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Patrick Tomlin

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

As well as being a member of the Philosophy Department, I am a member of Warwick's Centre for Ethics, Law and Public Affairs, which draws together moral, political, and legal theorists from different departments.

I am an Associate Editor of Philosophy & Public Affairs, and I help to run the Pea Soup website.

I no longer have a beard and will update these photos at some point.


Email: patrick dot tomlin at warwick dot ac dot uk

Office Hours: 2023-24, Term 2: by appointment (either in person or online -- email to book an appointment).

My office is S2.43Link opens in a new window in the Philosophy Department (Social Sciences Building).


My research ranges over a wide 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 written papers on 'transferred malice' in the criminal law, issues of interpersonal aggregation in normative ethics, the non-identity problem, proportionate violence in self-defence and war, who gets to parent whom, and consent under coercion.

I am writing a book on proportionality for Oxford University Press.


You can see my full CV here.Link opens in a new window

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).

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.


My teaching varies each year, but will usually involve at least some of these modules —

  • Intro to PPL (year 1)
  • Ethics (years 2 and 3)
  • Applied Ethics (years 2 and 3)
  • Topics in Moral and Political Philosophy (MA)
  • Crime and Punishment (years 2 and 3; co-taught with Victor Tadros in the Law School)
  • Principles of Political Economy: Philosophy & Politics (year 3; co-taught with Simon Caney in Politics and International Studies)

Selected Publications

For a full list of publications, see my CV here.Link opens in a new window


  • Sameer Bajaj and Patrick Tomlin, ‘Consent under Coercion: The Partial Validity Account,’ Philosophical Quarterly (forthcoming).
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘What does the Best Available Parent View Require?,’ Ethics 133.4 (2023): 573-586.
    • A discussion of Anca Gheaus's paper, 'The Best Available Parent'.
  • Patrick Tomlin, ‘Accidentally Killing on Purpose: Transferred Malice and Missing Victims,’ Law and Philosophy 41 (2022): 329-350.
  • 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, 2022).
  • 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 2

P Tomlin