Jonathan Wolff (FBA) is the Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy and Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College. He was formerly Blavatnik Chair in Public Policy at the School, and before that Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Arts and Humanities at UCL. He is a political philosopher who works on questions of inequality, disadvantage and social justice. He has a forthcoming book City of Equals (OUP 2024) co-authored with Avner de-Shalit.

His work in recent years has also turned to applied topics such as public safety, disability, gambling, and the regulation of recreational drugs, which he has discussed in his books Ethics and Public Policy: A Philosophical Inquiry (Routledge 2011, second edition 2019) and The Human Right to Health (Norton 2012). His An Introduction to Moral Philosophy and an associated edited volume, Readings in Moral Philosophy, were published by W. W. Norton in 2018, with new editions forthcoming in 2024. Earlier works include Disadvantage (OUP 2007), with Avner de-Shalit; An Introduction to Political Philosophy (OUP, 1996, fourth edition 2023); Why Read Marx Today? (OUP 2002); and Robert Nozick (Polity 1991), together with several edited collections. His recent work has also discussed social equality, poverty, and social exclusion, as well as methodology in political philosophy. He is now working on questions of belonging, nationalism, and civil society. 

He has had a long-standing interest in health and health promotion, including questions of justice in health care resource allocation, the social determinants of health, and incentives and health behaviour. He has been a member of the Nuffield Council of Bioethics, the Academy of Medical Science working party on Drug Futures, the Gambling Review Body and the Homicide Review Group. He has been an external member of the Board of Science of the British Medical Association, and a Trustee of the Responsible Gambling Trust, for whom he chaired their research committee. He Co-Chaired the WHO Working Group on the Ethics and Governance of the Access to COVID Tools-Accelerator, and continues to work with the WHO. For many years he wrote a regular column on higher education for The Guardian. He was elected to the British Academy in 2023, and is the in-coming President of the Royal Institute of Philosophy.



‘Musical Performance as a Route to Relational Autonomy and Social Equality’, in Autonomy and Equality: Relational Approaches ed Natalie Stoljar and Kristin Voigt (Routledge)

‘Risk, disadvantage and the COVID crisis’ with  Avner de-Shalit Political Philosophy in a Pandemic: Routes to a More Just World, edited by Fay Niker and Aveek Bhattacharya (Routledge)

‘Family Fortunes’  (response to Daniel Halliday’s The Inheritance of WealthLaw, Ethics and Philosophy

‘Public Reflective Disequilibrium (response to Avner de-Shalit) Australasian Philosophical Review

‘”Quality of Government”: Towards a Philosophy of Governance’, with Nikolas Kirby, in The Oxford Handbook of the Quality of Government, ed Marcia Grimes, Bo Rothstein, Monika Bauhr and Andreas Bågenholm

‘COVID-19 and Authoritarianism: Two Strategies of Engaging Fear’ with  David Elitzer, Anna Petherick, Maya Tudor, and Katie Tyner. Global Justice


‘Ethical and policy considerations for COVID-19 vaccination modalities: delayed second dose, fractional dose, mixed vaccines’ with Caesar Atuire, Anant Bhan, Ezekiel Emanuel, Ruth Faden, Prakash Ghimire, Dirceu Greco, Calvin Ho, Sonali Kochhar, Suerie Moon, Owen G Schaefer, Ehsan Shamsi-Gooshki, Jerome Amir Singh, Maxwell J. Smith, Beatriz Thomé, Aissatou Touré, Ross Upshur. BMJ Global Health 2021;6:e005912.

‘Placebo use and unblinding in COVID-19 vaccine trials: recommendations of a WHO Expert Working Group’. with Jerome Singh and Sonali Kochhar,  Nature Medicine

‘Enhancing the WHO’s Proposed Framework for Distributing COVID-19 Vaccines Among Countries’ with Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Florencia Luna, G. Owen Schaefer, and Kok-Chor Tan
American Journal of Public Health 111, 371_373. online

‘Rules for Regulators’ in  John-Stewart Gordon ed. Smart Technologies and Human Rights (Brill) pp. 157-176. Wolff Rules for Regulators Final



An Introduction to Moral Philosophy, 2nd Edition (W.W. Norton)

‘Social Exclusion and Capability Development’, The Cambridge Companion of the Capability Approach, ed E. Chiappero-Martinetti, S. Osmani and M. Qizilbash (Cambridge University Press) pp. 562-575

Marx (with David Leopold) updated entry for Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy

‘Risk and the Regulation of New Technologies’ in Risk and New Technologies edited Tsuyoshi Matsdua, Jonathan Wolff, and Takashi Yanagawa (Springer) Download as PDF Wolff Risk and the Regulation of New Technologies

‘An ethical framework for global vaccine allocation’, Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Govind Persad, Adam Kern, Allen Buchanan, Cécile Fabre, Daniel Halliday, Joseph Heath, Lisa Herzog, R. J. Leland, Ephrem T. Lemango, Florencia Luna, Matthew S. McCoy, Ole F. Norheim, Trygve Ottersen, G. Owen Schaefer, Kok-Chor Tan, Christopher Heath Wellman, Jonathan Wolff, Henry S. Richardson, Science 10.1126/science.abe2803.  Online

Ethics and Public Policy: A Philosophical Inquiry (Routledge) 2nd Edition

‘The basis of European cooperation’, in Institutions in Action: The Nature and the Role of Institutions in the Real World Tiziana Andina, and Petar Bojanic, (Eds.) (Springer) 123-134.

‘Beyond Poverty’, in Dimensions of Poverty ed Valentin Beck et al Springer, pp. 23-39. Open Access

‘Fighting Risk With Risk: Solar Radiation Management, Regulatory Drift, and Minimal Justice’, for special edition on climate change ed. Catriona McKinnon and Stephen Gardiner Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 23:5, 564-583 Published online



‘Poverty’, Compass Vol 14, issue 12 

‘Equality and Hierarchy’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, pp. 1-23. Download as PDF. Wolff Equality and Hierarchy

‘Structures of Exploitation’, in The Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law, ed Hugh Collins, Gillian Lester, and Virginia Mantouvalou, OUP  pp. 175-187.

‘Poverty, Social Expectations and the Family’, Philosophy and Child Poverty: Reflections on the Ethics and Politics of Poor Children and their Families (ed Nicolas Brando and Gottfried Schweiger) Springer. Download as word file. Wolff Poverty, Social Expectations and the Family Final.



‘The Ethics of Anti-Poverty Policies’, in The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy, ed Annabelle Lever and Andrei Poama (London: Routledge). pp 344-55

‘Method in Ethics and Public Policy: Applied Philosophy versus Engaged Philosophy ‘, in The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy, ed Annabelle Lever and Andrei Poama (London: Routledge) Download as word file Wolff Method in Ethics and Public Policy pp 13-24.

An Introduction to Moral Philosophy (W.W. Norton)

Readings in Moral Philosophy (W.W. Norton)



‘Forms of Differential Social Inclusion’, Social Philosophy and Policy 34: pp. 164-185.



An Introduction to Political Philosophy (3rd Edn) Oxford: Oxford University Press.



(With Ed Lamb and Eliana Zur-Szpiro) A Philosophical Review of Poverty (York: Joseph Rownree Foundation)

(With Doug Reeve) ‘Well-being and Disadvantage’, in The Routledge Companion to Well-Being, ed Guy Fletcher

‘Political Philosophy and the Real World of the Welfare State’, Journal of Applied Philosophy 2015, pp. 360-272. Download as Word file: Wolff Political Philosophy and The Real World of the Welfare State Final April 2015

‘Social Equality, Relative Poverty, and Marginalised Groups’, in George Hull (ed)The Equal Society (London: Lexington), pp. 3-23. Download as a Word file.

‘Justice or Tragedy? The Avoidability of Health Inequalities’, American Journal of Bioethics 15: 39-40.

‘The Content of the Human Right to Health’, in The Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights, ed. Rowan Cruft, S. Matthew Liao, and Massimo Renzo (Oxford: Oxford University Press). pp. 491-501

‘Equality as A Basic Demand of Justice’, in The Norton Introduction to Philosophy, ed. Joshua Cohen, Gideon Rosen, Alex Byrne, Joshua Cohen, and Seana Shiffrin (New York: Norton, 2015), pp. 1047-1055.

‘Testing, Treating and Trusting’, in Identified Versus Statistical Lives, ed I Glenn COhen, Norman Daniels and Nir Eyal (New York: Oxford University Press), pp. 213-218.



(With Adam Oliver) ‘Are people consistent when trading time for health?’, Economics and Human Biology, 15: 41-6. Full text.

‘The Precautionary Attitude: Asking Preliminary Questions’, Synthetic Biology title, special report, Hastings Center Report 44, no. 6.

‘Paying People to Act in Their Own Interests: Incentives Versus Rationalization in Public Health’, Public Health Ethics. 2014 1-4.

