Centre Research

Book projects


The Connected Self: The Ethics and Governance of the Genetic Individual
by Professor Widdows 
(Cambridge University Press)connected-cover

This book is about how to balance individual and communal models of ethics and argues that: Currently, the ethics infrastructure – from medical and scientific training to the scrutiny of ethics committees – focuses on trying to reform informed consent to do a job which it is simply not capable of doing. Consent, or choice, is not an effective ethical tool in public ethics and is particularly problematic in the governance of genetics. Heather Widdows suggests using alternative and additional ethical tools, and argues that if individuals are to flourish it is necessary to recognise and respect communal and public goods as well as individual goods. To do this she suggests a two-step process – the ‘ethical toolbox’. First the harms and goods of the particular situation are assessed and then appropriate practices are put in place to protect goods and prevent harms. This debate speaks to core concerns of contemporary public ethics and suggests a means to identify and prioritise public and common goods.


A Capability Approach to Global Health
By Dr Iain Law & Professor Heather Widdows
(Forthcoming from Routledge)

A Capability Approach to Global Health will provide a distinctive contribution to the growing debate about the globalisation of health and whether (and if so to what extent) global health policies and practices should be instituted. It will take what is now a familiar and increasingly popular approach to global justice and global ethics – the capability approach – and apply it to Health. This will provide an innovative and original take on definitions of health and propose a means of addressing practical global ethical concerns, for instance the ethics of kidney sale and participation in research. Thus this book aims to provide a new approach to conceptualising health and a framework which can be used in addressing practice and developing policy in the global context.  

Philosophy and Happiness
By Dr Lisa Bortolotti
(Palgrave Macmillan)happiness-cover

Philosophy and Happiness addresses the need to situate any meaningful discourse about happiness in a wider context of human interests, capacities and circumstances. How is happiness manifested and expressed? Can there be any happiness if no worthy life projects are pursued? How is happiness affected by relationships, illness, or cultural variants? Can it be reduced to preference satisfaction? Is it a temporary feeling or a persistent way of being? Is reflection conducive to happiness? Is mortality necessary for it? These are the questions people ask themselves when they stop and think about how they feel, how their lives are going, and how they would be going if different choices had been made or different values had been prioritized. These are the questions that contributors to this volume begin to answer, adopting different methodologies, among which the analysis of widespread intuitions about imaginary and real-life scenarios, and reflection on the interpretation of the relevant empirical evidence emerging from psychology and economics.


Women and Violence: The Agency of Victims and Perpetrators 
By Herjeet Marway
This book explores violence both ‘done to’ and ‘done by’ women through the philosophical (and cognate discipline) lens. The volume addresses questions about how women are presented as lacking agency when it comes to violence – they are either powerless victims of male aggression (as in domestic and sexual violence), or they are manipulated or forced into becoming perpetrators of violence (as in pedophilia and terrorism), for instance – and it investigates ways in which agency can be better accounted for. The collection builds on a workshop held at the University of Birmingham in June 2011.