Dr Ben Colburn
- Senior Lecturer (Philosophy)
Ben Colburn is Head of Philosophy. He has worked at Glasgow since 2010. Before that, he studied and worked in Cambridge, receiving his PhD in 2008, and holding a research fellowship at Corpus Christi College from 2008 to 2010.
His main research interests are in political philosophy and ethics, with a particular interest in the nature and value of autonomy and its importance in liberal political philosophy. He is currently writing on various topics in this area, including the nature of responsibility and its role in distributive justice; the moral foundations of the free market; and the conditions of independence and authenticity.
Ben has a further interest in exploring how foundational philosophical ideas (like autonomy and responsibility) can be put to use in policy and practice. He has a number of ongoing collaborative research projects along these lines, including work on refugee education, on palliative and geriatric care, and on architecture and urban design.
Ben has supervised students working within political philosophy, ethics, and nearby fields. Specific topics have included neutrality, the philosophy of education, egalitarianism, multiculturalism, political economy, decision theory, and applied ethics.
He is happy to supervise doctoral work in most areas of political philosophy and philosophy of education, and in many areas of ethics; prospective students should drop him a line.
Completed PhD students:
- Carole Baillie (2015) Revealing the Multiculturalist's Illusion: A Liberal Critique
- James Humphries (2016) Authority, Autonomy and Anarchy
- Catherine Robb (2017) The Nature and Value of Talent
- Patrick Kaczmarek (2017) A Fairness Based Astronomical Waste Argument
- Frodo Podschwadek (2018) Rawlsian Liberalism and Public Education
Current PhD students:
- Ewan Burns (fourth year) Conservatism: toward a traditionalist moral and political epistemology
- Maria Pia Mendez (third year) Self-authorship in the political sphere: Collective self-government and autonomy
- Philipp Dapprich (third year) The philosophical basis of a socialist planned economy
- Luke Armstrong (second year) Autonomy in Political Liberalism: does it rest on mistakes in folk psychology?
- Imants Latkovskis (second year) Perfectionism, Paternalism, and Capabilities: Reassessing the Role of Liberalism Within the Capability Approach
Ben is currently Head of Philosophy. He is teaching JH4 Political Philosophy, MSc Philosophical Methodology, and supervising political philosophy dissertations. Please e-mail if you would like a meeting.