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Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Dr Christopher Cowie

Personal web page

Assistant Professor/Admissions Officer in the Department of Philosophy

(email at

Research Summary

I work in Moral Philosophy. I am interested in whether we can think systematically about value, obligation and reason and, if so, how far it can take us.

I have recently completed a manuscript about the moral error theory: the view that all moral judgments are mistaken. It is entitled Moral Judgment and Epistemic Judgment: The Argument from Analogy. It will be published by Oxford University Press later this year. It is available here and summarised on my personal webpage. An edited collection on a similar theme Companions in Guilt Arguments in Metaethics (with Richard Rowland) is forthcoming with Routledge and available here. A second manuscript entitled The Repugnant Conclusion: A Philosophical Inquiry is due to be be published by Routledge shortly. It is about how we should evaluate outcomes in which the number of people are varied. A full draft is available here. For a full list of my publications see my cv.

Over the next few years I would like to think about: whether our extinction will be a bad thing, how, if at all, we should think about 'absolute' quality of life, and 'first order' arguments for the moral error theory. I would also like to organise a Philosophy Department football team. I probably can't manage all of these, but I've got research leave next year so I'll do my best.

Prior to coming to Durham, I was a Research Fellow at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. I took my PhD at Cambridge under the supervision of Professor Hallvard Lillehammer, graduating in 2014, including a visiting scholarship at Princeton. Whilst at Cambridge I was also, briefly, a post-doc for Sir Prof Partha Dasgupta

Upcoming Talks

- Morality and Epistemic Judgment. Colloqium Talk. University of Zurich. April 2019. 

- The Repugnant Conclusion and Quality of Life. British Society for Ethical Theory. Univeristy of Glasgow. July 2019.

- Title TBC. Department Seminar. University of Nottingham. 2019/20.

Research Interests

  • Epistemology
  • Metaethics
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Political Philosophy

Teaching Areas

  • Ethics (MA)
  • Moral Theory
  • Political Philosophy


Authored book

  • (Forthcoming). Moral and Epistemic Judgment: The Argument from Analogy. (Forthcoming with Oxford University Press in 2019).
  • (Forthcoming). The Repugnant Conclusion (Under contract with Routledge).

Chapter in book

Edited book

  • Christopher Cowie & Richard Rowland (Forthcoming). Companions in Guilt Arguments in Metaethics (Forthcoming with Routledge).

Journal Article