Keele University: BA in Philosophy and English Literature

Birkbeck College, London University: M.Phil in Philosophy

University College London: Ph.D. (Thesis title: On Freedom)



I spent the greater part of my career at London Metropolitan University (formerly the Polytechnic of North London), where I developed and taught courses in Ethics, Political Philosophy, and the History of Ideas. I taught students at all levels, from first year undergraduate to postgraduate. I have also taught at Birkbeck College, London, and Hatfield Polytechnic (now the University of Hertfordshire.) I have now retired from teaching.



Books (since 1994)

Anti‑Libertarianism: Markets, Philosophy, and Myth,  Routledge, 1994

Free Speech, Routledge 1998

Understanding the Political Philosophers: From Ancient to Modern Times, Routledge, 2004

Understanding the Political Philosophers: From Ancient to Modern Times, Second Edition, Routledge, 2012

Free Speech: All That Matters, Hodder & Stoughton, 2015

Totalitarianism and Philosophy (Routledge forthcoming)


Chapters in Books  (Since 1999)

‘Is Liberty Sacred?’ in Ben Rogers, ed., Is Nothing Sacred?, Routledge, 2004, pp.93-110

‘Robert Nozick’, in Julian Baggini & Jeremy Stangroom, eds., Great Thinkers A-Z, Continuum, 2004, pp.172-4

‘Political Philosophy’ 6,000 word entry for A.C.Grayling & Andrew Pyle, eds.; The Encyclopedia of British Philosophy, Thoemmies Continuum, June 2006

‘Libertarisme’, in Sylvie Mesure & Patrick Savidan, eds., Dictionnaire des Sciences Humaines, 2006, Quadrige/ Presses Universitaires de France,

‘Introduction’ to Conscientious Objection and Religious Conviction, British Humanist Association, forthcoming (This is a series of essays of which I am also the editor.)

‘Humanism and the Political order’, in Andrew Copson and A.C.Grayling, eds., The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Humanism, Wiley Blackwell, 2015


Articles (Since 1999)

‘Only One Cheer for Sokal and Bricmont, or Scientism is no Response to Relativism’ (Res Publica, Vol. 5, No1, 1999)

‘J.S.Mill, Free Speech, and the Liberty of Thought and Discussion’, Ethical Record, May 1999

Comments on Peter King, “Was Conservative Housing Policy really Conservative?”‘, Housing, Theory and Society, Vol.18, nos 3-4, 2001

Genes and Citizens: Can Moral Philosophy learn from Evolutionary Biology?’ Res Publica, Vol 7, No 2, 2001)

‘”The Open Society” Revisited’, Philosophy Now, October 2002

‘John Rawls’; The Philosophers Magazine, 2nd quarter 2003

‘John Locke’, The Philosophers Magazine, 4th quarter, 2004

‘Liberalism, Abstract Individualism, and the Problem of  Particular Obligations’, Res Publica, Vol 11, No 4, 2005

‘Democracy’, Think, issue 12, Spring 2006

‘On Mill, Infallibility, and Freedom of Expression’, Res Publica, Vol. 13, No.1, 2007: reprinted in Glen Newey, ed., Freedom of Expression: Counting the Costs, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007.

‘”On Liberty” 150 Years On’, The Philosophers Magazine, 46, 3rd Quarter, 2009

‘Worst Past the Post’, The Philosophers Magazine, 4th Quarter, 2010

‘A Secularist Principle’. Philosophers’ Magazine, 64, 1st Quarter 2014

‘Charlie Hebdo’, Philosophers’ Magazine, 69, 2nd Quarter 2015.

‘Politics as Usual’, Philosophers’ Magazine, 1st Quarter 2016

‘Human Rights and Statelessnss’, Philosophers ‘Magazine, 2nd Quarter 2017

‘On the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Philosophers’ Magazine, 3rd Quarter 2019


Other  (Since 1999)

Other  (Since 1999)

Reply to a critic, Philosophy Today, May 1999

Review of David A.J.Richards, Free Speech and the Politics of IdentityPolitical Studies, 1999

Review of K.C.O’Rourke, John Stuart Mill and Freedom of Expression, Political Studies, 2001

Review of Alan Lacey, Robert Nozick, The Philosophers’ Magazine, Winter, 2002

Review of Kwame Anthony Appiah, The Politics of Identity, in the Philosophers’ Magazine, Issue 31/3rd quarter/2005

Review of Chantal Mouffe, On the Political, in the Philosophers’ Magazine, issue 32, 4th quarter, 2005

Review of William Galston, The Practice of Liberal Pluralism, in the Philosophers’ Magazine, issue 33, first quarter 2006

‘On liberty and debate’, letter in THES, 14/4/06

Review of Stephen Macedo,, Democracy at Risk, – in Democratization, Vol.13, No.5, December 2006

Review of Daniel Attas, Liberty, Property, and Markets, in Political Studies Review, Vol.5, No.1, January 2007

Review of Kevin Olson, Reflexive Democracy, in Democratization, forthcoming

‘Academic Freedom’, (with Steve Fuller) Philosophers Magazine,  Issue 38, 2nd Quarter, 2007

Review of John Rawls, Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy, Philosophers Magazine, Issue 39, 3rd Quarter, 2007

‘Free Speech does not Mean the Freedom to Abuse’. The Independent, September 6th, 2007

Review of Anthony H.Birch, The Concepts and Theories of Modern Democracy, in Democratization, Vol. 15, No.4, August 2008

BHA ‘flyer’ on John Stuart Mill. – for circulation to parliamentarians, week beginning 09/03/09

Review of Jason Brennan, The Ethics of Voting,  Philosophers Magazine, Issue 55, 4th Quarter 2011.

