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The Australian National University

Philip Pettit

Position: Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy

School or Centre: Centre for Consciousness

Phone: 61 2 6125 7118
Location: HC Coombs Building, Room 2209

Website: My profile website


BA in Philosophy, First Class Honours, National University of Ireland (1966)

LPh (by thesis), Pontifical College, Maynooth (1967) 

MA (by thesis), First Class honours, National University (1967)

PhD student in Philosophy, Queen's University, Belfast (PhD conferred 1970)

MA (ex officio) Cambridge University (2002)


Philp Pettit has been Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy since 2013 but holds a joint position as L.S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton University, where he has taught political theory and philosophy since 2002. Born and raised in Ireland, he was a lecturer in University College, Dublin, a Research Fellow at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bradford, before moving in 1983 to the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University; there he held a professorial position jointly in Social and Political Theory and Philosophy until 2002. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences since 1987 and of the Australian Academy of the Humanities since 1988, he was elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009, honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2010 and Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy in 2013. He holds honorary professorships in Philosophy at Sydney University and Queen's University, Belfast and has been awarded honorary degrees by the National University of Ireland (Dublin), the University of Crete, Lund University, Universite de Montreal, Queen's University, Belfast and the University of Athens. Common Minds: Themes from the Philosophy of Philip Pettit appeared from OUP in 2007, edited by Geoffrey Brennan, R.E.Goodin, Frank Jackson and Michael Smith. Philip Pettit – Five Themes from his Work, ed. Simon Derpmann and David Schweikard, appeared from Springer in 2016.

Research Interests

Philip works in moral and political theory and on background issues in the philosophy of mind and metaphysics. He gave the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Berkeley in April 2015 under the title The Birth of Ethics, which he is currently preparing for publication as a book. He is presenting the Locke lectures in Philosophy at Oxford University in Spring 2019.


The Common Mind (Oxford University Press, 1996)

Republicanism (Oxford University Press, 1997)

A Theory of Freedom (Oxford University Press, 2001)

Rules, Reasons and Norms (Oxford University Press,  2002)

Penser en Societe (Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 2004)

Examen a Zapatero (Temas de Hoy, Madrid 2008)

Made with Words: Hobbes on Mind (Princeton University Press, 2008)

Society and Politics (Princeton University Press, 2008)

On the People's Terms: A Republican Theory and Model of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

Just Freedom: A Moral Compass for a Complex World (W.W. Norton 2014)

The Robust Demands of the Good: Ethics with Attachment, Virtue and Respect (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Recent co-authored books:

The Economy of Esteem (Oxford University Press, 2004), with Geoffrey Brennan

Mind, Morality and Explanation (Oxford University Press, 2004)

A Political Philosophy in Public Life: Civic Republicanism in Zapatero's Spain (Princeton University Press, 2010), with Jose Marti; and Group Agency

The Possibility, Design and Status of Corporate Agents (Oxford University Press, 2011), with Christian List


D.Litt. (honoris causa), Politics, National University of Ireland (2000)

Ph.D. (honoris causa), Political Science, University of Crete (2005)

Ph.D. (honoris causa), Philosophy, Université de Montreal (2006)

D.Litt. (honoris causa), Philosophy, Queen’s University, Belfast (2007)

D.Ph. (honoris causa), Philosophy, Lund University (2008)

Ph.D. (honoris causa), Philosophy, University of Athens (2014)

Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (1987)

Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (1988)

Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2009)

Honorary Member, Royal Irish Academy (2010)

Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy (2013)

David and Elaine Spitz Prize for On the People’s Terms (2014)

State of Philosophy Laureate, University of Bayreuth (2012)

Guggenheim Fellowship (2010)

Awarded Australian Federation Fellowship (2005, not taken up)

Old Dominion Faculty Fellow, Council of the Humanities, Princeton University (2005-06, 2007-08)

Emeritus Professor of the Australian National University (2004)

Centenary Medal for service to Australian Society and the Humanities in the Study of Philosophy (2003)

Invited International Member, The Tampere Club (2001)

University Medal, University of Helsinki (1992)

Elected Honorary Member, Italian Society for Analytical Philosophy, Rome (1992)

Honourary Appointments:

Honorary Professor of Philosophy, University of Sydney (2008-17)

Honorary Professor of Philosophy, Queen's University, Belfast (2009-19)

Honorary Fellow, Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford (2011)


Updated: 30 May 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher