Dr Simon Robertson

Dr Simon Robertson


School of English, Communication and Philosophy

+44 (0)29 2087 0729
1.37, John Percival Building, Rhodfa Colum, Caerdydd, CF10 3EU

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

I am part of the School's Philosophy research group.

My current research focuses on:

  • ethics
  • Nietzsche
  • philosophy of normativity
  • philosophy of risk

I moved to Cardiff in January 2012. I completed a PhD at the University of St Andrews.

Before arriving at Cardiff I worked at the Universities of Leeds, Southampton (as an AHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow), Stirling, and York. Beyond philosophy, my main passions lie in various mountainous pursuits.

I typically teach on the following modules:

  • Moral & Political Philosophy (Year 1)
  • Philosophy Through Great Texts (Year 1)
  • Contemporary Ethical Theory (Year 2)
  • Advanced Moral Philosophy (Year 3)
  • Dissertation (Year 3)
  • Ethics (MA)

I’m also currently involved in PhD supervision (as a primary and secondary supervisor). Previously I’ve run taught courses on Reason & Argument, Continental Philosophy, Media Ethics, Matters of Life & Death, Metaethics, PGT Research Skills (and tutored on several other modules, ranging from Classical Philosophy through to Descartes to Kant).

My current research falls within two main areas:

  1. Metaethics and practical reason: I’ve for a while been working on a range of topics concerning (a) various meta-normative views about reasons for action (their conceptual structure; their relation to other normative concepts; an irrealist account of their ontology), and (b) the truth-conditions for practical normative claims (defending a motive-value account; examining the relation between reasons to act and epistemic evidence). My work on these issues reflects a long-standing interest in the objectivity and justification of moral/ethical claims, and connects to a number of issues in moral psychology, the philosophy of action and normative ethics.
  2. Nietzsche: I’m currently writing a monograph (under contract with OUP) critically assessing Nietzsche’s significance for contemporary theoretical ethics (a charitable but critical engagement). The book comprises twelve substantive chapters (plus intro and conclusion), divided into three parts. Part I examines Nietzsche’s critique of morality (its foundations and value). Part II focuses on moral psychology. Part III explores and critically reconstructs Nietzsche’s positive ideal, understood as a form of non-moral perfectionism.

Other major research interests include:

  • Normative ethics - especially anti-theory
  • Philosophy of normativity
  • Philosophy of risk - with a particular interest in the role and value of risk in mountaineering/climbing