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Dr Peter Lucas

Principal Lecturer in Philosophy
School of Humanities, Language & Global Studies

Peter Lucas is Academic Team Lead for History, Politics and Philosophy in the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies. He also shares Ethics Lead duties for the same school. He is a philosopher by training and teaches on the UCLan BA Philosophy, BA Liberal Arts and MA Religion, Culture and Society. His research interests lie in the intersection of ethics and epistemology and he supervises postgraduate research projects in a variety of topics in modern European philosophy.

Peter's teaching interests lie in Modern European Philosophy and the history of Philosophy. His research concerns the origins, possibility and nature of self-knowledge, and the implications of our shared capacity for self-knowledge for moral responsibility - particularly in situations in which one party has authoritative knowledge of another. This turns out to have implications for professional ethics and also for broader social issues, especially where it is alleged that one party or group may be guilty of "objectifying" another. Peter's monograph Ethics and Self-Knowledge: Respect for Self-Interpreting Agents (Springer, 2011) focused on this topic; and a number of publications including journal articles and conference papers have explored various associated themes.

Peter first encountered academic Philosophy as an undergraduate student at the University of Kent in the early nineteen-eighties. He quickly decided that Philosophy was not ready for him and decided to focus on Literature instead. A decade later, older and wiser, he successfully threw himself into the MA Values and Environment at Lancaster University, passing with distinction and winning a three-year British Academy studentship for a PhD in Philosophy. At the same time he began part-time HE Philosophy teaching. He passed his PhD with no corrections in 1998 and he continued to teach part-time at Lancaster and Bolton Institute (now the University of Bolton) until 2002, when he was appointed Lecturer in Bioethics at UCLan. In 2004 Peter was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and took on the role of Course Leader for the UCLan BA Philosophy. He held this role for ten years before being promoted to Principal Lecturer and Academic Team Lead for History, Politics and Philosophy in 2015. Growing out of his PhD project, Peter's research has centred around the phenomenon of objectification. His aim has been to understand what it means to objectify something or someone, and why objectification is regarded as morally objectionable. This line of enquiry has led him to concentrate on the ethics of self-knowledge, and to a focus on post-Hegelian European Philosophy, especially the work of Heidegger, Sartre and Foucault. Peter has found practical applications for his work on objectification in the areas of environmental ethics, bioethics, philosophy of communication and gender theory/politics. In addition to works of academic philosophy Peter has authored several articles for The Conversation, one of which ("Why the sexual objectification of men isn't just a bit of fun" (2018)) led to appearances on Radio 4 Woman's Hour and BBC TV's Sunday Morning Live.

  • PhD Philosophy, Lancaster University, 1998
  • MA Values and the Environment, Lancaster University, 1994
  • BA (Hons) English Literature and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Kent, 1986
  • British Academy Three-Year Postgraduate Studentship 1994-1997
  • Post-Hegelian European Philosophy, especially Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Sartre and Foucault
  • Ancient Philosophy, especially the origins and influence of Aristotelian metaphysics and ethics
  • History of Philosophy, especially the origins and influence of Continental rationalism
  • British Philosophical Association (life member)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (since 2002)