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Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Dr Louise Hanson

Assistant Professor/Admissions/Widening Participation Officer in the Department of Philosophy

Contact Dr Louise Hanson


I work in moral philosophy, especially metaethics. I’m especially interested in the realism-antirealism debate, and much of my work involves defending moral realism from various challenges to it - such as evolutionary debunking arguments, and the challenge from moral deference. I am also interested in moral responsibility, free will, and blameworthiness, and how these notions relate to each other. 
I also work on parallels between normative domains: the moral, the epistemic, the aesthetic, and the prudential. I am interested in how the answers to various meta-normative questions (questions about realism, mind-dependence, constitutivism, response-dependence, error theory) differ across these domains.
Prior to coming to Durham, I was the Chandaria Fellow in Philosophy at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Before that, I received my D.Phil from Brasenose College, Oxford in 2012. 

Departmental Role

Deputy Admissions Tutor


Journal Articles
Hanson, L (2018). Moral Realism, Aesthetic Realism, and the Asymmetry Claim. Ethics 129 (October 2018): 39–69
Hanson, L (2017). Artistic Value is Attributive Goodness. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75(4): 415-427.
Hanson, L (2017). The Real Problem with Evolutionary Debunking Arguments. Philosophical Quarterly 67(268): 508-33.
Hanson, L (2015). Conceptual Art and the Acquaintance Principle. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (3): 247-258. 
Hanson, L (2013). The Reality of (Non-Aesthetic) Artistic Value. Philosophical Quarterly 63 (252): 492-508.
Hanson, L (2009). Is Concrete Poetry Literature? Midwest Studies in Philosophy 33(1): 78-106.
Encyclopedia Entries
Hanson, L (2014). Meta-Aesthetics. Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, 2nd edn, 6 vols, ed. Michael Kelly (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).
Hanson, L (2014). Art and Morality. Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, 2nd edn, 6 vols, ed. Michael Kelly (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

Research Interests

Moral Philosophy

Teaching Areas

Ethics and Values (1st Year Module)
Applied Ethics (3rd Year Module)
Aesthetics (MA Module)

Research Groups


Journal Article