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Professor David Archard

Formerly at Lancaster University

David Archard

Current Teaching

PHIL 223: Applied Ethics

PHIL 351: Legal Philosophy

PPR.455: Children and Health

Research Interests

I am interested inthree major projects:

(1) a comprehensive account of the ethics of the family, comprising an understanding of what counts as a family, the relationship between the family and justice, the conditions under which it is permissible to procreate and an account of parenthood ;

(2) an account of the proper role that philosophy can play in the formulation and implementation of public policy

(3) the idea of the individual as a source of normative claims - both against other agents and against oneself - developing already published work on the moral significance of embodiment, as well as new work on consent and responsibility.


Career details

1976-1995: University of Ulster, Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

1995-2003: Reader in Moral Philosophy, the University of St Andrews

2003- present: Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy, Lancaster University

Other Activities

I am on the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Philosophy, Res Publica, and Contemporary Political Theory.

I am Honorary Chair of the Society for Applied Philosophy http://www.appliedphil.org/

I am a member of the British Committee of the Philosophy Summer School: Britain, China and Australia, and have been a staff member of the China Philosophy Summer Schools in Beijing (1988) and Suzhou (2000). I was Director of the Philosophy Summer School in Shanghai (1994), and will be a staff member of the 2010 Summer School on 'Applied Philosophy'

I have been

•Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Philosophy and Public Policy, University of St Andrews(1994);

•Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Professional Ethics, University of Melbourne (2000; 2005);

•Cole Scholar in Residence, University of South Florida, St Petersburg (2006);

•Visiting Research Professor, Centre for Child Welfare, University of Bergen (2007-2009)

I was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Party on 'Critical care decisions in fetal and neonatal medicine: ethical issues' which reported in November 2006: http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/go/ourwork/neonatal/introduction.

Since November 2005 I have been a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority http://www.hfea.gov.uk/; Deputy Chair of of that Authority's Ethics and Law Advisory Commitee, and Chair of the Authority's Licence Committee.

I am a member of the Editorial Board of Blackwell's new International Encylopedia of Ethics http://www.stpt.usf.edu/hhl/IEE.htm

I was the Plenary Speaker at the Nordic Child Welfare Congress, Bergen, Norway (9-11/9/2009): http://www.nbk2009.no/

Selected Publications


• Marxism and Existentialism, The Political Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 1980;

Reprinted Gregg Revivals in Philosophy, Aldershot, 1992

• Consciousness and the Unconscious

'Problems of Modern European Thought' London: Hutchinson University Press, 1984

• Children: Rights and Childhood

London: Routledge, 1993

2nd enlarged and revised edition, 2004

'The first edition was essential reading for anyone seriously interested in the philosophical or policy issues concerning children today. And the second edition is a genuine improvement…A terrific, and vital, piece of work, displaying brilliantly the value of philosophy for thinking about policy and the value of thinking about policy for philosophy' (Professor Harry Brighouse)

• (ed.) Philosophy and Pluralism

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

• Sexual Consent

Oxford and Boulder, Col.: Westview Press, 1998.

The Moral and Political Status of Children: New Essays.

Co-edited with Colin Macleod

Oxford: Oxford University Press 2002

Children, Family, and the State

Aldershot: Ashgate 2003

2000 Years and Beyond.

Co-edited with Paul Gifford, Trevor A. Hart, and Nigel Rapport

London: Routledge 2002

The Family: a Liberal Defence

Palgrave Macmillan 2010


Procreation and Parenthood: The Ethics of Bearing and Rearing Children

Co-edited with David Benatar

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010


Selected Articles

• 'Paternalism defined' Analysis, 50:1, January 1990, pp. 36 - 42.

• 'Freedom not to be free: the case of the slavery contract in J.S. Mill's On Liberty' Philosophical Quarterly, 40:161, October 1990, pp. 453 - 465.

• 'Child Abuse: parental rights and the interests of the child' Journal of Applied Philosophy, 7:2, 1990, pp. 183 - 194;

Reprinted in Rosalind Ekman Ladd (ed.) Children's Rights Re-Visioned: Philosophical Readings, Wadworth Publishing Co., 1996.

Also reprinted in Michael D. Freeman (ed.) The International Library of Essays in Law and Legal Theory (2nd series), Vol. II Family, State and Law, Ashgate, 1999.

• 'Rights, moral values and natural facts: a reply to Mary Midgley on the problem of child-abuse' Journal of Applied Philosophy,9:1, 1992, pp. 99 - 104.

• 'Self-justifying paternalism' The Journal of Value Inquiry, 27, 1993, pp. 341 - 352.

• 'Do parents own their children?' The International Journal of Children's Rights 1,1993, pp. 293 - 301.

• 'For Our Own Good' Australasian Journal of Philosophy,72:3, September 1994, pp. 283 - 293.

• 'Exploited Consent' Journal of Social Philosophy,25:3, Winter 1994, pp. 92 - 101.

• 'Moral Partiality' Midwest Studies in Philosophy, XX, 1995 'Moral Concepts', pp. 129 - 141.

• 'What's Blood Got to Do With It? The Significance of Natural Parenthood,' Res Publica 1:1 (1995), pp. 91-106

• '"A Nod's as Good as a Wink" :Consent, Convention, and Reasonable Belief,' Legal Theory 3 (1997), pp. 273-290

• 'How Should We Teach Sex?' Journal of Philosophy of Education, 32:3 (November 1998), pp. 437-449

• 'Should We Teach Patriotism?' Studies in Philosophy and Education 18 (1999), pp. 157-173

• 'Political Disagreement, Legitimacy and Civility' Philosophical Explorations, IV:3 September 2001. Special Issue: Civic Virtue and Pluralism, pp.207 - 221

• 'Selling Yourself:Titmuss's Argument Against a Market in Blood'

The Journal of Ethics, 6 (2002). Pp. 87-103

• 'Free Speech and Children's Interests' Chicago-Kent Law Review, Symposium on Children's Rights, November 2003, pp.83-102

• 'Wrongful Life', Philosophy 79309 (July 2004), pp.403-420.


• 'Political Reasonableness', Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35:1, March

2005, pp. 1-26

• 'The moral and political status of children' Public Policy Research

13:1 (March-May 2006): 6-12.

• 'The wrong of rape,' Philosophical Quarterly, 57, Issue 228, July 2007: 374-393

• 'Informed Consent: Autonomy and Self-Ownership,' Journal of Applied Philosophy 25:1 (2008): 19-34

• 'Why moral philosophers are not and should not be moral experts? Bioethics, forthcoming 2009

Selected Chapters

• 'Political and Social Philosophy' in N. Bunnin and E.James (eds.)The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, Oxford: Blackwell, 1996, pp. 257 - 289.

Revised version in Second edition, 2003.

• 'Nationalism and political theory' in N. O'Sullivan (ed.) Political Theory in Transition, London: Routledge, 2000: 155 - 171.

• 'Justice' in G. de Stexhe et al. (eds.) Foundations of Professional Ethics, European Professional Ethics Series, Brussels: European Union and European Ethics Network, 2000: 147- 158.

'Children's Rights' The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [http://plato.stanford.edu]


'Children' in Hugh LaFollette (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 91-111.

• 'The Value of Privacy,' in A. Duff, E. Claes and S. Gutwirth (eds.), Privacy and the Criminal Law (AZntwerpen-Oxford: Intersentia, 2006): 13-31.

• 'Law and Moral Disagreement: The Case of Abortion', in G. Quinn, S. Livingstone and A Ingram (eds.) Justice and Legal Theory in Ireland , Dublin: Oak Tree Press, 1995. pp. 72 -83.

• 'Can child abuse be defined?' in M. King (ed.), Moral Agendas for Children's Welfare (London: Routledge, 1999): 74-89

• 'Welfare Rights as Human Rights and the Duties of Organisations', in T. Campbell and S. Miller (eds.) Human Rights and the Moral Responsibilities of Corporate and Public Sector Organisations, Amsterdam: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004, pp. 45-59.

• 'Children's Rights and Juvenile Justice,' in M. Hill, A. Lockyer and F. Stone (eds.), Youth Justice and Child Protection (London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kinglsey Publishers, 2007): 250-265

•'The Obligations and Responsibilities of Parenthood' in D. Archard and D. Benatar (eds.) Procreation and Parenthood: The Ethics of Bearing and Rearing Children (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010): 103-127

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