‘Social Equality and Social Inequality’, in Social Equality: Essays on What It Means to be Equals eds. Carina Fourie, Fabian Schuppert, and Ivo Wallimann-Helmer, Oxford University Press.

‘Need for Health and Need for Health Care’, with Gry Wester Online Encyclopedia of Health Economics.

‘Reconciling Cost-Effectiveness with the Rule of Rescue: The Institutional Division of Moral Labour’ with Shepley Orr, Theory and Decision. Download (Open Access)

‘A Response to Slovic and Vastfjall’, in Essays in Behavioural Public Policy ed. Adam Oliver, Cambridge University Press.


(edited) G.A. Cohen, Lectures on the History of Moral and Political Philosophy (ed.) Princeton University Press.

The History of Analytic Political Philosophy’ in The Oxford Handbook to the History of Analytic Philosophy ed. M. Beaney. Download as Word File.

‘Scanlon on Material and Social Inequality’, Journal of Moral Philosophy Download

‘On Fertile Functionings: A Response to Martha Nussbaum’, with Avner de-Shalit, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities Vol 14, pp. 161-165. Download



The Human Right to Health, W.W.Norton.

‘The Demands of the Human Right to Health’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society: Supplementary Volume Vol 86, pp. 217-237. Download

‘Health Risk and Health Security’, in Medicine and Social Justice: Essays on Distribution and Care (2nd Edition) ed. R. Rhodes, M. Battin and A Silvers.

‘Equality’ in The Oxford Handbook to the History of Political Philosophy ed G. Klosko, Oxford University Press.

‘Global Justice and Health: The Basis of the Global Health Duty’ in Global Justice and Bioethics ed. E. Emanuel and J. Mullian, Oxford University Press pp. 78-101.

‘Evaluating interventions in health: a reconciliatory approach’, with S. Edwards, S. Richmond, S. Orr, and G. Rees. Bioethics, 26 (9), 455-463. Download

‘The Moral Problem of Risk Imposition: A Survey of the Literature’ with Madeleine Hayenhjelm European Journal of Philosophy. Download

‘Dementia, death and advance directives’, Health Economics, Policy and Law , 7 (4), 499-506. Download


Ethics and Public Policy Routledge. Japanese Translation forthcoming.

‘Public health, genomics and autonomy * Comment on Dr R.L. Zimmern’s Genomics and individuals in public health practice: are we luddites or can we meet the challenge?’ Journal of Public Health 33: 483-484.

‘How Should Governments Respond to The Social Determinants of Health?’ Preventative Medicine.

G.A. Cohen’ Proceedings of the British Academy, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows pp. 49-67 Download as word file

‘Five Types of Risky Situation’ Law Technology and Innovation (2) 151-163

‘The Human Right to Health’, in Global Health Ethics ed S. Benatar and G. Brock, Cambridge University Press. Cambridge University Press.

‘The Apparent Asymmetry of Responsibility’ (with Avner de-Shalit) in Responsibility and Distributive Justice ed. C. Knight and Z. Stemplowska, Oxford University Press, pp. 216-229.

‘What Values Should Count in HTA for New Medicines Under Value Based Pricing in the UK?’ with Shepley Orr and Stephen Morris, Download.



Southern Africa: 2020 Vision (ed, with Mark Hannam) London: e9 Publishing.

Fairness, Respect and the Egalitarian Ethos Revisited’, Journal of Ethics Download

‘The Social Gradient in Health: How Fair Retirement Could Make a Difference’, with Gry Wester Public Health Ethics Download



‘Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change’, The Lancet, Costello, A, M. Abbas, A. Allen, S. Ball, S. Bell, R. Bellamy, S Friel, N. Croce, A. Johnson, M. Kett, M. Lee, C. Levy, M. Maslin, D. McCoy, B. McGuire, H. Montgomery, D. Napier, C. Pagel, J. Patel, J.A. Puppim de Olivera, N. Redcliffe, H. Rees, D. Rogger, J. Scott, J. Stephenson, J. Twigg, J. Wolff and C. Patterson, 373: 1693-1733.

‘Disability Among Equals’, in Disability and Disadvantage ed K. Brownlee and A. Cureton, Oxford University Press, pp 114-137. Download as Word File

‘Disability, Status Enhancement, Personal Enhancement, and Resource Allocation’, Economics and Philosophy 25: 49-68. Download

‘Cognitive Disability in a Society of Equals’, Metaphilosophy 40: 402-15. Download

‘Global Justice and Norms of Co-operation: The “Layers of Justice” View’, in Hillel Steiner and the Anatomy of Justiceed S. de Wijze, M. Kramer and I. Carter, New York: Routledge pp. 34-50.
Download as Word File

‘Risk, Disadvantage and the Social Determinants of Health’,Public Health Ethics 2: 214-223 Download

Cross Sector Weighting and the Values of QALYs and VPFs: A Report for the Inter-Departmental Group on the Valuation of Life and Health, with Shepley Orr.



‘Social Justice and Public Policy: A View From Political Philosophy’, in Social Justice and Public Policy ed. C. Craig, T. Burchardt and D. Gordon, Policy Press.

‘Social Justice’, in Issues in Political Theory ed. C. MacKinnon, Oxford University Press.


Disadvantage (with Avner de-Shalit) Oxford University Press

‘What is the Value of Preventing a Fatality?’ in Risk: Philosophical Perspectives ed Tim Lewens, Routledge. Download as Word File

‘Harm and Hypocrisy: Have We Got It Wrong on Drugs?’, in Public Policy Research. Download as Word File

‘Market Failure, Common Interests, and the Titanic Puzzle’, in New Essays in Equality ed. K. Lippert-Rasmussen and N. Holtung Oxford University Press. Download as Word File

‘Making the World Safe for Utilitarianism’, Royal Institute of Philosophy, Annual Volume.

‘Equality: The Recent History of An Idea’, Journal of Moral Philosophy 4: 125-136. Download PDF


An Introduction to Political Philosophy, Revised Edition, Oxford University Press
First edition 1996, 13 impressions.

Orthodox Chinese translation, Wu-Nan Book Company of Taiwan 1998.

Simplified Chinese translation, O.U.P. Hong Kong, 2001, new translation 2008, Jilin
Publishing Group.
Japanese translation 2001.
Spanish translation, Editorial Ariel 2001.
Portuguese translation, Gradiva, 2004.
Estonian translation 2005.
Croatian translation 2008.

‘Liberty, Utility and Economic Competition’, Virginia Law Review. Download (Open Access)

‘Risk, Fear, Blame, Shame and the Regulation of Public Safety’, Economics and Philosophy Download (Open Access)

‘Models of Distributive Justice’, in Empathy and Fairness, Novartis Foundation, pp 165-170. Download as Word File

‘Economism’, (with Dirk Haubrich) in Oxford Handbook of Public Policy ed. M. Moran, M. Rein and R. Goodin , pp. 746-770. Download as Word File

‘Disputed Land Claims: A Response to Weatherson and to Bou-Habib and Olsaretti’, (with Hillel Steiner) Analysis. Download as Word File



‘Training, Perfectionism and Fairness’, Journal of Applied Philosophy 21: 285-95.



‘The Message of Redistribution’, Catalyst Trust Working Paper.

‘A General Framework for Resolving Disputed Land Claims’Analysis 63: 188-9

‘The Dilemma of Desert’, in Desert and Justice ed S.Olsaretti OUP 219-232

.‘Marx’, in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

‘Scanlon On Well-Being’, Ratio 16: 333-345

‘Economic Justice’, in The Oxford Handbook to Practical Ethics ed., Hugh La Follette’

Social Ethos and The Dynamics of Toleration’, in The Culture of Toleration in Diverse Societies ed. D. Castiglione and C. McKinnon, Manchester University Press.



Why Read Marx Today? Oxford University Press.Paperback 2003, Second impression 2005

Portuguese translation 2003
Malayalam translation 2005
Korean translation 2006
Chinese translation 2007, 2015

‘Addressing Disadvantage and the Human Good’, Journal of Applied Philosophy, 207-218, Japanese translation 2006.

‘Railway Safety and the Ethics of the Tolerability of Risk’, Rail Safety and Standards Board. Download

‘Are we good enough for democracy?’, Think.

‘Economic Competition. Should We Care About the Losers?’, in Hugh La Follette ed Ethics in Practice.

‘Contractualism and the Virtues’, in Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 5: 120-132. Download as Word File



‘Levelling Down’, in Challenges to Democracy: The PSA Yearbook 2000, ed., K Dowding, J. Hughes and H. Margetts, Palgrave pp.18-32. Download as Word File



‘The Morality of Sales Tax’, Analysis

The Proper Ambition of Science, edited wth Martin Stone, Routledge.



Political Thought edited with Michael Rosen, Oxford University Press, 13th impression 2010

‘Marx and Exploitation’, Journal of Ethics, 3: 105-120

‘Tin Genes and Compensation: Reply to Steiner’, in Justine Burley ed. Revolution and Human Rights: The 1998 Oxford Amnesty Lectures (Oxford: Oxford University Press) pp. 151-157.


‘Fairness, Respect, and the Egalitarian Ethos’, Philosophy and Public Affairs 27: 97-122. Download (JSTOR)Translated into Chinese 2006.

‘John Rawls: Liberal Democracy Restated’, in Liberal Democracy and Its Critics ed A.
Carter and G. Stokes, Polity Press, 118-134. Reprinted in John Rawls: Critical Assessments , ed. C.
Kukathas Routledge 2003

‘Mill, Indecency and the Liberty Principle’,Utilitas 10. 1-16. Reprinted in Mill�s Political and Legal Philosophy, ed. C.L. Chen, Ashgate 2000.Download as Word File

‘Libertarianism’, and ‘Robert Nozick’, in The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy ed. E.J. Craig.

‘The Ethics of Competition’, in The Legal and Moral Aspects of International Trade, Freedom and Trade, volume III ed. A. Qureshi, G. Parry, and H. Steiner (London, Routledge), 82-96. Download as Word File


‘Property, Liberty and Freedom’, Critical Review 11: 345-357.

Critical Notice of ‘Hillel Steiner, An Essay on Rights’, International
Journal of Philosophical Studies

An Introduction to Political Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 1996. 13th impression 2005. Replaced by revised edition 2006.

‘The Problem of Ideology’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume LLX 1996, pp. 229-241.

‘Anarchism and Scepticism’, in For and Against the State ed. John T. Sanders and Jan Narveson (Lanham. MD, Rowman and Littlefield, 1996), pp. 99-118. Download as Word File

‘Rational, Fair and Reasonable’, Utilitas 1996, pp. 263-271. Reprinted in Impartiality, Neutrality and Justice: re-reading Brian Barry’s Justice as Impartiality, ed. P.J. Kelly (Edinburgh University Press, 1998), pp. 35-43. Download as Word File

‘John Stuart Mill, Liberalism and Offence’, QWERTY (France), 1996, pp. 249-254.

‘Libertarismo e utopia nel pensiero di Robert Nozick’,Studi Perugina
(Italy), 1 1996 pp. 85-98. Reprinted as ‘Robert Nozick, Libertarianism, and
Utopia’,Skepsis (Athens)

1998.’Integration, Justice, and Exclusion’, in Principles of Justice and the European Union ed. U. Bernitz and Par Hallstrom (Juristforlaget, Stockholm, 1996) pp 15-26.

‘John Stuart Mill and Free Thought’,The Ethical Record


‘Pluralistic Models of Political Obligation’, Philosophica(Belgium), 56, 1995, pp. 7-27. Reprintedin M. Baghramian and A. Ingram (ed) Pluralism Routledge 2000.

‘Political Obligation, Fairness and Independence’, Ratio (New Series) 8, 1995 pp. 87-99.Download

‘Autonomy’, ‘Isaiah Berlin’, The Encyclopedia of Democracy, Congressional Quarterly Books, 1995, pp. 106-8, 124-6.


‘Hobbes and the Motivations of Social Contract Theory, International Journal of Philosophical Studies , 2: 271-286.

‘Social and Political Philosophy in Britain Today: Socialism, Liberalism, Particularity, Globalization’,Filozofia (Slovakia) 49: 195-202 (translated into Slovakian).

‘Democratic Voting and the Mixed-Motivation Problem’, Analysis pp. 193-6.


‘Hume, Bentham, and The Social Contract’, Utilitas


‘Playthings of Alien Forces’, Cogito, pp. 35-41

.Not Bargaining For The Welfare State’, Analysis, 52: 118-125


Robert Nozick: Property Justice and the Minimal State, Polity Press and Stanford University Press, 1991. 3rd Impression 2003.
Daidalos (Swedish translation) 1993.

Keisho Shobo (Japanese translation) 1994.

Hei Longjiang People’s Publishing House (Simplified Chinese
Translation), 1999.

‘What is the Problem of Political Obligation?’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Vol XCI: 153-169.


‘Morality for Archangels’,Critical Notice of‘Hare and Critics’ (ed. Seanor and Fotion)

Philosophical Books pp. 201-9.


‘Barnett, Bargaining and the Nash Solution’, Nous Vol XX: 493-506.