James Hart

I am a PhD student and Associate Lecturer in Philosophy at the Universities of Reading and Southampton. I generally work in moral and political philosophy.


About me

I grew up in the foothills of the Andes and later the Medway valley. I received my BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Reading and my MA in Philosophy from King's College London. I am funded through the AHRC's South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership and I receive coaching from Effective Thesis. My supervisors are Brad Hooker, Philip Stratton-Lake and Jonathan Way.

My research focuses on non-additive approaches to moral aggregation, especially as it pertains to the distribution of limited healthcare resources. However, I am interested in non-additive or holistic approaches quite broadly, as well as topics on fairness, consent and the ethics of AI.

In a previous life I was a policy researcher, and still like to venture out of the academy whenever possible. You can read one of my attempts at public philosophy in this nerdy anthology. When I'm not working you're likely to find me playing Wingspan or commenting on the most recent EA for Christians Facebook post.

Publications

Sometimes we must choose between competing claims to aid or assistance, and sometimes those competing claims differ in strength and quantity. In such cases, we must decide whether the claims on each opposing side can be aggregated. Relevance views argue that a set of claims can be aggregated only if they are sufficiently strong (compared to the claims with which they compete) to be morally relevant to the decision. Relevance views come in two flavours: Local Relevance and Global Relevance. This paper presents a trilemma for both. Namely, that neither view can capture our intuition in tie-break cases, without forfeiting our intuitions in other important cases.

I then present a way to salvage relevance views and capture all our intuitions using a Hybrid view. By distinguishing between two types of relevance we can combine the strengths of Local and Global Relevance views such that we can hold all our intuitions, consistently and in a non-ad-hoc manner. Building on this, the paper demonstrates how we might amend the strongest formulation of a Relevance view, into a Hybrid account.

Teaching

Associate Lecturer, Part 2 Ignorance Doubt and Relativism, University of Reading, 2021/22

Associate Lecturer, Part 1 Reason and Argument, University of Reading, 2021/22

Associate Lecturer, Part 1 Freedom (Politics Department), University of Reading, 2021/22

TA, Part 1 Mind and World, University of Southampton, 2021/22

TA, Part 3 Reason, Value and Knowledge, University of Reading, 2020/21

TA, Part 1 Meaning of Life, University of Reading, 2020/21

TA, Part 1 Radical Philosophy, University of Reading, 2019/20