Dr Jussi Suikkanen PhD, Dr Soc Sc, M Soc Sc

Dr Jussi Suikkanen

Department of Philosophy
Reader in Philosophy

Contact details

ERI Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a Reader in Philosophy here at the University of Birmingham, where I have worked since September 2010. I have a wide range of interests in philosophy. Whilst my own research (described below) mainly focuses on the more theoretical side of moral philosophy in metaethics and normative ethics, I am also interested in philosophy of language, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and history of philosophy.

Feedback and office hours

My office hours are on Fridays between 9:00 and 11:00 and I can always be contacted by email.


I did my PhD in philosophy at the University of Reading where I was supervised by Professors Brad Hooker and Philip Stratton-Lake. I graduated from Reading in June 2008. The title of my thesis was Contractualist Principles and Wrongness. I also have another doctorate in philosophy from the Department of Social and Moral philosophy at the University of Helsinki where I furthermore did my masters degree too.


I joined the Department of Philosophy at the University of Birmingham in September 2010.  Before that I was a temporary lecturer at the Universities of Reading (2009-2010) and Leeds (2008-2009). I have also been a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2006-2007) and Brown University (Spring 2016).


During the academic year 2021-2022, I will be co-teaching Aesthetics through History, Nietzsche, Problems of Philosophy, Human Rights, Social Justice, and Bodies and Beauty modules.

Previously I have taught courses on the ethics and politics of climate change, global ethics, contemporary political philosophy, metaethics, philosophy of mind, continental philosophy, media ethics, philosophy of sex and love, Early Modern philosophy (Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant), and philosophy of the ‘self’. I have also taught general introduction courses on both philosophy and ethics.

Postgraduate supervision

I am more than happy to supervise PG students on the following areas:

Ethical theories
Practical reason, reasons, and value theory
Free will, moral responsibility and personal Identity
Well-being and happiness
Political philosophy
Realism and anti-realism debates
Early modern philosophy
Some areas of applied ethics such as population ethics and the ethics of climate change
I have supervised Masters dissertations on topics such as egoism, the Euthyphro contrast, animal ethics, ethics of parenting, human enhancement, panpsychism, the meaning of life, and so on. I am also currently a supervisor for eight PhD students: Dane Kirby (Iris Murdoch and love), Helen Ryland (human rights and marginal cases), Joe Adams (desert - co-supervised with Christopher Woodard at Nottingham), Man Him Ip (evolutionary debunking arguments), Jessica Sutherland (child soldiers and moral responsibility), Eli Rubinstein (ethics of risk), Perrine Sriwannawit (ethics of polygamy), and Ben Whittington (free will and physicalism).

My previous PhD students include:

Xiao Cheng (Motivational Internalism, completed in June (2020)
Fidaa Chehayeb (Implicit Bias, completed in June 2020)
David Hunt (Moral Error Theory, completed in March 2020)
Casey Elliott (Attributivism, completed in January 2020)
Matthew Owen (Aristotle and Philosophy of Mind, completed in June 2018)
Lauren Traczykowski (The Ethics of Natural Disaster Interventions, completed in August 2017)
Sabrina Intelisano (Happiness and Imprisonment, completed in November 2016)
Reza Mosmer (The Tractatus Paradox, completed in June 2013)

Find out more - our PhD Philosophy  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My main research interests lie in metaethics and ethical theories. I have mainly worked on the nature of moral properties, moral judgments, and truth in ethics. In normative ethics, I have defended and developed Scanlonian contractualism and pursued the so-called consequentializing project. I have previously written on value and reasons, happiness, practical reason, and rationality. In the applied ethics, my main focus has been on aggregation and population ethics. And, I have also explored the realism vs. anti-realism debates more generally in philosophy.

In August 2015, I was awarded an AHRC Early Careers Leadership Fellow award. During the 18 month fellowship, I wrote a draft of a book, provisionally entitled Building Bridges in Ethics - a Theory of Metaethics and Normative Ethics that explores how the ethical theories in normative ethics are related to semantic, psychological and metaphysical questions in metaethics. I am currently preparing this book for publication. 

Other activities


Recent publications


Suikkanen, J 2020, Contractualism. Elements in Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108670814


Suikkanen, J 2024, 'Act and Rule Consequentialism: A Synthesis', Moral Philosophy and Politics. https://doi.org/10.1515/mopp-2023-0075

Suikkanen, J 2024, 'Anti-luminosity and anti-realism in metaethics', Synthese, vol. 203, no. 6, 182. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-024-04616-w

Suikkanen, J 2024, 'Metaethics and the Nature of Properties', Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume, vol. 98, no. 1.

Suikkanen, J 2024, 'Non-naturalism, the supervenience challenge, higher-order properties, and trope theory', Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 601-632. <https://www.jesp.org/index.php/jesp/article/view/2103>

Suikkanen, J 2023, 'Normative Judgments, Motivation, and Evolution', Filosofiska Notiser, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 23-48. <https://filosofiskanotiser.com/gamlanummer.htm>

Suikkanen, J 2022, 'Hooker’s rule-consequentialism and Scanlon’s contractualism – a re-evaluation', Ratio, vol. 35, no. 4, 12351, pp. 261-274. https://doi.org/10.1111/rati.12351

Suikkanen, J 2020, 'Consequentializing moral dilemmas', Journal of Moral Philosophy, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 261-289. https://doi.org/10.1163/17455243-01703001

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Suikkanen, J 2021, Ethical theories as methods of ethics. in M Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, vol. 11, Oxford University Press. <https://global.oup.com/academic/product/oxford-studies-in-normative-ethics-volume-11-9780192856913>

Suikkanen, J 2019, Contextualism, moral disagreement, and proposition clouds. in R Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. vol. 14, 3, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 47-69.


Suikkanen, J 2024, Contractualism. in M Hemmingsen (ed.), Ethical Theory in Global Perspective. SUNY Press, pp. 221-235. <https://sunypress.edu/Books/E/Ethical-Theory-in-Global-Perspective>

Suikkanen, J 2023, Subjectivism, Relativism and Contextualism. in CB Miller (ed.), The Bloomsbury Companion of Ethics. 2 edn, Bloomsbury Publishing, London, pp. 130-149. <https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/bloomsbury-handbook-of-ethics-9781350217881/>

Suikkanen, J 2022, Moral Relativism and Moral Disagreement. in M Baghramian, JA Carter & R Rowland (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Disagreement. Routledge.

Suikkanen, J 2022, The Relation between Metaethics and Normative Ethics. in D Copp & C Rosati (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Metaethics. Oxford University Press.

Book/Film/Article review

Suikkanen, J 2020, 'Rowland, Richard. The Normative and the Evaluative: The Buck-Passing Account of Value. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. Pp. 256. $70.00 (cloth).', Ethics, vol. 130, no. 2, pp. 255-259. https://doi.org/10.1086/705771

View all publications in research portal


  • Population ethics 
  • The ethics of climate change