Dr Josh Milburn
Department of Politics and International Relations
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
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Department of Politics and International Relations
Josh Milburn is an analytic philosopher interested primarily in moral and political philosophy. Much of his research concerns human-animal relations. Josh joined the Department of Politics in 2019 as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow. His research project is called Food Justice and Animals: Feeding the World Respectfully.
Before coming to Sheffield, he worked for two years as an Associate Lecturer in Political Philosophy in the Department of Politics at the University of York and for one year as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Animal Studies in the Department of Philosophy at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He has a PhD in philosophy from Queen’s University Belfast, and studied for his undergraduate and MA degrees at Lancaster University. He is a section editor of the journal Politics and Animals, and a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Vegan Society.
- Research interests
Josh is a moral and political philosopher whose work primarily addresses the ethics and politics of human-animal relationships, though he has interests in a wide range of other puzzles in applied philosophy. In addition to animal ethics, key research interests include food ethics and the philosophy of food; liberal and libertarian political theory; applied ethics and applied political philosophy; and the methodology and application of political theory.
At Sheffield, his research is at the intersection of animal ethics, food ethics, and political philosophy. His research project is called Food Justice and Animals: Feeding the World Respectfully. There's a straightforward sense in which a vegan state is the natural conclusion of animal-rights theory. Josh wants to challenge this. While taking animal rights seriously will mean that animal agriculture as we know it must come to an end, there might be ways that we can have our cow and eat her too.
Josh is exploring the viability of alternative sources of animal protein, including "clean" meat (and related technologies), unfeeling invertebrates, and animals conceptualised as workers (and thus afforded workers' rights). After all, vegan food systems may have their own problems, both from an animal-rights perspective and a broader food-justice perspective. Arable agriculture can be harmful to animals, and perhaps vegan food systems will be bad for the hungry, workers, and those who value non-vegan foods. In short, Josh is trying to conceptualise a food system that has it all: ample food, animal protein, and good jobs – all with full respect for animals' rights.
- Should vegans compromise?. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. View this article in WRRO
- In defence of backyard chickens. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 36(1), 108-123. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Nozick’s libertarian critique of Regan. Between the Species : a Journal for the Study of Philosophy and Animals, 21(1), 68-93.
- Death-free dairy? The ethics of clean milk. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 31(2), 261-279. View this article in WRRO
- Nonhuman animals as property holders: An exploration of the Lockean labour-mixing account. Environmental Values, 26(5), 629-648. View this article in WRRO
- Chewing over in vitro meat: Animal ethics, cannibalism and social progress. Res Publica, 22(3), 249-265. View this article in WRRO
- The demandingness of Nozick’s ‘Lockean’ proviso. European Journal of Political Theory, 15(3), 276-292. View this article in WRRO
- Rabbits, Stoats and the Predator Problem: Why a Strong Animal Rights Position Need Not Call for Human Intervention to Protect Prey from Predators. Res Publica, 21(3), 273-289. View this article in WRRO
- Not Only Humans Eat Meat: Companions, Sentience, and Vegan Politics. Journal of Social Philosophy, 46(4), 449-462. View this article in WRRO
- A novel argument for vegetarianism? Zoopolitics and respect for animal corpses. Animal Studies Journal.
- Vegetarian Eating, Handbook of Eating and Drinking (pp. 1-20). Springer International Publishing View this article in WRRO
- The Animal Lovers’ Paradox?, Pets and People (pp. 187-202). Oxford University Press View this article in WRRO
- Robert Nozick on Nonhuman Animals: Rights, Value and the Meaning of Life, Ethical and Political Approaches to Nonhuman Animal Issues (pp. 97-120). Springer International Publishing View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Nonhuman animals and sovereignty: On Zoopolis, failed states and institutional relationships with free-living animals In Woodhall A & Garmendia da Trindade G (Ed.), Intervention or Protest: Acting for Nonhuman Animals Vernon Press
- View this article in WRRO Animal rights and food: Beyond Regan, beyond vegan In Rawlinson M & Ward C (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Food Ethics Routledge
- View this article in WRRO Review: When Animals Speak: Towards an Interspecies Democracy. Metapsychology Online Reviews, 23(51).
- View this article in WRRO Sentientist politics gone wild. Politics and Animals, 5, 19-24.
- Reviewed Work: Critical Perspectives on Veganism by Jodey Castricano, Rasmus R. Simonsen. Journal of Animal Ethics, 8(2), 252-253. View this article in WRRO
- John Hadley: Animal property rights: A theory of habitat rights for wild animals. Res Publica, 23(1), 147-151. View this article in WRRO
- Book Review: Marcel Wissenburg and David Schlosberg (eds), Political animals and animal politics. Political Studies Review, 14(3), 427-428. View this article in WRRO
- Book Review: Joachim Wündisch, Towards a right-libertarian welfare state. Political Studies Review, 14(2), 252-253. View this article in WRRO
- Protection for the Sentient in the Nonideal World: A Review of Robert Garner’s A Theory of Justice for Animals. Journal of Animal Ethics, 5(1), 69-69.
- Animal Property Rights. In Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights Springer International Publishing.
- Animal Sovereignty Theory. In Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights Springer International Publishing.
- Clean Milk. In Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics Springer Netherlands.
- Pet Food: Ethical Issues. In Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics Springer Netherlands.
- Teaching activities
At Sheffield, Josh teaches on the second-year module Political Theory in Practice. At other institutions, he has taught on a range of modules addressing moral and political philosophy.