Dr Lubomira Radoilska

Deputy Head of School (Strategy)
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy


Dr Lubomira Radoilska has published widely on issues, such as reasons, autonomy and action, belief and trust. She is the author of Addiction and Weakness of Will (Oxford University Press, 2013) and editor of Autonomy and Mental Disorder (Oxford University Press, 2012). Her research has attracted major awards, most recently a Newton Advanced Fellowship by the British Academy (2018-2020) and a Mind Association Fellowship (2016-2017). 

She is Associate Editor of Ethical Theory and Moral Practice and SWIP-UK Executive Committee Member co-ordinating the BPA/SWIP Mentoring Scheme. 

Research interests

Lubomira’s main research interests are in ethics, philosophy of action and epistemology. She works on issues at the intersection of responsibility, reasons and agency (epistemic and practical). 

Her current projects include 'EIRA: Epistemic Injustice, Reasons and Agency', with Veli Mitova at the University of Johannesburg; and 'NABC: Norms of Action and Belief in the Clinic', with Regent Lee, VBP Collaborating Centre, St Catherine's College, University of Oxford.   


Lubomira teaches courses in philosophy of mind and action, ethics and political philosophy.



  • Lee, R. et al. (2018). A Novel Theoretical Framework to Address the Gap Between Universal Guidelines and International Variation in the Threshold for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Surgery. Annals of Vascular Surgery [Online] 53:275-277. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2018.05.046.
  • Ceva, E. and Radoilska, L. (2018). Responsibility for Reason-Giving:The Case of Individual Tainted Reasoning in Systemic Corruption. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice [Online]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007%2Fs10677-018-9950-2.
    The paper articulates a new understanding of individual responsibility focused on the exercise of agency in reason-giving rather than intentional actions or attitudes towards others. Looking at how agents make sense of their actions also allows us to identify a distinctive space for assessing individual responsibility within the context of collective actions, which so far has remained underexplored. We concentrate as a case in point on reason-giving that occurs when individuals engage in necessarily less-than-successful rationalisations of their involvement in a shared practice, like systemic corruption.
  • Radoilska, L. (2017). Aiming at the truth and aiming at success. Philosophical Explorations [Online] 20:111-126. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13869795.2017.1287297.
    This paper explores how the norms of belief relate to the norms of action. The discussion centres on addressing a challenge from positive illusions stating that the demands we face as believers aiming at the truth and the demands we face as agents aiming at success often pull in opposite directions. In response to this challenge, it is argued that the pursuits of aiming at the truth and aiming at success are fully compatible and mutually reinforcing. More specifically, the link between the two takes the form of a two-way connection. In addition to succeeding in virtue of getting it right, it is normatively appropriate to get it right in virtue of succeeding. This two-way connection thesis is supported by a wide scope reading of how the truth norm of belief may be satisfied. On this reading, believing p is permissible both as a result of settling the question of whether p in light of the available evidence and as a result of engaging a believer’s agency in making it the case that p
  • Radoilska, L. and Fletcher, K. (2016). Lessons from Akrasia in Substance Misuse: a Clinicophilosophical Discussion. BJPscyh Advances [Online] 22:234-241. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1192/apt.bp.115.014845.
    This article explores the philosophical concept of akrasia, also known as weakness of will, and demonstrates its relevance to clinical practice. In particular, it challenges an implicit notion of control over one’s actions that might impede recovery from substance misuse. Reflecting on three fictional case vignettes, we show how philosophical work on akrasia helps avoid this potentially harmful notion of control by supporting a holistic engagement with people for whom substance misuse is a problem. We argue that such engagement enhances their prospects of recovery by focusing on agency over time, as opposed to individual lapses.
  • Radoilska, L. (2015). Weakness of Will. Oxford Bibliographies Online: Philosophy [Online]. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0111.
    Weakness of will, or akrasia, is an exciting issue at the heart of moral psychology and the philosophy of mind and action. This articleoffers a problem-centered guide to the relevant literature in contemporary analytic philosophy with reference to the main classical texts. The topics covered include: contemporary versus classical conceptions of akrasia, the possibility of weakness of will and its significance within instrumental and substantive theories of practical rationality, the nature of akratic actions and akratic attitudes, and the plausibility of a theoretical counterpart of weakness of will, such as epistemic akrasia.
  • Radoilska, L. (2014). Immigration, Interpersonal Trust and National Culture. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy [Online] 17:111-128. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13698230.2013.851486.
