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Department of Philosophy


Dr Christopher Cowie

Personal web page

Assistant Professor/Admissions Officer in the Department of Philosophy

Contact Dr Christopher Cowie

Office Hours

In term time, Tuesdays 2-5pm, or by appointment. Rm 004 Old Elvet 50-51.

Research Summary

I work in moral philosophy. I am interested in the nature of moral norms and standards. Why we should care about them? How, if at all, can we think systematically about them?

I have just finished a manuscript on the relationship between morality and epistemology: ‘Moral Judgment and Epistemic Judgment: The Argument from Analogy’. If you would like to read it, please email me. Many of the issues are discussed in prior pieces in Philosophical Quarterly, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Synthese and in collections (see below). I am also currently co-editing a collection on a similar theme – Companions in Guilt Arguments in Metaethics – with Richard Rowland. This will be forthcoming shortly. For a summary of the kinds of issues discussed in that collection see my Philosophy Compass piece (below).

I also work on more traditional issues in Moral Philosophy. I have published on measures of welfare – in Sustainable Development - and on axiology – in Philosophical Studies. I will be focusing on this side of things a bit more over the next few years: I am currently writing a book on The Repugnant Conclusion for Routledge’s Focus on Philosophy series. I am especially interested in how traditional questions in population and axiology interact with questions about the quality of human life: Are our lives, on balance good for us or bad for us? How would you tell? Do these questions even make sense?

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.

Research Interests

  • Epistemology
  • Metaethics
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Political Philosophy

Teaching Areas

  • Moral Theory
  • Political Philosophy


Authored book

  • (Planned). Moral and Epistemic Judgment: The Argument from Analogy.
  • (Forthcoming). The Repugnant Conclusion (Under contract with Routledge).

Chapter in book

  • Cowie, Christopher & Greenberg, Alexander (Forthcoming). Constitutivism about Epistemic Normativity. In Epistemic Realism and Antirealism: Approaches to Metaepistemology. McKenna, Robin & Kyriacou, Christos Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Jussi Suikkanen (Forthcoming). Metanormativity as a Method. In Methodology and Moral Philosophy. Routledge.

Edited book

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

Journal Article