Review of Jeremy Waldron, The Harm in Hate Speech, Philosophers’ Magazine,  Issue 60, 1st Quarter 2013

Review of Annabelle Lever, On Privacy, Philosophers’ Magazine, Issue 65, 2nd Quarter 2014



I am a member of Res Publica’s editorial advisory board




03/99: Philosophers’ Magazine Round Table: ‘Philosophers on the Blair Agenda’ (with Jonathan Wolff, Tony McWalter MP, and others)

11/04/99: ‘J.S.Mill, Free Speech & the Liberty of Thought & Discussion’ (South Place Ethical Society)

29/04/99: ‘Negative Freedom, Positive Freedom, and Autonomy’ (Political Philosophy Staff & Postgraduate Research Seminar, London School of Economics)

13/10/99: Philosophers’ Magazine Debate: ‘Libertarianism’ (with David Conway; UNL)

14/10/99: ‘Free Speech & the Literature of Holocaust Denial’ (Brighton University)

06/10/2001: [Keynote Presentation] ‘Is Liberty Sacred?’ (King’s College London. This was one of the four main presentations given at a one day conference organised by the British Humanist Association).

29/05/2002: [Keynote Presentation] ‘Karl Popper’s Open Society & its Enemies’ (Austrian Cultural Forum) (I was asked to speak at the launch of the centenary edition.)

07/09/2002: ‘Three Communitarian Theses’ (Critical Legal Conference, organised jointly by UNL and Birkbeck)

18/10/2003: ‘Faith, Community, and the Common Good’ (conference organised by the British Humanist Association, Senate House, London University)

26/11/2003: ‘Political Philosophy & the Challenge of Diversity’, presentation to the Institute for the Study of European Transformations, Theory Group

30/11/2003: [Keynote Presentation] ‘Truth, Spin, and Decision Making’ (conference organised by the British Humanist Association, Newcastle upon Tyne)

29/05/2004: ‘Some Remarks on Liberalism’, British Humanist Association, Cambridge University Branch, Cambridge.

25/02/2005: ‘Abstract Individuals and Particular Obligations’; Staff/Postgraduate research seminar, University of Hull

10/03/2005: ‘Abstract Individuals and Particular Obligations’; presentation to a meeting of POLIS, London Metropolitan University.

19/04/2005: ‘Some Remarks on Liberalism’; Human Rights Advocacy Society, London Metropolitan University.

24/07/2005: ‘Free Speech in the 21st Century’. Conference on freedom of speech and expression, University of Strathclyde.

04/11/2005: ‘Human Rights’; Human Rights Advocacy Society, London Metropolitan University.

14/01/2006: [Keynote Presentation] ‘Free Speech in the 21st Century. Conference on ‘The Limits of Toleration’, Department of Continuing Education, Oxford University.

22/09/06: Presentation ‘On Mill, Infallibility, and Freedom of Expression’, conference on ‘Medicine and the Body Politic’, University of Brighton

17/10/06: Presentation, ‘On Mill, Infallibility, and Freedom of Expression’, University of Wales, Newport

07/03/07: Presentation, ‘Free Speech’, British Humanist Association, Cambridge University.

20/04/07: Presentation, ‘From Universal Facts to Universal Values’, annual conference of the Association for Legal and Social Philosophy, Keele University

19/9/07: [Keynote Presentation], ‘Let’s Take Free Speech Seriously’. Morell Conference, Morrell Centre, University of York

20/2/08: Presentation, ‘Let’s Take Free Speech Seriously’,LGIR Staff Seminar, London Metropolitan University

21/2/08: ‘Political Animals & Social Clones’, Staff/Postgraduate Political Theory seminar, London School of Economics.

04/2/09: Presentation, ‘On Liberty and the Global Order, Royal Institute of Philosophy, University of Bradford

08/04/09: Presentation, ‘On Liberty and the Global Order’ Political Studies Association annual conference, University of Manchester

21/10/09: Presentation, ‘On the Reformation, Rawls, and the Nature of Liberalism’, Postgraduate/ Staff Research Seminar, Institute of Education, University of London

08/03/2010: Informal Presentation, ‘Democracy’, to sixth formers taking A level philosophy at Chenderit School, Middleton Cheney, Northants

21/04/2010: Presentation, ‘On the Reformation. Rawls, and the Nature of Liberalism’, Postgraduate/ Staff Research Seminar (Politics Department), London Metropolitan University.

03/06/2010: When, if at all, is it permissible to grant exemption from legal requirements on religious grounds?, Symposium organised by the British Humanist Association

28/06/2010:Reading week presentation to 6th formers taking A level Politics.: ’The Liberalism of Mill & Rawls’, Jewish Free School, Kenton, North London.

30/10/2011: Presentation, ‘Let’s Take Free Speech Seriously’, South Place Ethical Society, Conway Hall.

03/11/2011: Panel member at launch of Right to Object?: Conscientious Objection and Religious Conviction, (published by the British Humanist Association and edited by myself)

22/10/2014: Presentation, ‘What is Free Speech?: Why Does Free Speech matter?’ (Pinner Philosophy Society)




16/11/09: Ministry of Justice: Served on a panel advising the government on a proposal to introduce a bill of rights and responsibilities.



8/11/09: Interviewed on Sunday Sequence, BBC Radio Ulster

2011:  Interview on the subject of free speech. This is one part of a ten part ‘philosophy bites’ series sponsored by the Open University. (go to

18/10/2014: Interviewed by LBC (radio). (subject: free speech)

19/04/2015: interview for Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio programme, The Philosophers’ Zone. Subject – Free Speech (you can find this at



  • Senior Research Associate of Oxford University’s Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics
  • Senior Fellow (Emeritus) of London Metropolitan University’s Institute of Human Rights and Social Justice.
  • Patron of the British Humanist Association