BA Stirling, MA, PhD Sheffield
Department of Philosophy
Head of Department
Full contact details
Department of Philosophy
45 Victoria Street
Chris has taught in the Department since 2001, having previously done his PhD at Sheffield. His PhD looked at the question of whether retributive emotions have a place in the good human life. This and related questions continue to be a central interest. Chris was Chief Editor of the Journal of Applied Philosophy from 2013-2018. He is currently Treasurer of the Society of Applied Philosophy.
- Research interests
- Theories of punishment and alternatives to punishment
- Criminal law and criminal justice
- Emotions and expressive action
- Normative powers
- Moral responsibility and moral responsibility
- Blame, forgiveness and apology
- Political authority and legitimacy
- Democratic political theory
- Philosophy of law
- Friendship and marriage
- History of philosophy, especially Kant and post-Kantianism
- What Is This Thing Called Ethics?. Taylor & Francis.
- The apology ritual: A Philosophical Theory of Punishment. Cambridge Univ Pr.
- What is this thing called Ethics?. Routledge.
- Evaluating voluntary sector involvement in mass incarceration: The case of Samaritan prisoner volunteers. Punishment & Society. View this article in WRRO
- Russell on naturalism and practical reason. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. View this article in WRRO
- Shoemaker on sentiments and quality of will. Criminal Law and Philosophy, 1-12. View this article in WRRO
- The authority of moral oversight : on the legitimacy of criminal law. Legal Theory. View this article in WRRO
- Indirect Communication, Authority, and Proclamation as a Normative Power: Løgstrup's Critique of Kierkegaard. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, 40(1), 147-182. View this article in WRRO
- The category and the office of proclamation with particular reference to Luther and Kierkegaard. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, 40(1), 183-209. View this article in WRRO
- The Alteration Thesis: Forgiveness as a Normative Power. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 46(2), 207-233. View this article in WRRO
- Expression, Freedom of Speech and the State. Jurisprudence, 8(2), 360-369. View this article in WRRO
- Considering Murphy on Human Executioners. Criminal Justice Ethics, 36(1), 111-116. View this article in WRRO
- Penal Disenfranchisement. Criminal Law and Philosophy, 10(3), 411-425. View this article in WRRO
- A Review of David Owens' Shaping the Normative Landscape. Jurisprudence, 6(2), 364-370. View this article in WRRO
- What Is The Core Normative Argument for Greater Democracy in Criminal Justice?. The Good Society, 23(1), 41-41. View this article in WRRO
- Morality, Self-Knowledge and Human Suffering: An Essay on the Loss of Confidence in the World, by Josep E. Corbí. New York: Routledge, 2012, 254 pp. ISBN 978-0-415-89069-4 hb $85.00. European Journal of Philosophy, 21, e14-e18.
- Ross London,Crime, punishment and restorative justice: from the margins to the mainstream. Restorative Justice, 1(2), 298-301.
- Vera Bergelson: Victims’ Rights and Victims’ Wrongs. Criminal Law and Philosophy, 6(1), 103-109.
- Review of The Apology Ritual. TEOREMA, 31(2), 84-94.
- Replies to my Commentators. Teorema, 31(2).
- Precis of The Apology Ritual. Teorema, 31(2).
- Making Amends: Atonement in Law, Morality and Politics. Journal of Moral Philosophy, 8(1), 165-167.
- Expressive Punishment and State Authority. Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, 8(2), 285-318.
- L. Zaibert, Punishment and Retribution. Criminal Law and Philosophy, 4(1), 105-107.
- Review: Margaret Urban Walker: Moral Repair. Mind, 118(469), 215-220.
- A Theory of Political Obligation- By Margaret Gilbert. Philosophical Books, 49(4), 390-392.
- Autonomy and Conjugal Love: A Reply to Golash. Res Publica, 12(2), 191-201.
- Taking the Sincerity Out Of Saying Sorry: Restorative Justice As Ritual. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 23.
- State Denunciation of Crime. Journal of Moral Philosophy, 3.
