Dr. Jeremy Williams BA (Oxon), MSc, PhD (LSE)

Department of Philosophy
Birmingham Research Fellow

Contact details

ERI Building
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT

I am a Birmingham Research Fellow, working in moral and political philosophy. My current research is about theories of public reason, and their implications for various questions in practical ethics.


I hold a BA in Modern History and Politics from Oxford, and an MSc and PhD in Political Theory, both from the London School of Economics. My PhD explored some questions about the extent of a woman’s right to choose an abortion, and was supervised by Cécile Fabre and Anne Phillips.


I joined the Philosophy Department at Birmingham in September 2011, as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, and became a Birmingham Research Fellow in January 2013. During my Leverhulme Fellowship, I was a visiting scholar at the Philosophy Department at Rutgers (Fall 2012), and at the Center of Bioethics at NYU (Spring 2013). I have also previously taught at the University of Reading (2009-10) and the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, King's College London (2010-11).

Postgraduate supervision

I'm happy to supervise or co-supervise graduates in most areas of moral and political philosophy.


I am especially interested in the fields of bioethics, the ethics of killing, and liberal political theory. I have previously written on abortion, prenatal screening, procreative ethics, and the allocation of dispositional rights in bodily material.

My current research is about public reason liberalism and its practical implications - especially in relation to the political questions which Rawls called the 'problems of extension'. Public reason views, I argue, handle these sorts of questions badly, giving us cause to reject them. You can find some of my ideas about these issues in my most recent publications, below.