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Dr Neil Manson

Formerly at Lancaster University

Neil Manson

Office Hours:

Spring term 2023 - Mondays 2.30-4.30

My office is B51 County South -

Or drop me an email !


PhD supervision

I am taking early retirement in 2023, so will be unable to take on PhD supervision.

Current Teaching

PHIL100 - Introduction to Philosophy (Convenor)

PPR 218  The Ethics and Politics of Knowledge

PPR307 Turns and Transformations in Twentieth Century Philosophy

PPR 392c  The Ethics and Politics of Communication

PPR 450 - What is Philosophy?  Aims, methods, debates. (Convenor)




Research Interests

I studied philosophy at King's College London, University College London and Corpus Christi College Oxford. From 1998 to 2005 I was a fellow of King's College Cambridge.  Since 2005 I’ve been at Lancaster University.  The University has (sadly) changed beyond recognition since I arrived and I will be taking early retirement in July 2023.  So it goes.

Over the past few years my main research interests was in the philosophy consent.  In philosophy, consent features in three “big” areas: medical ethics (informed consent); in political philosophy (consent as something that legitimates government); sexual consent.  I have an interest in these areas, but, my current research has expanded outside these areas onto the less well mapped terrain of “everyday” consent transactions.  In our daily lives with others we consent to do things, we permit people to do things by our consent, we consent to take on roles, and, sometimes many times a day we “consent” to the terms and conditions of use for websites, products, software and so on. 

I was a great believer in the idea that philosophers should try to say, and do, things that take them beyond the insular world of the "academy".  For over 16 years I was involved with the Society for Applied Philosophy as treasurer, Chair, and as associate editor of the Journal of Applied Philosophy.   I was also been involved in a wide variety of applied philosophy discussions, workshops, and committees. I'm currently a member of the UK Biobank’s Ethics Advisory Committee.


Research overview

My main research interest was to do with consent. This covers questions to do with what consent is, how it works, and how it can be undermined.  It has applications in biomedical ethics: the nature, justification and limits of informed consent;  the nature and role of consent in legitimating biobank research; the contrast between explicit consent and other kinds of “consent” in organ donation policy (tacit, presumed, deemed).  My work with Onora O'Neill on consent was in  Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics (CUP, 2007);

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