Friday, November 23, 2012

Hegel's Political Philosophy: A Systematic Reading of the Philosophy of Right

. . . is online! Details here.

I expect the new second edition to have a similar webpage - and I will post it when I see it.

Special issue on Hegel's Political Philosophy

Delighted to receive my copy of the latest issue of the Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 66 (2012) which is a special issue with a symposium on my Hegel's Political Philosophy: A Systematic Reading of the Philosophy of Right.

The symposium includes:

Paul Redding, "Thom Brooks's Project of a Systematic Reading of Hegel's Philosophy of Right"

Michael Rosen, "The Ruined Castle"

Allen Wood, "Thom Brooks and the 'Systematic' Reading of Hegel"

Thom Brooks, "Reply to Redding, Rosen and Wood"

The Bulletin will be published shortly by Cambridge University Press - and retitled the Hegel Bulletin - with full backlog available online in due course.

Additionally, my Hegel's Political Philosophy appears next week in a new second addition with new chapters and a reply to critics.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

CFP: Northwestern University Society for Ethical Theory and Political Philosophy 7th Annual Conference

Call for Papers

From Faculty and Graduate Students
Keynote Addresseses: Talbot Brewer and Sarah Buss
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: The deadline is February 15, 2013. We welcome submissions from faculty and graduate students, as some sessions will be reserved for student presentations. Please submit an essay of approximately 4000 words and an abstract of at most 150 words. Essay topics in all areas of ethical theory and political philosophy will be considered, although some priority will be given to essays that take up themes from the works of Talbot Brewer and Sarah Buss, such as autonomy, desire, goodness, moral psychology, moral responsibility, pleasure, practical reasoning, respect, virtue, Aristotelianism and Kantianism. Essays and abstracts should be prepared for blind review in word, rtf, or pdf format. Graduate submissions should be sent by e-mail to; faculty submissions should be sent by e-mail to Notices of acceptance will be sent by April 1, 2013. For more information, please contact Kyla Ebels-Duggan at the e-mail address above or visit our website:

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Theory of Justice: The Musical!

Yes! Information here.

Brettschenider online reading group

. . . can be found on the Public Reason blog working through his terrific book, When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thom Brooks, "Punishment" - now out!


Thom Brooks, Punishment. New York & London: Routledge, 2012.

Punishment is a topic of increasing importance for citizens and policymakers. Why should we punish criminals? Which theory of punishment is most compelling? Is the death penalty ever justified? These questions and many others are addressed in this highly engaging guide.

Punishment is a critical introduction to the philosophy of punishment, offering a new and refreshing approach that will benefit readers of all backgrounds and interests. The first critical guide to examine all leading contemporary theories of punishment, this book explores – among others – the communicative theory of punishment, restorative justice, and the unified theory of punishment. Thom Brooks examines several case studies in detail, including capital punishment, juvenile offending, and domestic abuse. Punishment highlights the problems and prospects of different approaches in order to argue for a more pluralistic and compelling perspective that is novel and groundbreaking.

Punishment is a textbook designed to introduce both undergraduate and postgraduate students to the topic of punishment. It will be essential for undergraduate students in: philosophy, criminal justice, criminology, justice studies, law, politics, and sociology.


Lucid, fair-minded, and well-informed, Thom Brooks’ Punishment offers a superb introduction to a complex and contentious subject. Many a perplexed student will find illumination in his patient discussion of each of the leading theories. The way Brooks shows their interconnectedness and application in practice – to capital punishment, juvenile offenders, domestic violence, and the like – will interest not only students but scholars as well.
—Stuart P. Green, Distinguished Professor of Law and Nathan L. Jacobs Scholar, Rutgers School of Law

As a topic in moral and political philosophy, punishment has been jolted back to life. In the last quarter century, retribution has returned with a vengeance, both in the theoretical literature and (with a very different emphasis) in public policy. The rise of the victim as a player in the criminal justice system has also fuelled a counter-trend, placing an emphasis on redress. Human rights, privatization, globalization, the rise of the therapist, the lobbyist, the terrorist: all have affected our ways of punishing and of thinking about punishment. A new survey of the terrain is overdue. And who better to conduct it than Thom Brooks, whose grasp of the literature and feel for the issues is second to none? From the noble ideals of ‘communicative’ theory to the grim realities of children in prison: in Punishment Brooks covers it all with insight, rigour, and energy.
—John Gardner, Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Oxford

Thom Brooks has produced a valuable introduction to, and critical survey of, current theoretical approaches to punishment together with an analysis of their implications for practice. In addition, he has provided a spirited defence of a new, unified theory inspired by the British Idealists and encompassing retributive, consequentialist, and restorative elements. Written in a lucid and engaging style, the book will interest a wide range of readers – students, theorists of punishment, as well as those engaged in criminal justice policy.
—Alan Brudner, Albert Abel Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto


Preface. Introduction. Part I: General Theories 1. Retributivism 2. Deterrence 3. Rehabilitation 4. Restorative Justice Part II: Hybrid Theories 5. Rawls, Hart, and the ‘Mixed Theory’ 6. Expressivism 7. Unified Theory Part III: Case Studies 8. Capital Punishment 9. Juvenile Offenders 10. Domestic Abuse 11. Sexual Crimes. Conclusion. Bibliography. Index

Thom Brooks is Reader in Law at Durham University. He is the editor and founder of the Journal of Moral Philosophy.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Hegel Bulletin

Cambridge University Press is delighted to announce that it will publish Hegel Bulletin from 2013, on behalf of the Hegel Society of Great Britain.

Formerly known as the Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain, this move marks a significant moment in the journal's development. In recognition of its wider circulation, broader scope, and availability online for the first time, the journal is being relaunched as Hegel Bulletin. For more information about these bibliographic changes, please visit

Hegel Bulletin is a leading English language journal for anyone interested in Hegel’s thought, its context, legacy and contemporary relevance. The aim of the Bulletin is to promote high quality contributions in the field of Hegel studies. This field is broadly construed to include all aspects of Hegel’s thought, and its relation and relevance to the history of philosophy; Hegelian contributions to all aspects of current philosophical enquiry, including the modern European and analytic philosophical traditions; German Idealism, British Idealism, Marx and Marxism, Critical Theory, American Pragmatism; studies in the reception history of Hegel and German Idealism.
Hegel Bulletin will be available in print and electronic formats, and digitised as part of the Cambridge Journals Digital Archive. Access via Cambridge’s industry-leading platform, Cambridge Journals Online, will improve the journal’s usability and functionality.

About the Hegel Society of Great Britain
The Hegel Society of Great Britain (HSGB) is a forum for those interested in the work of the German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel (1770-1831), his predecessors and contemporaries, his followers and his critics. The HSGB was founded in 1979, and now counts over 200 members. As well as publishing the Bulletin, the HSGB holds an annual conference and actively co-operates with other Hegel societies, particularly those in Germany and the USA.
Find out more at

Exciting news and I'm delighted at this development!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Climate Change and Negative Duties

My article "Climate Change and Negative Duties" (published in Politics) is currently free to download (here). The abstract:

Climate change and its harmful effects are widely accepted. A common approach is to argue along the lines of Mill's ‘harm principle’: if we contribute to climate change, then we are likewise responsible for harming others and we have a negative duty to reduce our carbon emissions. This article argues that a negative duty leads to a philosophical fork in the road which does not necessarily entail carbon emissions reductions. Arguments for such reductions require further supplementation to close off possible non-conservationist alternatives.

Readers may be interested to know there is more to come: I'm guest editing a special PS: Political Science & Politics issue on climate change justice that will run in January 2013. Contributing authors include Thom Brooks, Stephen Gardiner, Clare Heyward, David Schlosberg, and Steve Vanderheiden.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Thom Brooks (ed.), Hegel's Philosophy of Right - review

My collection Hegel's Philosophy of Right (Blackwell, 2012) is reviewed by Paul Redding at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews here. The book can be found on, and elsewhere. Redding says '"the essays in this collection do live up to its cover blurb's description as "highly engaging and accessible scholarly essays"'; "As a collection, Hegel's Philosophy of Right is indeed a worthwhile addition to the growing reassessment on Hegel's political philosophy" and "all in all this is an important contribution to the task of bringing Hegel's endlessly fascinating and controversial ideas to contemporary political philosophy."

This book was reviewed last month by Choice which said "The essays are refreshingly free of complex jargon and, taken together, offer a good sampling of recent work in Hegelian moral and political philosophy."