Professor Gerald Lang


Normative Ethics; Applied Ethics; Political Philosophy; Moral Psychology and Practical Reason.

I obtained a BSc degree in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Bristol, and spent my graduate years at the University of Oxford, where I was awarded the degrees of BPhil and DPhil. I held lectureships at Reading and Oxford, and a research fellowship at the IDEA Centre in Leeds, before taking up a lectureship in 2006.

My monograph Strokes of Luck: A Study in Moral and Political Philosophy was published by Oxford University Press in 2021. I am currently at work on various aspects of non-ideal theory (mainly war, terrorism, and self-defence) under the working title of Defensive Manoeuvres. I have standing interests in liberal political philosophy and in certain aspects of practical reason and metaethics, particularly metaethical quietism.

Research Interests

  • Ethics, including metaethics, moral psychology, normative ethics, and applied ethics
  • Political Philosophy, particularly theories of justice, liberty 

Selected Publications

  • 'What Follows from Defensive Non-Liability?' Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (2017): 231-52
  • 'Legitimating Torture?', Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (2017): 331-49 
  • 'Rawlsian Incentives and the Freedom Objection’, Journal of Social Philosophy 47 (2016): 231-49
  • ‘Numbers Scepticism, Equal Chances, and Pluralism: Taurek Revisited’ (with Rob Lawlor), Politics, Philosophy, and Economics 15 (2016): 298-315
  • ‘How Interesting is the “Boring Problem” for Luck Egalitarianism?’, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (2015): 698-722
  • 'Why Not Forfeiture?', in How We Fight: Ethics in War, edited by H. Frowe and G. Lang (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • 'What Should Ivan Ilyich Be Rescued From?', Philosophy 89 (2014): 325-47
  • 'Jobs, Institutions, and Beneficial Retirement', Ratio 27 (2014): 205-21
  • 'In Defense of Batman: Reply to Bradley' (with Rob Lawlor), Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (2013)
  • 'Should Utilitarianism be Scalar?', Utilitas 25 (2013): 80-95
  • 'Invigilating Republican Liberty', The Philosophical Quarterly 62 (2012): 273-93
  • 'Discrimination, Partial Concern, and Arbitrariness', in Luck, Value and Commitment: Themes from the Ethics of Bernard Williams, edited by U Heuer and G. Lang (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)
  • 'Excuses for the Moral Equality of Combatants', Analysis 71 (2011): 512-23
  • 'How Far Can You Go with Quietism?', Problema 4 (2010): 3-37
  • 'Luck Egalitarianism, Permissible Inequalities, and Moral Hazard', Journal of Moral Philosophy 2 (2009): 317-38
  • 'Nudging the Responsibility Objection', Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (2008): 56-71
  • 'The Right Kind of Solution to the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem', Utilitas 20 (2008): 472-89
  • 'Luck Egalitarianism and the See-Saw Objection', American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (2006): 43-56
  • 'Fairness in Life and Death Cases', Erkenntnis 62 (2005): 313-43
  • 'The Rule-Following Considerations and Metaethics: Some False Moves', European Journal of Philosophy 9 (2001): 190-209


  • Deputy Director of Postgraduate Studies in Philosophy

Research interests

You can find out more about my research here:

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

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Aesthetic, Moral and Political Philosophy

Current postgraduate researchers

<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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>