also developing a view in meta-ethics which I call quietist constructivism. According to this view the correctness of moral claims is determined by what the best moral arguments hold we ought to do. I'm arguing that the problems with this view, such as problems about convergence can be easily overcome, and that quietist constructivism avoids the problems with all other meta-ethical views

Teaching and Supervision

This term I am teaching the 2nd/3rd/4th year course Applied Ethics, and part of the first year Introduction to Philosophy course. Next term I am teaching the 2nd/3rd/4th year Feminism course.

I am currently supervising students in applied ethics. And will happily supervise students on topics in meta-ethics, normativity more generally (including epistemic normativity), political philosophy, feminism, and ethics.