Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Patrick Tomlin

I am a Professor of Philosophy, with research and teaching interests in moral, political, and legal philosophy. I am also the Director of the Politics, Philosophy, and Law degree.


Email: patrick dot tomlin at warwick dot ac dot uk

Office Hours: In 21-22, in the first term my office hours are 2-4pm on Wednesdays. These will be online.

(NB — in weeks 2 and 3 of Term 1, my office hour will be 12-2 on Wednesday. Apologies for any inconvenience.)

If you cannot call me during that time, please email to arrange a call.

In the second term, I am on a research project and am not teaching. However, as the Director of the PPL degree, any PPL student is welcome to make an appointment. Just send me an email.


My research ranges over a variety of issues in moral, political, and legal philosophy. I have interests in distributive ethics, equality, criminal law and punishment, children and the family, the ethics of war and self-defence, and moral uncertainty. Recently I have been working on 'transferred malice' in the criminal law, issues of interpersonal aggregation in normative ethics, and proportionate violence in self-defence and war. I am writing a book on proportionality for Oxford University Press.


You can see my full CV here.

I joined Warwick in April 2018. Before that, I was at the University of Reading from 2012-2018. Prior to joining Reading, I was a PhD student and then Postdoctoral Researcher and Junior Research Fellow at Oxford. I also studied at Nottingham (undergraduate) and University College London (masters). Perhaps somewhat unusually, I have held academic jobs in three different types of academic department – politics, philosophy, and law. This is part of the reason I am excited to be leading Warwick’s new PPL degree.

I am originally from Northumberland. I now live in Oxfordshire with my partner and our two children.


I am the Director of the PPL (Politics, Philosophy, and Law) degree. We welcomed our first cohort in 2018-19, and each year since then the course, and community, has grown.


I am not teaching as much as usual in 21-22.

In the past I have taught these modules —

  • PPL (year 1)
  • Applied Ethics (honours)
  • Topics in Moral and Political Philosophy (MA)

Selected Publications

For a full list of publications, see my CV here.


  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Accidentally Killing on Purpose: Transferred Malice and Missing Victims,’ Law and Philosophy (forthcoming).
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘The Impure Non-Identity Problem,’ in Jeff McMahan, Tim Campbell, James Goodrich, and Ketan Ramakrishnan eds., Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Proportionality in War: Revising Revisionism,’ Ethics 131 (2020): 34-61.
  • Patrick Tomlin, 'Distributive Justice for Aggressors,' Law and Philosophy 39 (2020): 351-379.
  • Aart van Gils and Patrick Tomlin, ‘Relevance Rides Again? Aggregation and Local Relevance’ in Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, Volume 6 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Subjective Proportionality,’ Ethics 129.2 (2019): 254-283
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Saplings or Caterpillars? Trying to Understand Children’s Wellbeing,’ Journal of Applied Philosophy 35.S1 (2018): 29-46.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘On Limited Aggregation,’ Philosophy & Public Affairs 45.3 (2017): 232-260.
    • Honourable Mention in Gregory Kavka/UCI Prize in Political Philosophy, American Philosophical Association, 2020
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Innocence Lost: A Problem for Punishment as Duty,’ Law and Philosophy 36.3 (2017): 225-254.
  • Christian Barry and Patrick Tomlin, ‘Moral Uncertainty and Permissibility: Evaluating Option Sets,’ Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46.6 (2016): 898-923.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Should Kids Pay Their Own Way?,’ Political Studies 63.3 (2015): 663-678.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘What is the Point of Egalitarian Social Relationships?’ in Alexander Kaufman ed., Distributive Justice and Access to Advantage: G.A. Cohen’s Egalitarianism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Retributivists! The Harm Principle is not for you!,’ Ethics 124.2 (2014): 272-298
    • Winner of Berger Memorial Prize, American Philosophical Association, 2017
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Time and Retribution,’ Law and Philosophy 33.5 (2014): 655-682.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Choices, Chance and Change: luck egalitarianism over time,’ Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16.2 (2013): 393-407.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Extending the Golden Thread? Criminalisation and the presumption of innocence,’ Journal of Political Philosophy 21.1 (2013): 44-66.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘On Fairness and Claims,’ Utilitas 24.2 (2012): 200-213.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Internal Doubts about Cohen’s Rescue of Justice,’ Journal of Political Philosophy 18.2 (2010): 228-247


  • Catriona McKinnon, Robert Jubb, and Patrick Tomlin eds., Issues in Political Theory, 4th Edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).
  • Andrew Ashworth, Lucia Zedner, and Patrick Tomlin eds., Prevention and the Limits of the Criminal Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

Patrick Tomlin

Photo Credit: Stefanie Wetzel/Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften