Olof Leffler

Olof Leffler


I work on metanormativity, in particular on metaethics and practical reason. My dissertation project concerns constitutivist approaches to explaining action and practical normativity.


My Bachelor's degrees - one in political science and one in philosophy (2012) - as well as my MA in philosophy (2014) are from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. They all passed with distinction. In October 2015, I started my PhD at Leeds. I spent summer term 2017 at Humboldt University, Berlin.


  • Leffler, Olof (2019). "New Shmagency Worries", in Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 121-145.
  • Leffler, Olof (2018). "Om Social Contract Theory for a Diverse World – Beyond Tolerance av Ryan Muldoon" ("On Social Contract Theory for a Diverse World – Beyond Tolerance by Ryan Muldoon"), in Tidskrift för Politisk Filosofi, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 46-51.
  • Leffler, Olof (2016). "The Foundations of Agency - and Ethics?", in Philosophia, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 547–563.
  • Leffler, Olof (2016). "Om From Morality to the End of Reason av Ingmar Persson" ("On From Morality to the End of Reason by Ingmar Persson"), in Filosofisk Tidskrift, No. 1, pp. 60-62.
  • Leffler, Olof (2014). "Om rättfärdigandereflektion" ("On Justification by Reflection"), in Alarcon, Meri; Amundsen Bergström, Matilda; Kaveh, Tanja & Pettersen, Andrea Vilde (eds.) (2014). Meningens motstånd, Göteborgs universitet: Institutionen för litteratur, idéhistoria och religion, pp. 35-39.

Presentations (selected)

  • Presentation of "Four Cases of Desire-Based Reasons" at Understanding Value VIII, University of Sheffield, 24-26/07/19.
  • Respondent to "How (Not) to Attack Structured Normative Non-Naturalism" by Matt Lutz (Wuhan), at the Leeds-Wuhan Normativity Workshop, University of Leeds, 24/06/19.
  • Presentation of "Reasons Internalism, Cooperation, and Institutions" at SORG II, University of Glasgow, 31/05/19.
  • Presentation of "Instrumental Rationality and the Argument Against Particularistic Willing", at Future of Normativity, University of Kent, 30/06/18; Understanding Value VII, University of Sheffield, 18/07/18; Irish Philosophical Society Annual Conference 2018, University College Dublin, 09/11/18.
  • Presentation of "The Virtues of the Humean Theory of Motivation" at European Congress of Analytic Philosophy, Ludwig Maximilians-Universität München, 24/08/17; Humeanisms, 2nd Budapest-Bucarest Workshop in Philosophy, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Institute of Philosophy), 29/07/18.
  • Presentation of "New Schmagency Worries" at Thomas Schmidt’s Colloquium, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 18/05/17.
  • Respondent to "Whom to Blame and Whom to Praise. A Cross-Cultural Pilot Study to Prove the Influence of Social Hierarchy for Attributions of Moral Evaluations" by Albert Newen (Bochum), at the Social Norms and Obligations Workshop, University of Sheffield, 18/10/16.
  • Presentation of "What We Learn from the Schmagency Objection" at WRPPF, York meeting, 18/6/16; Understanding Value V, University of Sheffield, 29/07/16.
  • Presentation of "Categorical Normativity and Bottom-Up Solutions" at Filosofidagarna (Swedish National Congress of Philosophy), Linköping, 13/06/15.


  • I have been active as a tutor and lecturer on modules on all undergraduate levels at Leeds.
  • I have also mentored students in various ways; at Gothenburg, I did quite a bit of mentoring of undergraduate students in the local mentoring program (which I also ran for two academic years), and at Leeds, I am currently mentoring two students who have been specifically chosen for their academic progress in the Students as Scholars mentoring scheme.
  • I have also been proactive in developing my teaching. Most recently, this has resulted in an AFHEA fellowship.


  • I am grateful for being funded by a Leeds University 110th Anniversary Research Scholarship.
  • I am also grateful for a grant from Gunvor och Josef Anérs stiftelse to cover expenses during my fourth year.
  • Feel free to check out my other pages: my personal homepage, and my profiles on academia.edu and philpeople.org.
  • Also get in touch if there is anything else you wonder (e.g. about my CV).

Research interests

My main area of interest is metanormativity, as I primarily work in the intersection(s) between metaethics, normative ethics, and philosophy of action. But I also have interests in many related areas, not least in political philosophy, various topics in mind/metaphysics/epistemology, and in metaphilosophy. By and large, you could describe what I do as theoretical practical philosophy.

Within this overarching area of interest, my dissertation project is called The Constitution of Constitutivism. I discuss so-called constitutivist theories about practical normativity with respect to the way(s) in which they can - or cannot - explain action and normativity.


  • (2014) MA, Practical philosophy, University of Gothenburg (w. distinction)
  • (2012) BA, Practical philosophy, University of Gothenburg (w. distinction)
  • (2012) BS, Political science, University of Gothenburg (w. distinction)

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Aesthetic, Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Philosophy
  • Moral Psychology