Talks on radio; podcasts

'Is Inequality Bad?' Philosophy Bites. Link here.

'On Philippa Foot' (with Sarah Broadie). Link here.

'On Exploitation' (An episode of The Philosopher's Arms, BBC Radio 4.) Available here.

'Can We Trust Our Moral Intuitions?'  The Forum (BBC World Service). Link here.


'Why do we need moral philosophers?' (Gearty Grilling, LSE). Link here.

'Ethics and the Importance of Dialogue' (LSE Research Channel). Link here.

'Distributive Justice and Universal Health Coverage' (LSE Philosophy). Link here.










Alex Voorhoeve

I'm an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the LSE.

I am currently pursuing three projects:

1. Liberal Egalitarianism

I work on several questions that are central to liberal egalitarian theory:

Does it matter that some are worse off than others?

What role do people's opportunities to choose play in the justification of social arrangements?

What is a suitably neutral conception of well-being?

2. Decision Theory and Moral Decision-Making

I am interested in what psychology reveals to us about how we actually make decisions and what rational choice theory and moral reflection tell us about how we should make decisions.

3. Applied Philosophy: Meeting Needs Fairly.

I try to apply philosophical analysis to decisions on how to use limited resources to meet people's needs. To this end, I served as a member of the World Health Organisation's Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage. I'm also a member of Giving What We Can.





E-mail: a.e.voorhoeve [at]


LSE Experts page


Philpapers page


Google Scholar page









Responses to the report.











































Counter-Composition of Dissonances (fragment)

by Theo van Doesburgh

























































































































































































Counter-Composition VI by

Theo van Doesburgh (TATE modern)

Working papers    Publications    Grants   Teaching   Education   PhD students    CV     Band

Working papers

Why One Should Count only Claims with which One Can Sympathize.

Nice Nails versus Long Lives: The Practice and Theory of Weighing a Multitude of Lesser Burdens against a Small Number of Large Burdens.

Ambiguity Attitudes, Framing, and Consistency. With Ken Binmore, Arnaldur Stefansson, and Lisa Stewart.

Further data and analysis is here.

Should Losses Count? A Critique of the Complaint Model. Choice Group Working Papers Vol 2 (2006).



Making fair choices on the path to universal health coverage: Final report of the WHO Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage. With Ottersen T.,* Norheim O.F.,* Berhane F., Chitah B., Cookson R., Daniels N., Eyal N., Flores W., Gosseries A., Hausman D., Hurst S., Kapiriri L., Ord T., Reis A., Sadana R., Saenz C., Segall S., Sen G., Tan-Torres Edejer T., Wikler D., and Yamin A. (* = lead author). World Health Organization (2014). French translation (2015).

Responses to and impact of the report.


Conversations on Ethics. Oxford University Press (2009). (UK) (US). Simplified Chinese translation, Xinhua Press (2015).

A book of conversations on moral philosophy with leading thinkers from philosophy, psychology and evolutionary theory. With photographs by Steve Pyke. For reviews click here.

Sample chapters:


Chapter 1: Frances Kamm: In Search of the Deep Structure of Morality

Chapter 3: Daniel Kahneman: Can We Trust Our Moral Intuitions?

Chapter 4: Philippa Foot: The Grammar of Goodness

Journal articles and book chapters (English)

Priority or Equality for Possible People? With Marc Fleurbaey. Ethics (forthcoming).

Equality versus Priority. With Michael Otsuka. In S. Olsaretti (ed.) Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice. Oxford University Press (forthcoming).

Making Fair Choices on the Path to Universal Health Coverage: A Précis. With Ole Fritjof Norheim and Trygve Ottersen. Health Economics, Policy, and Law (forthcoming).

Replies to Our Critics. With Trygve Ottersen and Ole Fritjof Norheim. Health Economics, Policy, and Law. (forthcoming).

On the Social and Personal Value of Existence. With Marc Fleurbaey. In Iwao Hirose and Andrew Reisner (ed.) Weighing and Reasoning: Themes from the Work of John Broome. Oxford University Press (2015): 95-109.

How Should We Aggregate Competing Claims? Ethics 125 (2014): 64-87.

Subject of a response by John Halstead, The Numbers Always Count. Ethics (forthcoming).

My 'Why One Should Count only Claims with Which One Can Sympathize' replies to this criticism.

Response to Rabin. In Adam Oliver (ed.), Behavioural Public Policy. Cambridge University Press (2013): 140-147.

