Three research projects preoccupy me:
One is to explore the significance of the body in ethics, as serving to explain the nature and extent both of certain wrongs done to the individual and of some wrongdoing. It would develop themes explored in ‘The Wrong of Rape’ and ‘Informed Consent: Autonomy and Self-Ownership’
A second is to understand the relation between normative practical philosophy and public policy. It would develop and extend work already done on ethical expertise, moral compromise, dirty hands, and political reasonability.
A third – as yet only a sketch – is to explore ethical themes in the work of Charles Dickens. Correcting Leavis’ view of Dickens’s novels as lacking ‘a sustained seriousness’ and a popular view of him as no more than a moralist and caricaturist, it would look at how he treats friendship, family, gratitude, ‘moral seriousness’, and the virtuous agent.
‘Ethical advice and ethics committees in the pandemic’ British Academy (2020-2021) [co-investigator Professor Emma Cave, Durham University]