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Patrick Tomlin

I work in moral, political, and legal philosophy, and am the Director of the Politics, Philosophy, and Law degree.


Email: patrick dot tomlin at warwick dot ac dot uk

Office Hours: Currently, I am available to talk to students on the phone or Skype.


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. Most 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 Oxford with my partner and our two small children.


I am the Director of the new PPL (Politics, Philosophy, and Law) degree. I think this is a wonderful new addition to Warwick’s offering of interdisciplinary degrees. We welcomed our first cohort in 2018-19, and look forward to building the degree and PPL community over the next few years.


At the moment I teach on the following 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, ‘Proportionality in War: Revising Revisionism,’ in Ethics (forthcoming).
  • Patrick Tomlin, 'Distributive Justice for Aggressors' in Law and Philosophy (forthcoming).
  • 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’ in Ethics 129.2 (2019): 254-283
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Saplings or Caterpillars? Trying to Understand Children’s Wellbeing’ in Journal of Applied Philosophy 35.S1 (2018): 29-46.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘On Limited Aggregation’ in 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’ in Law and Philosophy 36.3 (2017): 225-254.
  • Christian Barry and Patrick Tomlin, ‘Moral Uncertainty and Permissibility: Evaluating Option Sets’ in Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46.6 (2016): 898-923.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Should Kids Pay Their Own Way?’ in 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!’ in Ethics 124.2 (2014): 272-298
    • Winner of Berger Memorial Prize, American Philosophical Association, 2017
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Time and Retribution’ in Law and Philosophy 33.5 (2014): 655-682.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Choices, Chance and Change: luck egalitarianism over time’ in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16.2 (2013): 393-407.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Extending the Golden Thread? Criminalisation and the presumption of innocence’ in Journal of Political Philosophy 21.1 (2013): 44-66.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘On Fairness and Claims’ in Utilitas 24.2 (2012): 200-213.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Internal Doubts about Cohen’s Rescue of Justice’ in 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