Vaulting Intuition: Temkin's Critique of Transitivity. (Critical Notice of Temkin's Rethinking the Good.) Economics and Philosophy, 29 (2013): 409-25.

Decide as You Would with Full Information! An Argument against ex ante Pareto. With Marc Fleurbaey. In Nir Eyal, Samia Hurst, Ole Norheim, and Dan Wikler (eds.), Inequalities in Health: Concepts, Measures, and Ethics. Oxford University Press (2013), pp. 113-128.

Subject of a response by Johann Frick, 'Uncertainty and Justifiability to Each Person: A Response to Fleurbaey and Voorhoeve'. In the same volume, pp. 129-146.

How Much Ambiguity Aversion? Finding Indifferences Between Ellsberg's Risky and Ambiguous Bets. With Ken Binmore and Lisa Stewart. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 45 (2012): 215-38.

Note: the pdf on the above link corrects some typos in the original.

Egalitarianism and the Separateness of Persons. With Marc Fleurbaey. Utilitas 24 (2012): 381-98.

Subject of a response by Keith Hyams, Hypothetical Choice, Egalitarianism, and the Separateness of Persons. Utilitas (forthcoming).

Reply to Crisp. With Michael Otsuka. Utilitas 23 (2011): 109-14.

Why It Matters that Some Are Worse Off Than Others: An Argument Against the Priority View. With Michael Otsuka. Philosophy & Public Affairs 37 (2009): 171-99.

Subject of a one-day conference 'Problems with Priority?', November 19, 2010 at the University of Manchester.

Subject of the following responses:

Roger Crisp, In Defence of the Priority View: A Response to Otsuka and Voorhoeve, Utilitas 23 (2011): 105-8. See our 'Reply to Crisp' (above).

Andrew Williams, The Priority View Bites the Dust? Utilitas 24 (2012): 315-31.

Martin O'Neill, Priority, Preference, and Value. Utilitas 24 (2012): 332-48.

Thomas Porter, In Defence of the Priority View. Utilitas 24 (2012): 349-64.

Derek Parfit, Another Defence of the Priority View. Utilitas 24 (2012): 399-440.

Greg Bognar, Empirical and Armchair Ethics. Utilitas 24 (2012): 467-82.

Matthew Rendall, Priority and Desert. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16:5 (2013), 939-951.

Shlomi Segall, In Defense of Priority (and Equality). Philosophy, Politics and Economics (forthcoming).


For an analysis of the different positions in this debate, see:

Michael Weber, Prioritarianism. Philosophy Compass 9 (2014): 756-768.

Luc Bovens, Concerns for the Poorly Off in Ordering Risky Prospects. Economics and Philosophy (forthcoming).

Luc Bovens, Evaluation Risky Prospects: the Distribution View. Analysis (forthcoming).


The arguments of 'Why It Matters' have also been further developed by Michael Otsuka. See:

Michael Otsuka, Prioritarianism and the Separateness of Persons. Utilitas, 24 (2012), 365−80.

Michael Otsuka, Prioritarianism and the Measure of Utility. Journal of Political Philosophy 23 (2015): 1-22.

Heuristics and Biases in a Purported Counterexample to the Acyclicity of "Better Than". Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (2008): 285-99.

Subject of a response by Larry Temkin in Rethinking the Good, Oxford University Press, Section 9.3. For my reply, see 'Vaulting Intuition' (above).

Scanlon on Substantive Responsibility. Journal of Political Philosophy 16 (2008): 184-200.

Subject of the following responses:

Zofia Stemplowska, Harmful Choices: Scanlon and Voorhoeve on Substantive Responsibility. Journal of Moral Philosophy 10:4 (2013): 488-507.

T.M. Scanlon, Response to Stemplowska. Journal of Moral Philosophy 10:4 (2013): 508-514.

Preference Change and Interpersonal Comparisons of Welfare. In Serena Olsaretti (ed.)  Preferences and Well-Being. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 59 (2006): 265-79.

Transitivity, the Sorites Paradox, and Similarity-Based Decision-Making. With Ken Binmore. Erkenntnis 64:1 (2006): 101-14.


Incentives and Principles for Individuals in Rawls' Theory of Justice. Ethics & Economics 3 (2005): 1-7.

Equal Opportunity and Opportunity Dominance. With Matthias Hild. Economics and Philosophy 20 (2004): 117-45.