    This article offers a critical analysis of David Miller’s proposal that liberal immigration policies should be conceptualized in terms of a quasi-contract between receiving nations and immigrant groups, designed to ensure both that cultural diversity does not undermine trust among citizens and that immigrants are treated fairly. This proposal fails to address sufficiently two related concerns. Firstly, an open-ended, quasi-contractual requirement for cultural integration leaves immigrant groups exposed to arbitrary critique as insufficiently integrated and unworthy of trust as citizens. Secondly, the focus on national culture instead of citizenship obfuscates the close link between political membership and political trustworthiness. An examination of two models of interpersonal trust, affective and cognitive, shows that there is no room for the mid-way position associated with a quasi-contract. The effect of grounding political trust in a shared national culture instead of democratic institutions is to normalize the domination of immigrants and citizens alike.
  • Radoilska, L. (2012). Akrasia and Ordinary Weakness of Will. Tópicos [Online] 43:25-50. Available at: http://topicos.up.edu.mx/topicos/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/TOP43_radoilska_aristoteles_akrasia.pdf.
    This article offers an account of akrasia as a primary
    failure of intentional agency in contrast to a recent account
    of weakness of will, developed by Richard Holton,
    that also points to a kind of failure of intentional agency
    but presents this as both separate from akrasia and more
    fundamental than it. Drawing on Aristotle’s work, it is
    argued that the failure of intentional agency articulated
    by the concept of akrasia is the central case, whereas the
    phenomenon Holton’s account is after, referred to as ‘ordinary
    weakness of will’, is best understood as an unsuccessful
    a?empt to tackle akrasia and, more specifically, a
    secondary failure of intentional agency.
  • Radoilska, L. (2010). An Aristotelian Approach to Cognitive Enhancement. Journal of Value Inquiry [Online] 44:365-375. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10790-010-9233-1.
    There is an underlying tension between the notion of cognitive enhancement and the idea that knowledge presupposes creditable agency. By drawing on an Aristotelian theory of action, it becomes clear that cognition is routinely considered as a human activity susceptible to kinds of appraisal, to which mere physiological processes, such as digestion, are not. In essence, we appreciate knowledge as a distinctive achievement. It includes good epistemic outcomes that are also epistemically creditable, as opposed to others that, although attributable to an epistemic agent, are, nevertheless, epistemically null.
    In contrast, the term “cognitive enhancement” is related primarily to physiological and, more specifically, neuronal processes. It covers various medical techniques, including pharmacological interventions, brain stimulation and genetic manipulation that can modify neuronal functions and, possibly, convey certain epistemic benefits.1 Examples are prolonged attention span and memory retention. As a result, the issue of cognitive enhancement is typically addressed within its dedicated field of neuroethics.2 Considerations of distributive justice, such as fair access to enhancing procedures often come to the forefront of the discussion.3 Further concerns pertain to prospective effects on personal identity and individual freedoms.4 Although such concerns will not be directly addressed in the following discussion, their relevance to the existing debate will be indicated in conclusion.
    The following analysis builds upon an Aristotelian theory of action as applied to epistemic pursuits.5 In this respect, it shares some background assumptions with virtue epistemology, such as a general understanding of knowledge as an apt, creditable performance.6 This, however, does not confine the conclusions to this particular theory of knowledge. They are consistent with any theory, which distinguishes between the successful exercise of someone’s intellectual abilities and sheer epistemic luck.
  • Radoilska, L. (2009). Public Health Ethics and Liberalism. Public Health Ethics [Online] 2:135-145. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/phe/php010.
    This paper defends a distinctly liberal approach to public health ethics and replies to possible objections. In particular, I look at a set of recent proposals aiming to revise and expand liberalism in light of public health's rationale and epidemiological findings. I argue that they fail to provide a sociologically informed version of liberalism. Instead, they rest on an implicit normative premise about the value of health, which I show to be invalid. I then make explicit the unobvious, republican background of these proposals. Finally, I expand on the liberal understanding of freedom as non-interference and show its advantages over the republican alternative of freedom as non-domination within the context of public health. The views of freedom I discuss in the paper do not overlap with the classical distinction between negative and positive freedom. In addition, my account differentiates the concepts of freedom and autonomy and does not rule out substantive accounts of the latter. Nor does it confine political liberalism to an essentially procedural form.
  • Radoilska, L. (2008). Truthfulness and Business. Journal of Business Ethics [Online] 79:21-28. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-007-9388-2.
  • Radoilska, L. (2003). La sexualité à mi-chemin entre l'intimité et le grand public. Cités [Online] 15:31-42. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3917/cite.015.0031.


  • Radoilska, L. (2013). Addiction and Weakness of Will. [Online]. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199641963.do.
    The way in which society views addiction underlies how it treats, understands, blames, or even punishes those with addictive behaviours.

    This thought-provoking new book presents an original philosophical analysis bringing together addiction and weakness of will. Within the book, the author develops an integrated account of these two phenomena, rooted in a classical conception of akrasia as valuing without intending and at the same time intending without valuing. This fascinating and suggestive account addresses a number of paradoxes faced by current thinking about addiction and weakness of will, in particular the significance of control and intention for responsible action.

