Hilary Greaves' home page

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Popular pieces

I am a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford.

My current research focusses on various issues in ethics. My interests include: foundational issues in consequentialism ('global' and 'two-level' forms of consequentialism), issues of aggregation (utilitarianism, prioritarianism, egalitarianism and anti-aggregationist approaches), population ethics, effective altruism, the interface between ethics and economics, the analogies between ethics and epistemology, and formal epistemology.

I currently (2014-18) direct the project Population Ethics: Theory and Practice, funded by The Leverhulme Trust.

Contact information

Email: hilary dot greaves at philosophy dot ox dot ac dot uk.
Mailing address:Suite 1, Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbes, Oxford OX1 1PT, UK

Email is the quickest and most reliable way to reach me.



  • 'Climate change and optimum population'. Under review. Video of associated talk
  • 'Moral uncertainty about population ethics.' With Toby Ord. Forthcoming in Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
  • 'Population axiology'. Forthcoming in Philosophy Compass.
  • 'Discounting for public policy: A survey'. Economics and Philosophy; published online 31 May 2017. Online publication
  • 'Cluelessness'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society CXIV, part 3, December 2016. Audio podcast of associated talk Slides for this talk. Online publication
  • 'Extended preferences and interpersonal comparisons of well-being'. With Harvey Lederman. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research; published online 7 November 2016. Online publication
  • 'Aggregating extended preferences.' With Harvey Lederman. Philosophical Studies; published online 2 September 2016. Online publication
  • 'A reconsideration of the Harsanyi-Sen-Weymark debate on utilitarianism.' Utilitas; published online 16 August 2016. Online publication
  • 'Antiprioritarianism'. Utilitas 27(1), pp.1-42, March 2015. Online publication
  • 'On the CPT theorem'. With Teruji Thomas. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 45: pp.46-65, February 2014. Online publication
  • 'Empirical consequences of symmetries'. With David Wallace. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65(1): pp.59-89, January 2014. Online publication
  • 'Epistemic decision theory'. Mind 122 (488): pp.915-952, October 2013. Online publication
  • 'In search of spacetime structuralism'. Philosophical Perspectives 25(1): pp.189-204, December 2011. Online publication
  • 'Towards a geometrical understanding of the CPT theorem'. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1): pp.27-50, January 2010. Online publication
  • 'Time reversal in classical electromagnetism'. With Frank Arntzenius. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3): pp.557-584, September 2009. Online publication
  • 'On the Everettian epistemic problem'. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38(1): pp.120-152, March 2007. Online publication
  • 'Probability in the Everett interpretation' . Philosophy Compass 2(1): pp.109-128, January, 2007. Online publication
  • 'Justifying conditionalization: Conditionalization maximizes expected epistemic utility'. With David Wallace. Mind 115(459): pp.607-632, July 2006. Online publication
  • 'Understanding Deutsch's probability in a deterministic multiverse'. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 35(3): pp.423-456, September 2004. Online publication

    Chapters in edited collections

  • 'Discounting future health'. To appear in Norheim, Emanuel, Jamison, Johansson, Millum, Otterson, Ruger and Verguet (eds.), Global health priority-setting: Cost-effectiveness and beyond, forthcoming with OUP.
  • 'Global consequentialism and the ethics of war'. To appear in Kuosmanen, McDermott, Roser and Akande (eds), Human rights and 21st century challenges, forthcoming with OUP.
  • 'Against 'the badness of death'.' To appear in Gamlund and Solberg (eds.), Saving lives from the badness of death, forthcoming with OUP.
  • 'The social disvalue of premature deaths'. In Weighing and reasoning: Themes from the philosophy of John Broome, Oxford University Press, 2015. Publisher's Page
  • 'Everett and Evidence'. With Wayne Myrvold. In Many Worlds? Everett, Quantum Theory, & Reality, ed. Saunders, Barrett, Kent and Wallace, Oxford University Press, 2010. Publisher's page


    The following are materials from talks I have given that have not been written up in paper form, i.e. the slides/handout notes/etc. below are the most detailed form in which this material exists.

  • 'The normative-theoretic implications of reductionism about personal identity', June 2017. Slides
  • 'The collectivist critique of effective altruism', April 2017. Slides
  • 'Primitivist prioritarianism', June 2016. Slides
  • 'Extinction risk and population ethics', June 2016. Slides Video
  • 'Saving parrots and cancer care', March 2016. Slides Video available from this page
  • 'Comparing existence and nonexistence', August 2015. Slides
  • 'Doublethink in global prioritisation', July 2015. Slides
  • '"Overlapping consensus" on deaths early in life', June 2015. Slides
  • 'The tradeoff problem and two-level epistemic consequentialism', November 2014. Handout
  • 'Interpersonal utility comparisons: Evaluative or descriptive?', March 2014. Handout

    Works in progress

    I don't yet have a publicly 'shareable' draft of any of the following, but if you're interested, please let me know by email, and I'll send you a draft as soon as it is available.

  • 'Comparing existence and non-existence'. With John Cusbert.


    This section of my website archives teaching materials from my past courses, largely for the benefit of any interested parties who were not students on those courses.

    Graduate teaching: Seminar handouts

  • Seminar on Philosophical Foundations of Effective Altruism, Hilary Term 2017. Complete set of handouts
  • Seminar on Population Ethics, Trinity Term 2015: handouts on
    Person-affecting theories, part I;
    Comparing existence and non-existence;
    Person-affecting theories, part II.
  • Seminar on Value Theory, Hilary Term 2014: handouts on
    Prioritarianism ;
    Interpersonal utility comparisons;
    'Do the numbers count';
    Fitting-attitude theories of value

    Undergraduate teaching: Lecture notes/slides/handouts

  • Moral philosophy, first year undergraduate lectures, Michaelmas Term 2013
  • Epistemology, second year undergraduate lectures, Hilary Term 2013
  • Intermediate philosophy of physics: Special Relativity (handouts only, full course), second year undergraduate lectures, Hilary Term 2011
  • Frege and Russell, second/third year undergraduate lectures, Michaelmas Term 2010
  • Intermediate philosophy of physics: Special Relativity (full lecture notes for second half of course only), second year undergraduate lectures, Hilary Term 2010

    Undergraduate reading lists (for Oxford Prelims and Finals papers in Philosophy)

  • General Philosophy
  • FHS 102: Knowledge and Reality
  • FHS 103: Ethics
  • FHS 117: Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein
  • FHS 120: Intermediate Philosophy of Physics: Philosophy of Special Relativity
  • FHS 120: Intermediate Philosophy of Physics: Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics
  • FHS 124: Philosophy of Science
  • FHS 128: The philosophy and economics of the environment

    Popular Pieces

    These are short articles intended for a non-specialist and/or non-academic audience.
  • 'An unfortunate state of affairs'. In Edmonds (ed.), Philosophers Take On the World, Oxford University Press, 2016. Online publication. Publisher's page
  • 'Being right on the money'. The Philosophers' Magazine 73: pp.71-76, 2016. Online publication

    Last updated: 5 July 2017