Peter Lucas

Dr. Peter Lucas

Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies

Livesey House, LH120

+44 (0) 1772 89 2548

Peter has a wide range of teaching interests - including ethics, epistemology, philosophy of science, phenomenology, existentialism and critical theory. His main research focus is the ethics of self-knowledge. He is particularly interested in the special ethical obligations that arise (in professional life, and more generally) in connection with our shared capacity for self-knowledge – especially when one party has authoritative knowledge of another.

Full Profile

Peter Lucas is course leader for the BA (Hons) Philosophy, and associated Combined Honours Philosophy programmes. Peter holds a BA in English and Comparative Literary Studies from the University of Kent (1986), an MA in Values and the Environment from Lancaster University (1994 – awarded with distinction), and PhD in Philosophy also from Lancaster University (1998). His PhD research was funded by a three-year British Academy Studentship (1994-97). He taught philosophy at Lancaster University and Bolton Institute (now the University of Bolton), before coming to UCLan in 2002.

Peter’s PhD research focussed on the concept of objectification, and its potential applications in our treatment of the non-human world. He has subsequently explored various aspects of the relationship between knowledge and ethics. This has included questions of research ethics and the ethics of emerging technologies, but has also extended to areas in which the object of knowledge and the subject of moral obligations become difficult to distinguish - for example, in the social sciences and biosciences. Peter has published articles and book chapters in the areas of applied ethics (especially environmental ethics), professional ethics, philosophy of the social sciences, and the philosophy of communication. He also has a recently-published book: Ethics and Self-Knowledge: Respect for Self-Interpreting Agents (Springer, 2011).

Peter is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a life member of the British Philosophical Association.

The Conversation

Peter has published articles on The Conversation, to read them please follow the links below.


Ethics and self-knowledge: respect for self-interpreting agents (Dordrecht: Springer, 2011)

Communication, stereotypes and dignity: the inadequacy of the liberal case against censorship”, Empedocles: European Journal for Philosophy of Communication, 2 (2) 2011, pp. 255-265.

Decision-making capacity and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards”. Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, 18 (2) 2011, pp. 117-122.

(With Tim Thornton) “On the very idea of a recovery model for mental health”, Journal of Medical Ethics, 37 (1) 2011, pp. 24-28.

More publications

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Peter is course leader, and admissions tutor, for the UCLan BA (Hons) Philosophy, and for associated Combined Honours Philosophy programmes. Peter’s main teaching activity is on the BA Philosophy, where he teaches phenomenology and post-phenomenological European Philosophy, epistemology, and environmental ethics. He also teaches on the MA in Religion, Culture and Society, and contributes occasional sessions on philosophy and ethics to several different professional programmes across the university. In addition, he delivers regular university-wide research ethics training sessions for staff and students.

PhD/MPhil supervision:

Damien Booth - Scientific Self-Knowledge and Human Agency - ongoing

Jane Graham – Full of Empty Promises? An Exploration of what Drug Use Achieves for the Individual PhD, completed Sept 2010

Eva Midden – Feminism in Multicultural Societies: An analysis of Dutch Multicultural and Postsecular Developments and their Implications for Feminist Debates. PhD, completed Jan 2010

Elena Fell – Duration, Temporality and the Self: Prospects for the Future of Bergsonism (DoS). PhD. Completed July 2007


‘Professional ethics and public beneficence’ Engineering Ethics for a Globalized World, Texas A&M University at Qatar, October 2011

“Communication, Stereotypes and Dignity: The Inadequacy of the Liberal Case Against Censorship” European Communications Research and Education Association, Barcelona, November 2008

“The Social Construction of Natural Resources”, Genetics and the Natural, Lancaster University, April 2005

“Animals, Research and Vulnerability” Northweb IV, Liverpool University, February 2005

“Organs as Resources and the Construction of the Biomedical Facts” 18th Annual Conference of ESPMH, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, August 2004

“Toward a Tiered Approach to Consent in Medical Research” Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Human genetic Databases, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, August 2004

“Is ‘Therapeutic Research a Misnomer?”, Northweb III, Keele University, March 2004

“On the Peculiarity of the Ethical: the Case of the Politician and the Ignoble Peace” Reasonable Partiality, Netherlands School of Practical Philosophy, October 2003

“Humanising Professional Ethics”, Real World, Real People, University of Surrey, September 2003
“Perspectivism in risk management” Northweb II, Manchester University, March 2003

“Idolatry and iconoclasm, ironism and alienation” Postmodernism and Spirituality, University of Central Lancashire, March 2002

“Ontological difference and the objectification of non-humans” International Perspectives on Continental Philosophy, Essex University, February 1996

“Dialectic and the rationality of traditions” Perspectives on the Philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre, Leeds University, August 1995