We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Email and Telephone Directory

Staff Profile

Dr Joe Saunders

Assistant Professor/Admissions/Widening Participation Officer/Director of Digital Learning/CHSS Advisor in the Department of Philosophy

(email at

Office Hours

Mondays, 1-4. Online. Drop me an email to set up a meeting.


Joe primarily works on ethics and agency in Kant and the post-Kantian tradition. He also has interests in the philosophy of love and media ethics.

He is part of an AHRC grant, currently investigating freedom of the press and regulation:

Recently, he interviewed several Hegel scholars for Hegel's 250th birthday:

Finally, he is the host of a Philosophy and Film podcast, in partnership with the Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds.

Administrative Roles

Joe is currently:

In Durham, he also serves as:

  • Admissions/Widening Participation Officer
  • Combined Honours in Social Sciences Advisor and Exam Board Rep
  • Director of Online Learning

Research Groups

Department of Philosophy

Research Interests

  • Ethics
  • Free Will
  • Kant
  • Love
  • Media Ethics
  • Post-Kantian Philosophy

Teaching Areas

  • European Philosophy
  • Issues in Contemporary Ethics
  • Reading Philosophy (Sartre)

Selected Publications

Authored book

  • Fox, Carl. & Saunders, Joe. (2019). Media Ethics, Free Speech, and the Requirements of Democracy. Routledge.
  • Dalziel, Paul, Saunders, Caroline & Saunders, Joe (2018). Wellbeing Economics: The Capabilities Approach to Prosperity. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Chapter in book

  • Saunders, Joe (2020). Dark Advertising and the Democratic Process. In Big Data and Democracy. Macnish, Kevin & Galliott, Jai Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Saunders, Joe (2019). Lynton Crosby and the Dark Arts of Democracy. In Media Ethics, Free Speech, and the Requirements of Democracy. Fox, Carl & Saunders, Joe New York: Routledge. 53-68.

Journal Article

  • Saunders, Joe & Sticker, Martin (2020). Moral Education and Transcendental Idealism. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 102(4): 646-673.
  • Saunders, Joe (2019). Hegel, Norms and Ontology. History of Philosophy Quarterly 36(3): 279-297.
  • Saunders, Joe (2019). Kant and Degrees of Responsibility. Journal of Applied Philosophy 36(1): 137-154.
  • Williams, Neil W. & Saunders, Joe (2018). Practical grounds for belief: Kant and James on religion. European Journal of Philosophy 26(4): 1269-1282.
  • Saunders, Joe (2018). Taking love seriously: McTaggart, absolute reality and chemistry. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26(4): 719-737.
  • Saunders, Joe (2018). Transcendental Freedom and its Discontents. Con-Textos Kantianos (International Journal of Philosophy) 1(8): 319-322.
  • Saunders, Joe (2016). Kant and the Problem of Recognition: Freedom, Transcendental Idealism, and the Third-Person. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24(2): 164-182.
  • Saunders, Joe (2016). The Value of Practical Knowledge: Against Engstrom’s Constructivism. Hegel Bulletin 37(01): 117-136.
  • Saunders, Joe (2014). Kant, Rational Psychology and Practical Reason. Kant Yearbook 6(1): 115-136.

Translated Book

  • Stern, Robert (editor), Bennett, Chris, Leech, Jessica, Saunders, Joe & Texter, Mark (trans.) (2020). Løgstrup, Knud: Kierkegaard's and Heidegger's Analysis of Existence and its Relation to Proclamation . Oxford University Press
  • Bennett, Christopher, Saunders, Joe & Stern, Robert (trans.) (2019). Kant: Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals . Oxford University Press

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Ethics, Religion & Beliefs: Philosophy
  • Ethics: Philosophy
  • Philosophy: Philosophy

Indicators of Esteem

Selected Grants

  • 2018: Defining Freedom of the Press: A Cross national examination of press ethics and regulation in ten European countries (£11225.00 from AHRC)