Professor Robert Lamb
B.A. (Strathclyde), M.A. (York), PhD (Exeter)
Professor of Political Philosophy
I teach and research the history of modern political thought and contemporary political philosophy.
I am on research leave until January 2022.
Research group links
My research interests are mainly in the following areas:
Modern Political Thought - the history of moral, economic and political ideas and argument, particularly modern liberal thought.
Political Philosophy - property rights, human rights, the nature and limits of normative authority.
Philosophy of History - philosophical and methodological issues in the history of ideas, especially the nature of interpretation and historical meaning.
My book Thomas Paine and the Idea of Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2015) brings together my various research interests: it analyses Paine's texts, interpreting them as comprising a coherent account of liberal rights. In the monograph, I discuss Paine's ideas about human equality, the nature of rights, the grounds for (and limits to) political obligation, democracy and representation, property ownership and welfare, international relations and religion. In addition to offering (hopefully) novel interpretations of Paine's thought, I try to demonstrate his historical and philosophical distinctness within modern liberalism, and also show how entering into interpretive dialogues with past thinkers can be philosophically productive.