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Dr Helen Frowe

Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

Office: CNW 38A
Office hours: Monday, 14.10 - 16.00


Helen Frowe is an inspiration for anyone striving to go far in life, and is always organised and efficient which is all you can ask for from a lecturer. Helen has also consistently provided me with the best feedback by far in my time at Kent which has really helped me to improve and to gain a first on some of my recent essays. Thanks to Helen I'm closer to being the philosopher I want to be.

Research areas: Moral and political philosophy, especially just war theory and permissible killing; bioethics; deonotological ethics.

I did my BA and MA in Philosophy at the University of Kent before undertaking a PhD investigating permissible killing at the University of Reading. My MA thesis defended the moral distinction between doing and allowing, laying the foundations for an ongoing obsession with permissible killing. I then undertook a PhD in normative ethics at the University of Reading, supervised by Brad Hooker and Andrew Williams. My PhD develops a new conception of threats and bystanders, and argues for a deontological account of permissible defence against the innocent. I spent the final part of my PhD working with Jeff McMahan at Rutgers.

After finishing my PhD, I spent three years in the Philosophy department at the University of Sheffield, first as a lecturer and then as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. I used my Leverhulme Fellowship to write a book on self-defence and war. I argue that the rules of war are extensions of the rules of self-defence, and that it is sometimes permissible to attack non-combatants in war. I spent part of this fellowship visiting the Philosophy department at Harvard. Aside from just war theory and self-defence, my research interests include deontological ethics, applied ethics (especially bioethics), political philosophy and philosophy of law.

I am the Editor of Continuum's Political Philosophy series, and on the executive committees of the British Society for Ethical Theory and the Society for Applied Philosophy. I am also the Director of Undergraduate Admissions for Philosophy at Kent.

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  • In progress: Defensive Killing: An Essay on War and Self-Defence (under contract at Oxford University Press)
  • (Forthcoming, 2012) How We Fight: Issues in Jus in Bello, Helen Frowe and  Gerald Lang (eds.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
  • (Forthcoming, 2012) ‘Non-Combatant Immunity and Non-Combatant Liability’, in Helen Frowe and Gerald Lang (eds.) How We Fight: Issues in Jus in Bello, (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
  • (2011) ‘Self-defence and the Principle of Non-Combatant Immunity’, Journal of Moral Philosophy, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 530 - 546
  • (2011) ‘Jeff McMahan', in Deen Chaterjee (ed.) Encyclopedia of Global Justice, Springer
  • (2011) The Ethics of War and Peace: An Introduction (Routledge)
  • (2011) : ‘Killing John to save Mary: A Defense of the Moral Distinction between Killing and Letting Die’, Topics In Contemporary Philosophy Vol. 7: Action, Ethics and Responsibility, Campbell, J., O’Rourke, M., Silverstein, H., (Eds.) (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), pp. 47 - 66
  • (2009) ‘A Practical Account of Self-Defence’, Law and Philosophy, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 245 - 270
  • (2009) ‘The Justified Infliction of Unjust Harm’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Vol. 109, No. 3, pp. 345 - 351
  • (2009) ‘Human value and human interest: Euthanasia in Million Dollar Baby’, in Sandra Shapshay, (Ed.), Bioethics at the Movies, (Maryland: John Hopkins University Press)
  • (2008) ‘Threats, Bystanders and Obstructors’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Vol. 108, No. 3, pp. 365 - 372
  • (2008) ‘Equating Innocent Threats and Bystanders’, Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 277 - 290
  • Forthcoming: Invited Review: Jeff McMahan, Killing in War, The Journal of Moral Philosophy,
  • (2009) Invited Review: Igor Primoratz, (Ed.) Civilian Immunity in War, Analysis Reviews, Vol. 69, No.2, April 2009, pp. 1 -2
  • (2008) Invited Review: Larry May, (Ed.) War: Essays in Political Philosophy, Notre Dame Philosophical Review, (Nov. 2008)
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Philosophy, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 827159 or email Philosophy

Last Updated: 20/12/2013