Piers Benn

Conundrums and Controversies



Commitment (Art of Living series) Acumen Press 2011.

Ethics, UCL Press 1998; Routledge 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004.

Journal articles, editorials or commentaries

Case commentary: ‘Withholding treatment from a drug addict: poor prognosis or just deserts?’ Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics’ (Autumn 2013).

‘Disease, Addiction and the Freedom to Resist’, Philosophical Papers Vol. 36, No. 3, November 2007, pp. 465-481.

‘Reforming research ethics committees’ (with Richard E Ashcroft and Ainsley J Newson) British Medical Journal, Sep 2005; 331: 587 – 588 (editorial).

‘Sterilisation of the young, competent and childless – an ethical analysis’ (First author, Piers Benn, second author, Martin Lupton), British Medical Journal, June 2005; 330: 1323 – 1325.

‘Zero Tolerance of Violence by Users of Mental Health Services: the Need for an Ethical Framework’ (with Graham Behr, Michael Crawford and Jon Ruddock) British Journal of Psychiatry (editorial), 187, 7-8, 2005.

Commentary on ‘The Moral Responsibility of the Psychopath’ by Christopher Ciochetti, Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology Volume 10, Number 2, June 2003 pp. 189-192.

‘Medicine, lies and deceptions’, Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2001  pp. 130-4.

‘Matthews’ Moral Vision’, Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology, Vol. 6, No. 4, December 1999  pp. 317-19.

‘Some Uncertainties about Agnosticism’, International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion Vol. 46, No. 3, December 1999  pp. 171-188.

‘Is Sex Morally Special?’ Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 16, No. 3, 1999  pp. 235-245.

‘Freedom, Resentment and the Psychopath’, Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1999 pp. 30-39 and 57-58. Appeared with reply to commentators.

‘Forgiveness and Loyalty’ Philosophy, Vol. 71, no. 277, July 1996.

‘Sense and Sexual Harassment’, Cogito, Vol. 8, no 2, July 1994.

‘Pornography, Degradation and Rhetoric’, Cogito, Vol. 7, no. 2, September 1993.

‘What is Wrong with Hypocrisy?’ International Journal of Moral and Social Studies, Vol. 8, No.3, Autumn 1993.

‘My Own Death’, The Monist, Vol. 76, no. 2, April 1993.

Chapters in books

‘Not Caring: Sociopaths and the Suffering of Others’, in The Moral Deficits of Psychopaths (ed. Thomas Schramme), MIT Press 2014.

‘Conscience and Health Care Ethics’, in Richard E. Ashcroft, Angus Dawson, Heather Draper, John McMillan (eds.) Principles of Health Care Ethics, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2007.

‘The Role of Conscience in Medical Ethics’, in Nafsika Athanassoulis (ed.) Philosophical Reflections on Medical Ethics, Palgrave-McMillan 2005 (paperback 2010).

‘The Idea of the Sacred’ in Ben Rogers (ed.) Is Nothing Sacred?’ Routledge 2004.

‘Ethics’ in John Shand (ed.) Fundamentals of Philosophy, pp. 94-121. Taylor and Francis 2003.

‘Freedom, Resentment and the Psychopath’ in Christopher Heginbotham (ed.) Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychopathy, pp. 29-45. Ashgate  2000.

‘Morality, the Unborn and the Open Future’, in Robin Le Poidevin (ed.) Questions of Time and Tense, pp. 207-219 OUP 1998.


The Face of God, by Roger Scruton, The Philosophical Quarterly (2013).

Mr Cameron’s Makeover Politics, by Richard D. North, Culture Wars (webzine, ed. Dolan Cummings) May 2010.

Overview of eight new books in health care ethics, Journal of Applied Philosophy,Vol. 18, No. 2 (2001) pp. 197-199.

Ruling Passions, by Simon Blackburn, Philosophy 2001.

An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Ethics, by Mary Warnock, The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 49 No. 197 pp 548-51 October 1999.

Permissible Killing by Suzanne Uniacke, The Philosophical Quarterly, October 1995.

(Inter alia) The Elimination of Morality by Anne MacLean, in the Times Higher Education Supplement, 4th Feb. 1994.

Political Theory by Howard Williams, in History of European Ideas, Vol. 18, No. 3, 1994.

Moral Principles and Social Values by Jennifer Trusted, in Philosophical Books, August 1988.

Several brief book notices for the Philosophical Quarterly.

Articles for a wider readership

About 25 articles for a wider readership, mostly on philosophical themes but also on life in Eastern Europe, in publications including Prospect Magazine, Philosophy Now, The Philosophers’ Magazine, Think, New Humanist, Contemporary Review, Spiked, the Financial Times, blogs in The Times and The Independent, and The Guardian (obituary of Antony Flew). These include:

‘What is the value of toleration?’, Prospect Magazine, October 22nd 2014.

‘The Gay Marriage Debate – Afterthoughts’, Think 36 Vol. 13 (Spring 2014) pp. 1-9. (Also on this blog under ‘Short comments’).

‘Can you be Spiritual and not Religious?’, Independent Voices 12th October 2012.

‘Anders Breivik: Narcissist. Murderer. Insane?’, Independent Voices 24th August 2012.

‘Can Extra-Judicial Killing be Just?’ The Independent (Battle of Ideas blog), 6th December 2011.

‘Crime and punishment: what are prisons for?’ The Independent (Battle of Ideas blog), 9th October 2011.

Piece on government policy on drug addicts, The Times (blog), August 2010.

‘Can Addicts Help It?’, Philosophy Now, issue no. 80 August/September 2010.

‘Is Atheism a Faith Position?’, Think, issue 13, summer 2006.

‘Lies, Damned Lies and Other Deceptions’, Journal of the Medical & Dental Defence Union of Scotland, 2004/5.

Off Centre piece on sex selection, Financial Times Weekend, 29-30 March 2001.

‘When race colours organ donation’, Financial Times Weekend, March 2000.

‘The Shackles of Superstition’, Philosophy Now, issue no. 10, October 1994.

2 thoughts on “Publications

  1. Hi Piers, really intrigued to read your work… (although knee deep in monograph writing at the moment). Please get in touch. Lillibet

  2. Dear Lillibet,
    I’ve just you an email to what I take to be your work address – hope it reaches you. Please get in touch via this site if it hasn’t.
    Best wishes,

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