Defending Transitivity Against Zeno's Paradox. With Ken Binmore. Philosophy & Public Affairs 31 (2003): 272-79.

Reprinted in Recent Work on Intrinsic Value, eds. T. Ronnow-Rasmussen and M. Zimmerman, Springer (2005): 265-72 with a commentary by Erik Carlson. My Heuristics and Biases in a Purported Counterexample to the Acyclicity of "Better Than" replies to Carlson's criticism.

Journal articles (Dutch)

Prioriteit voor patienten met een lagere levenskwaliteit. (Priority for patients who are worse off.)  Filosofie & Praktijk (Philosophy & Practice) 31 (2010): 40-51.

Schuldverlichting: niet voor niets. (Debt relief: not for nothing.) With R.M. Oort. Economisch-Statistische Berichten (Economic-Statistical Letters) 85 (2000): 141-43.

Dollarisering gewenst? (Is dollarisation desirable?) Economisch-Statistische Berichten 84 (1999): 577-81.

Reviews and short contributions to books, journals, and magazines

Introduction to the Symposium on Equality or Priority? Economics and Philosophy 31 (2015): 201-202.

Why Sore Throats Don't Aggregate, but Arms Do. Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (2015): 492-3.

Subject of a response by Frances Kamm. Author Meets Critics: Response. Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (2015): 493-5.

Review of Well-Being and Fair Distribution: Beyond Cost-Benefit Analysis by Matthew W. Adler. Social Choice and Welfare 42:1 (2014): 245-54.

Inequalities in HIV Care: Chances versus Outcomes. With Nir Eyal. The American Journal of Bioethics 11 (12) (2011): 42-4.

Who Am I? Beyond "I Think, Therefore I Am". With Elie During, David Jopling, Timothy Wilson and Frances Kamm. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1234 (2011): 134-48.

Philippa Foot. The Philosophers' Magazine 52 (2011): 9.

(In Russian) Can We Trust Our Intuitions? Esquire Russia 56 (2010): 48-54. [A translation by Ivan Bogantsev of an excerpt of chapter 3 of Conversations on Ethics.]

Review of The Practice of Ethics by Hugh LaFollette. Social Choice and Welfare 34 (2010): 497-501.

(In Russian) Peter Singer Interviewed. Esquire Russia 52 (2010): 82-9. [A translation by Ivan Bogantsev of an excerpt of chapter 2 of Conversations on Ethics.]

Mill and Barry on the Foundations of Liberal Rights. Published in a shortened version as 'The Limits of Autonomy'. The Philosophers' Magazine 46 (2009): 78-82.

The Price of Security. With Catherine Audard, Saladin Meckled-Garcia, and Tony McWalter. In What More Philosophers Think. Eds. J. Baggini and J. Stangroom Continuum (2007): 19-32.

In Search of the Deep Structure of Morality. An Interview with Frances Kamm. Imprints 9:2 (2006): 93-117. [A revised version appears in Conversations on Ethics.]

Is Poverty Our Problem? The Philosophers' Magazine 36 (2006): 46-9.

(In Russian) Shockwave. With Mika Velikovskiy. Political Journal 27 (2005): 48-9.

Review of Pursuing Equal Opportunities: The Theory and Practice of Egalitarian Justice by Lesley A. Jacobs. Economics and Philosophy 21 (2005): 155-61.

A Mistrustful Animal: Bernard Williams Interviewed. The Harvard Review of Philosophy XII (2004): 81-92. [A revised version appears in Conversations on Ethics.]

Erasmus in The Great Thinkers A-Z. Eds. J. Baggini and J. Stangroom, Continuum (2004): 91-3.

Reprinted in The Philosophers' Magazine 48 (2010): 98-100.

Rawls in The Great Thinkers A-Z. Eds. J. Baggini and J. Stangroom, Continuum (2004): 199-201.

Harry Frankfurt on the Necessity of Love. Philosophical Writings 23 (2003): 55-70. [A revised version appears in Conversations on Ethics.]

The House that Jack Built. The Philosophers' Magazine 22 (2003): 28-31.

The Grammar of Goodness. An Interview with Philippa Foot. The Harvard Review of Philosophy XI (2003): 32-44. [A revised version appears in Conversations on Ethics.]

The Good, the Right, and the Seemly. Ken Binmore Interviewed. The Philosophers' Magazine 21 (2002): 48-51. [A revised and expanded version appears in Conversations on Ethics.]

Mandeville. The Philosophers' Magazine 20 (2002): 53.