- On the Right to be Punished: responsibility and the critique of the rehabilitative ideal. Criminal Justice Matters, 60(1), 20-21.
- Punishment. Philosophical Books, 45(4), 324-334.
- Review Article: Forgiveness and the Claims of Retribution. Journal of Moral Philosophy, 1(1), 89-101.
- The Limits of Mercy. Ratio, 17(1).
- The Killing State: Capital Punishment in Law, Politics and Culture. Contemporary Political Theory, 2(2), 255-257.
- Is Amnesty a Collective Act of Forgiveness?. Contemporary Political Theory, 2(1), 67-76.
- Liberalism, Autonomy and Conjugal Love. Res Publica: a journal of legal and social philosophy, 9.
- Personal and Redemptive Forgiveness. European Journal of Philosophy, 11(2).
- The Varieties of Retributive Experience. The Philosophical Quarterly, 52.
- McTaggart on the right to be punished. Hegel Bulletin, 19(1-2), 85-96.
- Howard P Kainz, An Introduction to Hegel: The Stages of Modern Philosophy, Athens: Ohio University Press, 1996, pp xi + 102. Hegel Bulletin, 18(02), 43-45.
- Michael Rosen, On Voluntary Servitude, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996, pp xi + 289. Hegel Bulletin, 18(02), 60-64.
- Communities at Work? The Concept of ‘Community’ in Organisational Analysis. Philosophy of Management, 5(3), 31-41.
- Considering Capital Punishment as a Human Interaction. Criminal Law and Philosophy.
- Excuses, Justifications and the Normativity of Expressive Behaviour. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 32(3), 563-581.
- Complicity and Normative Control. The Monist.
- The Problem of Expressive Action. Philosophy.
- How and Why to Express the Emotions: A Taxonomy With Historical Illustrations. Metaphilosophy.
- View this article in WRRO What Goes On When We Apologize?. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
- Love Among the Ruins: On the Possibility of Dialectical Activity in Paris, Texas. Angelaki, 27(5).
- Eyewitness testimony, the misinformation effect and reasonable doubt, The Social Epistemology of Legal Trials (pp. 30-45).
- The varieties of retributive experience, Retribution (pp. 317-335).
- View this article in WRRO How should we argue for a censure theory of punishment? In du Bois-Pedain A & Bottoms AE (Ed.), Penal Censure : Engagements Within and Beyond Desert Theory Oxford: Hart Publishing.
- View this article in WRRO Intrusive Intervention and Opacity Respect In Birks D & Douglas T (Ed.), Treatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- View this article in WRRO Retributivism and Totality: Can Bulk Discounts for Multiple Offending Fit the Crime? In Ryberg J, Roberts JV & De Keijser JW (Ed.), Sentencing Multiple Crimes Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Grace, Freedom, and the Expression of Emotion: Schiller and the Critique of Kant In Cohen A & Stern R (Ed.), Thinking about the Emotions: A Philosophical History (pp. 184-205). Oxford: Oxford University Press. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Expressive Actions In Abell C & Smith J (Ed.), The Expression of Emotion: Philosophical, Psychological and Legal Perspectives Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Punishment as an Apology Ritual In Flanders C & Hoskins Z (Ed.), The New Philosophy of Criminal Law (pp. 213-230).
- View this article in WRRO Why Greater Public Participation in Criminal Justice? In Loader I, Sparks R & Dzur A (Ed.), Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Retributivist Theories, Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (pp. 4446-4456). Springer New York
- View this article in WRRO Public Opinion and Democratic Control of Sentencing Policy In Roberts J & Ryberg J (Ed.), Popular Punishment On the Normative Significance of Public Opinion (pp. 146-162). Oxford University Press, USA
- View this article in WRRO Retributivism In Bruinsma G & Weisburg D (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice Springer
- Satisfying the needs and interests of victims, Handbook of Restorative Justice (pp. 247-264).
- View this article in WRRO "Do Repeat and Multiple Offenders Pose a Problem for Retributive Sentencing Theory?" In Ryberg J & Tamburrini C (Ed.), Recidivist Punishments: the Philosopher's View Lanham MA: Lexington Books.
