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Professor Richard Norman

Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy



Richard Norman is Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy. His work has been mainly in the areas of ethics and political philosophy. His book The Moral Philosophers, which has been widely used in courses on moral philosophy, is a critical introduction to the history of ethics, leading to a defence of a form of ethical naturalism. His conception of values as grounded in shared human experience underpins his subsequent work in ethics and political philosophy. His book Free and Equal defends a radically egalitarian political philosophy which aims to reconcile the supposedly conflicting values of freedom and equality. His book Ethics, Killing and War argues for pacificism, a position which is distinct from absolute pacifism but recognises how difficult it is to provide any moral justification for war. His most recent book is On Humanism (Routledge, 2004), in which his commitment to shared human values is located within a popular exposition and defence of a non-religious outlook.

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  • Reasons for Actions: A Critique of Utilitarian Rationality, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1971.
  • Hegel's Phenomenology: A Philosophical Introduction, Sussex University Press in association with Chatto and Windus, 1976. Reprinted 1982 by Harvester Press and Humanities Press, and in 1991 by Gregg Revivals. Japanese translation 1984.
  • With Sean Sayers: Hegel, Marx and Dialectic: A Debate, Harvester Press, 1980. Reprinted by Gregg Revivals 1994.
  • The Moral Philosophers: An Introduction to Ethics, Oxford University Press, 1983. Japanese translation 1988. Korean translation 1996. Second Edition (including four new chapters) 1998.
  • Free and Equal: a Philosophical Examination of Political Values, Oxford University Press, 1987.
  • Ethics, Killing and War, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • Studies in Equality, Avebury, 1995.


  • 'Aristotle's Philosopher-God', in Phronesis Vol. XIV, 1969 (reprinted in J. Barnes, M. Schofield and R. Sorabji: Articles on Aristotle, Vol. 3, pp. 93-102, Duckworth, 1979).
  • 'On Seeing Things Differently', in Radical Philosophy, no. 1, pp. 6-13, 1972. Reprinted in R. Beehler and A. Drengson (eds.): The Philosophy of Society (Methuen, 1978), pp. 316-344.
  • 'Moral Philosophy Without Morality', in Radical Philosophy no. 6, pp. 2-7, 1973. Reprinted in Roy Edgley and Richard Osborne (eds.) Radical Philosophy Reader, Verso, 1985, pp. 234-248.
  • 'The Neutral Teacher', in Philosophers Discuss Education, edited by S.C. Brown, MacMillan, London, 1975, pp. 172-187.
  • 'On Dialectic', in Radical Philosophy, no. 14, pp. 2-9, 1976 (reprinted in Hegel, Marx and Dialectic, above).
  • 'Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others' (with Leslie Pickering Francis), in Philosophy, Vol. 53, 1978.
  • 'The Primacy of Practice: AIntelligent Idealism in Marxist Thought', in Idealism - Past and Present, the Royal Institute of Philosophy lectures for 1978-79, ed. G. Vesey, Cambridge University Press, 1982, pp. 155-179.
  • 'Self and Others: the Inadequacy of Utilitarianism' in Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume, no. 5, 1980.
  • 'Liberty, Equality, Property', in Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume LV, pp. 193-209, 1981.
  • 'Does Equality Destroy Liberty?' in Contemporary Political Philosophy, ed. K. Graham, Cambridge University Press, 1982, pp. 83-109. Reprinted in Readings in Social and Political Philosophy, ed. Robert M. Stewart (Oxford University Press, 1986); in Society and the Individual: Readings in Political and Social Philosophy, eds. Richard T. Garner and Andrew Oldenquist (Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1989); and in Studies in Equality.
  • 'Civil Disobedience and Nuclear Protest: A Reply to Dworkin', in Radical Philosophy, no. 44, pp. 24-27, 1986.
  • 'The Case for Pacifism', in Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 5, pp. 197-210, 1988. Reprinted in Applied Philosophy, ed. Brenda Almond and Donald Hill, Routledge, London, 1991, pp. 166-179.
  • 'Respect for Persons, Autonomy and Equality', in Revue Internationale de Philosophie, Vol. 43, pp. 323-341, 1989. Reprinted in Studies in Equality.
  • 'What is Living and What is Dead in Marxism?', in Analyzing Marxism: Canadian Journal of Philosophy Supplementary Volume, Vol. 15, pp. 59-80, 1989. Reprinted in Studies in Equality.
  • 'Absolutism and Nuclear Deterrence', in Cogito, Vol. 4, pp. 14-20, 1990.
  • 'Socialism, Feminism and Equality', in Peter Osborne ed., Socialism and the Limits of Liberalism, Verso, 1991, pp. 121-138. Reprinted in Studies in Equality.
  • 'Citizenship, Politics and Autonomy', in David Milligan and William Watts Miller eds., Liberalism, Citizenship and Autonomy, Avebury, 1992, pp. 35-52. Reprinted in Studies in Equality.
  • 'Equality, Needs, and Basic Income', in Philippe Van Parijs, ed., Arguing for Basic Income, Verso, 1992, pp. 141-152.
  • 'I Did it My Way: Some Thoughts on Autonomy', in Journal of Philosophy of Education, Vol. 28, pp. 25-34, 1994. Reprinted in Studies in Equality.
  • 'No End to Equality', in Journal of Philosophy of Education, Vol. 29, pp. 421-431, 1995.
  • Entries on 'Moral Absolutism', 'Autonomy in Applied Ethics', 'Ends and Means', 'Ethical Formalism', 'Political Freedom', 'Happiness', 'Liberty and Equality', 'History of Moral Philosophy', 'Prescriptivism', 'Moral Universalizability', and 'Just War' in Ted Honderich (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1995, pp.2-3, 70, 230, 251, 291-292, 332-333, 487, 586-591, 715, 887, and 905-906, ISBN 0-19-866132-0.
  • 'Interfering with Nature', in Journal of Applied Philosophy, Volume 13, Number 1, 1996, pp.1-11, ISSN 0264-3758.
  • 'Cooperation and Equality: a Reply to Pojman', in Philosophy, Volume 72, 1997, pp.137-142, ISSN 0031 8191.
  • 'Making Sense of Moral Realism', in Philosophical Investigations, Volume 20, 1997, pp.117-135, ISSN 0190 0536.
  • 'The Social Basis of Equality', in Ratio, Volume X, 1997, pp.238-252, ISSN 0034 0006, republished as Ideals of Equality, ed. Andrew Mason, Blackwell, Oxford, 1998, ISBN 0 631 20714 7.
  • 'Pacifism' (co-authored with Anne Seller), in Ruth Chadwick (ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics Vol.3, Academic Press, 1998, pp.399-413
  • 'Equality, Priority, and Social Justice', in Ratio, Volume XII, 1999, pp.178-194, ISSN 0034-0006
  • 'Applied Ethics: What is Applied to What?', in Utilitas, Volume 12, 2000, pp. 119-136, ISSN 0953-8202
  • 'Public Reasons and the "Private Language" Argument', in Philosophical Investigations, 2000, Volume 23, pp. 292-314, ISSN 0190-0536
  • 'Criteria of Justice: Desert, Needs and Equality', in Res Publica, Vol.7, 2001, pp. 115-136, ISSN 1356-4765
  • 'Pratical Reasons and the Redundancy of Motives', in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol.4, 2001, pp. 3-22, ISSN 1386-2820
  • 'Wants, Reasonsand Liberalism', in Res Publica, Vol.8, 2002, pp. 81-91, ISSN 1356-4765
  • 'Equality, Envy, and the Sense of Injustice', in Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol.19, 2002, pp. 43-54, ISSN 0264-3758
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Philosophy, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

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Last Updated: 07/07/2014