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Current Postgraduate Research Students

Neil Manson supervises 1 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Neil Manson

Senior Lecturer

Neil Manson

Lancaster University

County South



Office Hours:

Lent Term office hours 2022   Mondays, 1-3

My office is B51 County South -


Research overview


My main research interest is 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 is in Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics (CUP, 2007); I am working on a monograph provisionally entitled  Everyday Consent: An Essay in Philosophical Cartography.

PhD supervision

The nature of consent; the nature and limits of informed consent (in medical ethics and elsewhere); consent and organ donation policy; adolescent consent; consent to uses of personal information; biobank consent policy; sexual consent; deception and consent

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, and enjoying living bang in the middle of the city (which, oddly, is only a few minutes walk from open fields!)

My main research interest these days is 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 am working on a monograph that seeks to “map” the various forms of everyday consent, especially on how consent is (typically) a response to a “second-person call” (which includes requests, suggestions, demands, pleas, but not commands or orders). 

I'm 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 have been involved with the Society for Applied Philosophy as treasurer, Chair, and as associate editor of the Journal of Applied Philosophy.   I've 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.

If you are interested in doing a PhD, I’m keen to consider proposals to do with any area of consent, informed consent, and, because these are (in my view) essentially communicative practices, I’m also interested in proposals to do with the ethics of communication (freedom of speech, lying, deception, civility)  and how these are transformed by context and media.  In the past couple of years I have become interested in epistemological, ethical, political aspects of prejudice, racism, epistemic injustice and epistemic exclusion.


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