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The Australian National University

Nicholas Southwood

Phone: 6125 3226, x 53226
Location: HC Coombs Building, Room 3208

Website: My profile website


BA (Hons)



Nicholas Southwood is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Philosophy at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. From 2008-2011, he was a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford. He works primarily in moral and political philosophy with regular incursions into the neighbouring regions of epistemology, philosophy of action, philosophy of law and philosophy of social science. Some of the things he has worked on include contractualism, normativity, rationality, promises, democracy and human rights. He is the author of two monographs, Contractualism and the Foundations of Morality (OUP, 2010) and Explaining Norms (OUP, 2013) and many articles in journals including Ethics, Mind and Noûs. His current research focuses on two main areas: a) the role of feasibility in moral and political theory; and b) the nature of practical reason and normativity. He is currently Chief Investigator on two three-year projects funded by two ARC Discovery Grants: 1) Political Normativity and the Feasibility Requirement (with Geoffrey Brennan and David Estlund); and 2) The Demands of Reasons (with Philip Pettit, Victoria McGeer and John Broome). He is Co-Editor of The Journal of Political Philosophy.

Research Interests

  • Political Theory And Political Philosophy
  • Ethical Theory



Projects and Grants

2012-2015: DP120101507. Political normativity and the feasibility requirement. Dr N Southwood; Prof G Brennan; Prof D Estlund. $408,587.00

2014-2017: DP140102468. The Demands of Reason. Dr N Southwood; Prof P Pettit; Dr V McGeer; Prof J Broome. $166,000.00


Updated: 8 July 2016/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher