Dr Joseph Bowen

Dr Joseph Bowen


I joined Leeds in August 2022. Before then, I was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace, based at the Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University. I completed my PhD on the St Andrews Stirling Joint Programme in philosophy. I was supervised by Rowan Cruft and Theron Pummer, and supported by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities and the Society of Applied Philosophy. Prior to my PhD, I completed a BPhil in Philosophy at the University of Oxford (St John’s College), and a BA (Hons) in Philosophy at the University of Kent, with a year abroad at the University of Calgary. 


  • Deputy Director of Graduate Studies (Philosophy)
  • Director of MA in Global Ethical Challenges

Research interests

I specialise in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy. My research focuses on the nature of rights and directed duties, the justifications for and constraints on harming, the nature and scope of duties to rescue, and just war theory.

More particularly, my PhD offered a novel account of why we have rights against harmless wrongings. However, it left unanswered a more fundamental type of question: Why are rights important? What do rights add to more familiar oughts and requirements? My research aims to address these questions, using thinking about rights against harm and rights to be rescued as an entry point for getting at these abstract questions concerning the value of rights. 

<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 in Philosophy
  • BPhil in Philosophy
  • BA (Hons) in Philosophy

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Aesthetic, Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Centre for Love, Sex, and Relationships
<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>