Dr Carl Fox

Dr Carl Fox


Before joining the IDEA Centre, I completed my PhD, entitled Party to the Hypothetical Contract: Obligation, Legitimacy, and Autonomy, at the University of Sheffield. I have an MA in Philosophy from Sheffield, an MA in Journalism from Dublin City University, a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Trinity College Dublin, and a gold star from my mother. Before coming to England to return to philosophy, I worked as a sub-editor for Real-Time Editing and Design.

Research interests

My doctoral research was rooted in the social contract tradition and aimed to build an account of the binding force of obligation that vindicates the significance of hypothetical consent and explains how political obligation, even when morally required, can still be voluntary. I also work on the ethics of the public sphere, paternalism, and authority. 

I have a strong interest in the ethics of the media, and in particular the relationship between legitimacy and stability in the public sphere. I have co-edited (along with Joe Saunders) a book on 'Media Ethics, Free Speech, and the Requirements of Democracy', and have written for The Conversation. I am currently a co-investigator on an AHRC-funded project examining media regulation and the role of codes of ethics for the press in ten European countries.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Philosophy
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Professional memberships

  • Society for Applied Philosophy

Student education

Office Hours :

  • Tuesday 4–5pm
  • Wednesday 10–11am

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Aesthetic, Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Leadership Ethics, Persuasion and Public Reason
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>