The Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy is founded on the idea that legal inquiry and philosophical theorizing are mutually reinforcing pursuits. This is not simply because the two fields employ similar tools—like rigorous argument, close reading of texts, and careful attention to logic. The two disciplines also examine similar questions: What is justice? What are our individual rights and obligations? What are our collective responsibilities? How do we create a freer or fairer society? What principles should guide the use of state power?
The Centre thus is committed to the idea that the study of law is deepened when grounded in philosophical principle, and philosophy is of greater benefit to society when relevant to pressing practical and legal issues. The Centre’s members consist not only of legal theorists, but also of lawyers with philosophical training and philosophers with interests in legal questions—all of whom are invested in an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to research.
The Centre organizes workshops and seminars throughout the year to promote the free exchange of ideas on important questions at the intersection of law and philosophy. We also seek to engage and inspire students, legal practitioners, and members of the public through our fellowship programmes, large lecture events, and media outreach.
PhD Student Fellows
The Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy holds events throughout the year to ignite imagination and promote collaborative and interdisciplinary research. We have three series on which we particularly focus:
Allen & Overy Lectures:
These lectures bring diverse audiences together by bridging two divides simultaneously: the divide between law and philosophy, and that between legal scholarship and legal practice. Allen & Overy generously supports these lectures.
News & Social Media
Highlighted Recent Publications
Kenneth Ehrenberg, 'The Institutionality of Legal Validity' (2018) Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (forthcoming) (SSRN)
Dennis Patterson, 'Theoretical Disagreement, Legal Positivism and Interpretation' (2018) Ratio Juris (forthcoming)
Ari Afilalo and Dennis Patterson, 'Global Economic Constitutionalism and the Future of Global Trade' (2018) University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law (forthcoming) (SSRN)
Mikołaj Barczentewicz, 'The Limits of Natural Law Originalism' (2018) 93 Notre Dame Law Review Online 115 (SSRN)
Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco and Pilar Zambrano, 'One Myth of the Classical Natural Law Theory: Reflecting on the ‘Thin’ view of Legal Positivism' (2018) 31(1) Ratio Juris 91 (link)
Hrafn Asgeirsson, 'The Influence of the Sorites Paradox in Practical Philosophy' in Sergi Oms and Elia Zardini (eds.), The Sorites Paradox (Cambridge University Press 2018) (forthcoming) (link)
Alex Sarch and Daniel Wodak, 'Resolving Judicial Dilemmas' (2018) 6(1) Virginia Journal of Criminal Law 93 (SSRN)
Kenneth Ehrenberg, 'Law is an Institution, an Artifact, and a Practice’ in Luka Burazin, Kenneth Einar Himma, and Corrado Roversi (eds), Law as an Artifact (Oxford University Press 2018) (forthcoming) (link, SSRN)
Bebhinn Donnelly-Lazarov, ‘Intention in Criminal Law: The Challenge from Non-Observational Knowledge’ (2017) 30(4) Ratio Juris 451 (link)
Alexander F. Sarch, 'Who Cares What You Think? Criminal Culpability and the Irrelevance of Unmanifested Mental States' (2017) Law & Philosophy (link)
Hrafn Asgeirsson, 'On the Possibility of Non-Literal Legislative Speech', in Francesca Poggi and Alessandro Capone (eds) Pragmatics and Law: Practical and Theoretical Perspectives (Dordrecht: Springer 2017) (link)
Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco, 'Dworkin's Dignity Under the Lens of the Magician of Königsberg' in Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco, et al (eds), Dignity in Dworkin’s Legal and Moral Philosophy (Oxford University Press 2018) (link)
Alexander Sarch, 'Is Parity of Culpability a Constraint on Accomplice Liability?' (2018) 15(2) Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law (forthcoming) (link)
Joshua Andresen, 'Fighting Terrorism under All Applicable Law' in Christopher Fuller and Claire Finkelstein (eds), Using Law to Fight Terror: Legal Approaches to Combating Violent Non-State and State-Sponsored Actors (Oxford University Press 2019) (forthcoming) (SSRN)
Alexander Sarch, 'Willful Ignorance in Law and Morality' (2018) 13(5) Philosophy Compass (link)
Bebhinn Donnelly-Lazarov (ed.), Neurolaw and Responsibility for Action: Concepts, Crimes, and Courts (Cambridge University Press 2018) (link)
M.E. Newhouse, ‘Juridical Law as a Categorical Imperative,’ in Ruhi Demiray & Alice Pinheiro Walla (eds), Reason, Rights and Law: New Essays on Kantian Philosophy, (University of Wales Press 2018) (forthcoming) (SSRN)
Mikołaj Barczentewicz, 'The Social Basis of Ultimate Legal Rules: Hayek Meets Hart,' in Peter J. Boettke, Jayme Lemke, Virgil Storr (eds), Exploring the Political Economy & Social Philosophy of F.A. Hayek (Rowman & Littlefield 2018) (forthcoming) (SSRN)
M.E. Newhouse, 'In Defense of Liberal Equality' (2017) 9(1-2) Public Reason 99 (link)
Ambrose Y.K. Lee, 'Defending a Communicative Theory of Punishment: The Relationship between Hard Treatment and Amends' (2017) 37(1) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 217 (link)