    Addiction and Weakness of Will makes an original contribution to central issues in moral psychology and philosophy of action, including the relationship between responsibility and intentional agency, and the nature and scope of moral appraisal. The book is valuable for philosophers, ethicists and psychiatrists with an interest in philosophy.
  • Radoilska, L. (2007). L’Actualité d’Aristote en morale. [Online]. Paris, France: Presses Universitaires de France. Available at: http://www.puf.com/Autres_Collections:L%27actualit%C3%A9_d%27Aristote_en_morale.

Book section

  • Radoilska, L. (2014). Autonomy in Psychiatric Ethics. in: Sadler, J., van Staden, G. W. and Fulford, K. W. M. eds. The Oxford Handbook of Psychiatric Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 354-371. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198732365.013.27.
    This chapter explores four kinds of skepticism about autonomy in general and its applicability to psychiatric ethics in particular. It is argued that although there are valuable lessons to be learnt from each of these skeptical challenges, their overall contribution is best understood in terms of friendly correctives to an autonomy-centered normative and conceptual framework instead of viable alternatives to it. The first four sections each provide a logical reconstruction of a distinct skeptical line of reasoning about autonomy and expand on its implications for psychiatric ethics: skepticism about personal autonomy; skepticism about autonomy as an agency concept; vulnerability-grounded skepticism about autonomy; and paternalism-friendly skepticism about autonomy. The fifth section identifies and explores the underlying presuppositions that motivate the previously discussed forms of skepticism about autonomy, and the sixth reflects on the significance of psychiatric ethics for rebutting skepticism about autonomy and developing a new, more promising positive theory.
  • Radoilska, L. (2014). Immigration, Interpersonal Trust and National Culture. in: Honohan, I. and Hovdal-Moan, M. eds. Domination, Migration and Non-Citizens. London: Routledge, pp. 111-128. Available at: http://routledge-ny.com/books/details/9780415747806/.
  • Radoilska, L. (2013). Depression, Decisional Capacity, and Personal Autonomy. in: Fulford, K. W. M. et al. eds. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1155-1170. Available at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199579563.do.
  • Radoilska, L. and Fulford, K. (2012). Three Challenges from Delusion for Theories of Autonomy. in: Radoilska, L. V. ed. Autonomy and Mental Disorder. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 44-74. Available at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199595426.do.
  • Radoilska, L. (2012). Autonomy and Ulysses Arrangements. in: Radoilska, L. V. ed. Autonomy and Mental Disorder. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 252-280. Available at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199595426.do.
  • Radoilska, L. (2012). Personal Autonomy, Decisional Capacity, and Mental Disorder. in: Radoilska, L. V. ed. Autonomy and Mental Disorder. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. xi-xliii. Available at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199595426.do.
  • Radoilska, L. (2007). Besoin. in: Marzano, M. ed. Dictionnaire du Corps. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, pp. 120-123. Available at: http://www.puf.com/Quadrige_dicos_poche:Dictionnaire_du_corps.
  • Radoilska, L. (2007). Ethique du médicament. in: Marzano, M. ed. Dictionnaire du Corps. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, pp. 573-575. Available at: http://www.puf.com/Quadrige_dicos_poche:Dictionnaire_du_corps.
  • Radoilska, L. (2005). L’Intimité à l’épreuve de la transparence. in: Ibrahim, L. ed. Intimité. Clermont-Ferrand, France: Presses Universitaires de Blaise Pascal, pp. 343-355.

Edited book

  • Radoilska, L. (2012). Autonomy and Mental Disorder. [Online]. Radoilska, L. V. ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199595426.do.
    Autonomy is a fundamental though contested concept. For instance, most of us place great value on the opportunity to make our own decisions and to be able to lead a life of our own choosing. Yet there is stark disagreement on what is involved in being able to decide autonomously, as well as how important this is compared with other commitments. For example, the success of every group project requires that group members make decisions about the project collectively rather than each on their own. This disagreement notwithstanding, mental disorder is routinely assumed to put a strain on autonomy. However, it is unclear whether this is effectively the case and, if so, whether this is due to the nature of mental disorder or of the social stigma that is often attached to it.

    Autonomy and Mental Disorder is the first exploration of the nature and value of autonomy with reference to mental disorder. By reflecting on instances of mental disorder where autonomy is apparently compromised, it offers a systematic discussion of the underlying presuppositions of the present autonomy debates. In so doing, it helps address different kinds of emerging scepticism questioning either the appeal of autonomy as a concept or its relevance to specific areas of normative ethics, including psychiatric ethics.


  • Radoilska, L. (2014). Review of David Hunter, 'Belief and Agency'. The Philosophical Quarterly [Online] 64:377-380. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pq/pqu003.
  • Radoilska, L. (2004). Review of Bernard Williams, 'Truth and Truthfulness'. L'Année sociologique [Online] 54:625-629. Available at: http://www.cairn.info/revue-l-annee-sociologique-2004-2-page-609.htm.
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