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

Dr Jeremy Williams

Department of Philosophy
Birmingham Research Fellow

Contact details

ERI Building
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT

I am a Birmingham Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy, and member of the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics, working in the fields of 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.

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


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.


Recent publications


Williams, J 2017, 'Death and consensus Liberalism', Philosophers' Imprint, vol. 17, no. 20, pp. 1-30. <http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.3521354.0017.020 >

Williams, J 2017, 'War and Global Public Reason', Utilitas, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 398-422. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0953820816000376

Williams, J 2015, 'Public reason and prenatal moral status', The Journal of Ethics, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 23-52. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10892-015-9190-9

Williams, J 2015, 'Review of Rawls and Religion', Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. <http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/59524/rawsl-and-religion/>

Williams, J 2012, 'Sex-Selective Abortion: A Matter of Choice', Law and Philosophy, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 125-159. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10982-011-9118-x

Williams, J 2010, 'Wrongful Life and Abortion', Res Publica, vol. 16, pp. 351-366. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11158-010-9135-x

Other chapter contribution

Williams, J 2014, Conscription. in C McKinnon (ed.), Issues in Political Theory, Third Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 24-7.

Williams, J 2014, Deliberative Polling. in C McKinnon (ed.), Issues in Political Theory, Third Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 93-6.

Williams, J 2014, Torture and Counter-Terrorism. in C McKinnon (ed.), Issues in Political Theory, Third Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 185-8.

Other contribution

Williams, J 2018, The ethics of sex-selective abortion isn't simple. The Conversation . <https://theconversation.com/the-ethical-case-against-sex-selective-abortion-isnt-simple-103806>

Parry, J & Williams, J 2018, When does a foetus have moral status. The Conversation . <http://theconversation.com/when-does-a-foetus-have-moral-status-94885>

View all publications in research portal