I came to Nottingham from the University of Warwick in 2002. I have been Head of the Department of Philosophy and Director of Teaching for the School of Humanities. I am currently the Director of the British Society for Ethical Theory, and Director of Teaching for the Department of Philosophy.
My research interests are in normative ethics and political philosophy.
In normative ethics I have a distinctive theory of 'pattern-based' reasons. These are reasons to contribute to patterns of action that are good or right; such patterns might be extended plans, or collective actions. In my first book, Reasons, Patterns, and Cooperation, I argued that pattern-based reasons exist even when other agents necessary to realise the relevant pattern are unwilling to play their parts.
My second book, Taking Utilitarianism Seriously, reverses this earlier claim. I now accept an argument made by Alexander Dietz, that any plausible account of the strength of pattern-based reasons requires accepting a 'willingness requirement'. In addition to incorporating this change to my earlier view, the new book develops a distinctive utilitarian theory that addresses many important topics in moral and political philosophy: reasons, rightness, well-being, moral rights, justice, equality, democracy, legitimacy, and virtue.
I have also published several articles on well-being, and edit the category 'Hybrid Accounts of Well-Being' at PhilPapers.
My teaching interests are in moral and political philosophy. I am especially interested in normative ethics (general views about right and wrong), theories of welfare or wellbeing, theories of… read more
I have recently finished a book defending a novel form of utilitarianism. It is intended to present a rich and rounded version of utilitarianism, incorporating novel views about well-being, reasons,… read more
WOODARD, C., 2017. Three Conceptions of Group-Based Reasons Journal of Social Ontology. Online first,
My teaching interests are in moral and political philosophy. I am especially interested in normative ethics (general views about right and wrong), theories of welfare or wellbeing, theories of distributive justice, theories of virtue, and theories of state legitimacy.
My approach to teaching is always to try to communicate two main things: why the issue under discussion matters, and how one might try to make progress in thinking about it. This motivates students to think for themselves and gives them the tools to do so.
In July 2016 I was honoured to receive a Lord Dearing Award for my teaching.
In Autumn Semester 2018 my drop in hours will be Mondays 3-4 and Thursdays 11-12.
I have recently finished a book defending a novel form of utilitarianism. It is intended to present a rich and rounded version of utilitarianism, incorporating novel views about well-being, reasons, rightness, moral rights, justice, democracy, decision-making, virtue, and praise and blame. I am very interested in collaborating with others, including research students, on any of these topics.
I have worked on theories of distributive justice, pattern-based reasons, actualism and possibilism in deontic logic, and well-being. I continue to be interested in these areas.
I plan to develop further my outline utilitarian account of virtue. I plan in particular to work on civic or political virtue.