UCL Philosophy


Dr Douglas Lavin

Research Interests

My interests center on foundational topics in ethics, a part of philosophy that first reaches into ordinary life through the questions how to live and what to do. To have answers to such questions would be to have, among other things, a philosophical comprehension of ethical knowledge and ethical truth.  These interests have drawn me into other parts of philosophy as well, especially action theory and the history of ethics.  The basic thought animating my work is that a certain conception of practical knowledge must be at the center of a philosophical understanding of our most fundamental normative concepts (e.g. good, ought, justice, reason) and equally of our most fundamental practical concepts (e.g. action, intention, character, will).  


I have taught a range of subjects especially in practical philosophy at various levels: at the introductory level:  contemporary moral problems as well as a course in philosophy of law that focuses on philosophical problems of criminal law;  at the intermediate level:  philosophy of action, recent ethical theory, issues in moral psychology, ethics and human nature, justice and friendship, history of ethics (esp. Aristotle, Rousseau and Kant);  at the graduate level:  seminars on the ethics and action theory, the metaphysics of action, intersubjectivity in philosophy of mind and ethics, and practical knowledge.

IRIS Researcher Profile

Dr Douglas Lavin


Room 3.4a
33-35 Torrington Place


  • Reader in Philosophy
    Dept of Philosophy
    Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Joined UCL


Douglas Lavin received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.  Before joining the Philosophy Department at UCL, he was John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities (Philosophy), at Harvard University.