Photo of Dr Nigel Pleasants

Dr Nigel Pleasants

B.Sc. (Bristol); M.Phil., Ph.D. (Cambridge)


Extension: 3253

Telephone: 01392 723253

Director of Education, Senior Lecturer

Office Hours (348 Amory): 

week commencing 19/2/18:

Tuesday 20th Feb 14:00-16:00 or Wednesday  21st Feb 15:00 -16:00


Thursdays 14:30 -15:30 and Fridays 14:30 – 15:30


Selected Publications

(Forthcoming): 'Would Aristotle have seen the wrongness of slavery if he had undergone a course of moral enhancement?' in Michael Hauskeller and Lewis Coyne (eds.), Moral Enhancement: Critical Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)

(2018) ‘Ordinary Men: Genocide, Determinism, Agency and Moral Culpability’, Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (1) 3–32

(2016) ‘The question of the Holocaust’s uniqueness: Was it something more than or different from genocide?’ Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (3), 297–310.

(2015) ‘If killing isn’t wrong, then nothing is: A naturalistic defence of basic moral certainty’ Ethical Perspectives 22 (1), 197 – 215.

(2010) 'Moral argument is not enough: The persistence of slavery and the emergence of abolition', Philosophical Topics 38 (1), 139-60.

(2009) ‘Structure, agency, and ontology for Political Scientists?’, Political Studies 57 (4), 885-891.

(2009) Wittgenstein and Basic Moral Certainty, Philosophia 37 (4), 669-679 (Special issue: The Third Wittgenstein Conference, edited by D. Moyal-Sharrock).

(2008) ‘Wittgenstein, ethics and basic moral certainty’, Inquiry 51 (3), 241- 67.

(2008) ‘Institutional wrongdoing and moral perception’, Journal of Social Philosophy 39 (1), 96–115.

(2008) ‘Structure and moral agency in the antislavery and animal liberation movements’, in  D. Grumett and R. Muers (eds.) Eating and believing: interdisciplinary perspectives on vegetarianism and theology. London: T&T Clark, pp. 198-216.

(2008) Review of P. Tabensky (ed.) Judging and understanding: essays on free will, narrative, meaning and the ethical limits of condemnation, Philosophical Papers 37 (1), 177-84.

(2006) ‘Nonsense on stilts? Wittgenstein, ethics, and the lives of animals’, Inquiry 49 (4), 314-36

(2004) ‘The concept of learning from the study of the Holocaust’, History of the Human Sciences 17 (2/3), 187-210

(2003) ‘Social criticism for “critical critics”?’ History of the Human Sciences 16 (4), 95-100.

(2003) ‘A philosophy for the social sciences: realism, pragmatism, or neither?’ Foundations of Science 8 (1), 69-87.

(2002) ‘Towards a critical use of Marx and Wittgenstein’, in G. Kitching & N. Pleasants (eds.), Marx and Wittgenstein: knowledge, morality and politics. London: Routledge, pp.160-81.

(2002) ‘Rich egalitarianism, ordinary politics, and the demands of justice’, Inquiry 45 (1), 97-118.

(2000) ‘Winch and Wittgenstein on understanding ourselves critically: descriptive not metaphysical’, Inquiry 43 (3), 289-318.

(2000) ‘Winch, Wittgenstein, and the idea of a critical social theory’, History of the Human Sciences 13 (1), 78-91.

(1999) Wittgenstein and the idea of a critical social theory: a critique of Giddens, Habermas and Bhaskar. London: Routledge.