- View this article in WRRO The Expressive Function of Blame, Blame: Its Nature and Norms Oxford University Press
- 'More to Apologise For': Can We Find A Justification for the Recidivist Premium in a Communicative Theory of Punishment? In Roberts JV & Hirsch AV (Ed.), Previous convictions at sentencing Hart Pub
- Blame, remorse, mercy, forgiveness, The Routledge Companion to Ethics (pp. 573-583).
- "Blame, Remorse, Forgiveness, Mercy" In Skorupski J (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Ethics London: Routledge.
- Punishment and Rehabilitation In Ryberg J & Corlett JA (Ed.), Punishment and Ethics: New Perspectives Palgrave Macmillan
- Apology and Reparation in a Multicultural State, Law and Philosophy (pp. 272-287). Oxford University Press
- View this article in WRRO The Role of Remorse in Criminal Justice In Tonry M (Ed.), Oxford Handbook Online in Criminology and Criminal Justice Oxford University Press
- Remorse, Probation and the State In Tudor S, Weisman R, Proeve M & Rossmanith K (Ed.), Remorse and Criminal Justice Routledge
- Research group
I am currently supervising PhD students working on the following topics:
- Foucault and obesity
- Sexual ethics
- Transitional Justice
- Kantian approaches to bioethics
- Teaching interests
I am fascinated by the way in which philosophical questions arise from everyday experience, so that reflection on controversies that arise in practical life leads us quickly to some kind of engagement with philosophical issues. Engagement with philosophical theorising can help deepen our understanding of these controversies, and in some cases can help us make progress in resolving them. This is the approach I take in teaching. In my modules I hope to develop students’ skills of appreciating philosophical issues, and using philosophical literature to deepen their understanding. I also hope to develop their skills in thinking critically about these issues, and improve their ability to argue philosophically. I aim to make my teaching inclusive and oriented to helping students to engage with philosophical issues for themselves. I currently teach Matters of Life and Death at Level One and Philosophy of Law at Level Three/Masters level. With Yonatan Shemmer, I co-designed the Department’s innovative Level One Writing Philosophy module, and I have often co-taught that module. I believe that this module serves as an excellent introduction to the skills involved in reading, understanding and writing philosophical arguments, and that it gives students a good grounding for the later years of their degree.
- Teaching activities
PHI125 Matters of Life and Death – This Level One module looks at the ethics of various situations that involve causing death: from the eating of non-human animals, to abortion, to capital punishment, to killing in war. It serves as an introduction to philosophical thinking about morality, but without assuming any particular background in philosophical moral theory.
PHI135 Writing Philosophy – This module introduces students to some intriguing philosophical issues, and uses the discussion of those issues as the basis for activities that help students to develop important skills. These skills include: understanding and summarising another person’s argument; constructing an argumentative strategy; developing a reading list; learning from feedback; and understanding marking criteria. For this module, students submit an unusually high number of assessments (five) in order to benefit from intensive practice and development of their writing skills. Students peer-mark one of those assessments in order to develop their understanding of the marking criteria. And the final assessment consists in a version of a previous essay that is rewritten in the light of the marker’s feedback.
PHI364/6364 – This Level Three module looks at philosophical issues arising from law. The existence and dominance of the legal system is an important and distinctive feature of modern societies. Many important decisions in our society are ultimately made by lawyers, or through the legal system, and it is only through the legal system that we can do many of the things that we need to do in our lives. This module asks, amongst other things, whether the dominance of law in modern societies is a good thing. We begin by looking at issues in criminal law, including punishment and complicity. We then look at issues about the duty to obey the law, including rights and duties of disobedience. We also look at the nature of law and legal systems; the relationship between law and morality; and the place of law in a democracy.
- Postgraduate Supervision
My PhD supervision is and has been on topics such forgiveness; punishment and criminal law; sexual ethics; meaningfulness in life; exploitation in medical research; environmental ethics; normative powers such as consent; and Kant’s theory of freedom. I welcome inquiries from PhD students who are interested in working on such topics, as well topics broadly related to the research interests mentioned above.