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

Dr Jussi Suikkanen

Department of Philosophy
Head of Philosophy
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

ERI Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a Senior Lecturer and the Head of Department 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 2019-2020, I will be teaching  two first year modules (Ancient Philosophy: Plato and Aristotle and Philosophical Traditions which covers Jean-Paul Sartre's phenomenology and existentialism) and one MRes module (Philosophical Research methodology module).

Previously I have taught courses on the ethics and politics of climate change, philosophy of human rights, 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:

  • Metaethics
  • 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 nine PhD students: Casey Elliott (attributivism in metaethics), Dane Kirby (Iris Murdoch and love), David Hunt (error theory and relativism), Helen Ryland (human rights and marginal cases), Joe Adams (desert - co-supervised with Christopher Woodard at Nottingham), Man Him Ip (evolutionary debunking arguments), Sorin Sabou (Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics), and Xiao Chang (moral judgments and motivation). 

My previous PhD students include:

  • 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



Selected articles

Selection of talks

  • "Ethical Theories as Methods of Ethics". Eleventh Annual Arizona Normative Ethics Workshop, Tuczon, Arizona, USA, 16.–18. 1. 2020.
  • "Contextualism, Moral Disagreement, and Proposition Clouds". Twelth Annual Wisconsin Metaethics Workshop, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, 15.–17. 9. 2017. 
  • "Judgment Internalism and Self-Knowledge". The annual British Society for Ethical Theory Conference, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK, 10.–11. 7. 2017; Institute of Philosophy, Practical Reasoning Seminar, King's College, London, UK, 27. 10. 2014.
  • “Non-Realist Cognitivism, Truth, and Objectivity”. Objectivity in Ethics conference, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands, March 31. 3.–1. 4. 2016; The Language and Metaphysics of Normativity Conference, Department of Philosophy, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, 30.–31. 5. 2016; Humboldt Normativity Conference, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 27.–29. 6. 2016.
  • "Contractualism and the Counter-Culture Challenge". Seventh Annual Arizona Normative Ethics Workshop, Tucson, Arizona, US, 14.-16. 1. 2016.
  • "Ethical Theories and the Correlation Probelm". Monday moral philosophy seminar, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 25. 11. 2013. 
  • “Contractualism and the Conditional Fallacy”. Fourth Annual Arizona Normative Ethics Workshop, Tucson, Arizona, US, 3.–5. 1. 2013; The British Society for Ethical Theory Conference, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK, 9.–11. 7. 2012.
  • “Moral Error Theory and the Belief Problem”. Eight Annual Metaethics Workshop, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, 16.–18. 9. 2011.
  • “Reason-Statements as Non-Extensional Contexts”. St Louis Annual Conference on Reasons and Rationality, University of Missouri-St Louis, St Louis, Missouri, USA, 22.–24. 5. 2011.
  • “Restricted Constructivism”. Workshop on Constructivism and Practical Reason, Philosophy department, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK, 20. 6. 2009.
  • “Non-Naturalism: the Jackson Challenge”. Fifth Annual Metaethics Workshop, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, 12.–14. 9. 2008.
  • “Minimalist Contractualism”. Monday moral philosophy seminar, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 28. 5. 2007.

View all publications in research portal


  • Population ethics 
  • The ethics of climate change