Photo of Ross Hetherington
Ross Hetherington

Nationality: British
Degrees: MSc in Geography (Edinburgh), MLitt in Philosophy (Glasgow)
Current Degree Course: PhD
Supervisor: Professor Dudley Knowles

Thesis Topic

The development and significance of the sense of justice in the work of John Rawls

Other Research Interests

Moral Theory (both issues of methodology - what is moral theory? and substance - which is the correct moral theory?), Political Philosophy (particularly issues of civic virtue, liberalism, egalitarianism, feminism), Moral Psychology (both philosophical and empirical approachs), The Emotions, The History of Political Philosophy, The Philosophy of Psychology


None yet. Hopefully soon.


"The Concept of Liberty" - Glasgow Postgraduate Seminar, Feb 2007 (with Robert Cowen)

"Unconscious Desires" - Glasgow Postgraduate Reading Party, May 2007

"Constructivism as a Metaethical Thesis: Some Remarks" - Glasgow Postgraduate Seminar, October 2007

"Reciprocity Principles and the Sense of Justice in Rawls' 'A Theory of Justice'" - Glasgow Postgraduate Seminar, April 2008

"Adam Smith's Iron Dream" - Glasgow Postgraduate Reading Party, May 2008

"The Sense of Justice and Reflective Equilibrium" - Annual Review Presentation, June 2008

"The Duty of Justice, Political Obligation and Political Liberalism" - Glasgow Postgraduate Seminar, October 2008

Reply to "Human Rights: Institutional or Interactional?" by Jesse Tomalty (St. Andrews) - University of Stirling Law and Philosophy conference, December 2008

"Rawls on the circumstances of justice" - Glasgow Postgraduate Seminar, January, 2009

"The Role of the Sense of Justice in the Philosophy of John Rawls" Annual Review Presentation, June, 2009

"The Concept of Justice" - Glasgow Postgraduate Reading Party, June, 2009

"Rawls on Guilt" - Glasgow Postgraduate Seminar, October, 2009

"Guilt and Shame: Essential Aspects of Humanity?" - Glasgow Undergraduate Philosophy Society Presentation, October 2009 

"Retributive Emotions in the Well-Ordered Society" - Morality and The Emotions Conference, University of Salamanca, March, 2010

"Rawls and the Sentiments" - Glasgow Postgraduate Seminar, April, 2010 

"Rawls and Scanlon on Considered Judgements and Intuitions" - Annual Review Presentation, June, 2010

"Rawls, the Moral Powers, and the Moral Sentiments" - Glasgow Postgraduate Seminar, October, 2010

"Moral Psychology and the Overlapping Consensus" - Glasgow Postgraduate Seminar, January, 2011

"Can Morality demand more than Human Nature can supply?" - Glasgow Undergraduate Philosophy Society Presentation, February 2011


Philosophy 1M - Right and Wrong - tutor

Philosophy 1K - Knowledge and the World -  tutor

Further Information

I have now lived in Scotland for over 10 years, and am originally from County Durham in England. Philosophy was a late interest of mine; my first degree was in Geography (as can be seen above) and I concentrated on the physical side of the subject. I decided I wanted to study philosophy after encountering it through the methodology course taken in my honours years at Edinburgh. I had always been interested in ethical questions, but had not realised that this formed a whole area of possible study. The philosophical approach also seemed to chime well with my abilities and strengths in critical thinking and abstract reasoning. So I packed my bags, moved from east to west, and took the conversion degree here at Glasgow. So far, it seems to have been a good choice.

As my degree has progressed I have become more and more interested in issues in moral psychology, and how it relates to the content of our moral theories. I am also interested in the extent to which research in moral and political philosophy can benefit from connection to other areas of the subject, and to other disciplines, which I see as a fascinatingly open question at this time.

My other major interests are music and science fiction. My musical taste is very broad, but I particularly like britpop, 70's glam and prog, post punk and 80s indie, folk rock, and hearing obscure pop songs on Radio 2. In terms of sci fi, I like earlier stuff best, particularly the 30-50s golden age and pre-golden age stuff, and the 70s new wave movement. Matte-painted cover art is a must (computer generated stuff always looks abominable). In films my tastes are pretty similar - for me the look and special effects of sci fi cinema reached their peak at about 1985, most later things seem to be often overly cluttered and glossy. I go to the cinema a great deal, my taste being quite broad. I like comics, particularly 2000AD: again, the older the better. And I also like classic novels - but largely avoid mainstream literature. Most importantly, I am fortunate to have a great number of very good friends.