Review of The Philosophy of Science by A. Rosenberg. Philosophy Today 14 (2001): 8-9.

Kant on the Cheap. Thomas Scanlon Interviewed. The Philosophers' Magazine 16 (2001): 29-30. [A revised and expanded version appears in Conversations on Ethics.]


Research Grants

2013-15: STICERD grant for 'Ambiguity Aversion, the Hurwicz Criterion, and the Principle of Insufficient Reason' (with Ken Binmore). GBP 7,200.

2013:15 AHRC grant (co-investigator, lead investigator is Richard Bradley) on 'Managing Severe Uncertainty'. GBP 725,000.

2012-13: Laurance S. Rockefeller Fellowship at the Center for Human Values, Princeton University. USD 55,000.

2009-10: ELSE grant for a follow-up to 'An Experimental Test of the Hurwicz Criterion for Decision-Making Under Uncertainty' (with Ken Binmore). GBP 3,000.

2008-09: STICERD grant for the proposal 'An Experimental Test of the Hurwicz Criterion for Decision-Making Under Uncertainty' (with Ken Binmore). GBP 4,657.

2008-09: Faculty Fellowship at the Center for Ethics, Harvard University. USD 50,000.

2006-08: British Academy Small Research Grant for the proposal 'Rational Choice Theory and Moral Decision-Making' (with Ken Binmore). GBP 6,700.



At LSE, I have taught (part of) the following courses:

LSE 100: Thinking Like a Social Scientist

PH 103 Reason, Knowledge and Values

PH 214 Philosophy, Morals and Politics

PH 222 Philosophy and Public Policy

PH 311 Philosophy of Economics

PH 416 Philosophy, Morals, and Politics (M.Sc. Seminar)

PH 413 Philosophy of Economics (M.Sc. Seminar)

PH 415 Philosophy and Public Policy (M.Sc. Seminar)

PH 418 Economics and Philosophy Research and Writing Seminar

PH 426E Executive MSc course in Philosophy and Public Policy

In 2012, I was awarded LSE's Teaching Excellence Prize.


PhD in Philosophy at University College London, 2006.

M.Phil. in Philosophy at King's College, Cambridge, 2000.

Post-graduate diploma in Financial and Economic Policy from the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), 1999.

M.A. in Philosophy, EUR, 1999.

M.Sc. in Economics, EUR, 1997.

Ph.D. students

Dr. Vincent Guillin: Auguste Comte and John Stuart Mill on Sexual Equality, 2006.

Winner: Prix du Maison d'Auguste Comte 2006. Now published.

2010-: Assistant Professor (tenure track), Universite de Montreal;

2007- December 2009: Assistant Professor, College de France.

Dr. Michael Moehler: A Theory of Minimal Morality, 2007.

2015-: Associate Professor (tenured), Virginia Tech.

2010-15: Assistant Professor (tenure track), Virginia Tech.

2009-10: Fellowship at the Murphy Institute, Tulane.

2007-09: Visiting Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Dr. Katherine F. King: Considering Kids: The Nature of Children's Claims to Justice, 2010.

2012-: Research Scientist at the Li Ka Shing Institute at St. Michael's Hospital at the University of Toronto.

2010-12: Greenwall Fellow in Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Alice Obrecht: Getting It Right: An Account of the Moral Agency of NGOs, 2011.

2014-present: Research Fellow for Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP).

2012-2014: Researcher, Humanitarian Futures Programme, King's College London.

2011-12: Researcher for the One World Trust.

Dr. Ittay Nissan: Doing the Best One Can, 2011.

A chapter of this thesis won the 2012 Mark Blaug prize for Philosophy and Economics.

2012-: Lecturer (tenure-track), Hebrew University.

2011-12: Postdoctoral Fellow, Hebrew University.

Dr. Harald Schmidt: Just Health Responsibility (primary supervision in the Department of Social Policy), 2012.

Winner of the Titmuss Prize for the best PhD thesis in Social Policy at LSE in 2012.

2013:- Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania.

2011-2013: Lecturer at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioural Economics, University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Esha Senchaudhuri: A Critique of Pure Public Reason, 2012.

2014: Private sector employment.

2013-14: Adjunct Lecturer, Emmanuel College, Boston.

2012-present: Class teacher for Medical Ethics, Harvard University.

2011-12: Temporary Lectureship, York University.

Dr. Ben Ferguson: The Paradox of Exploitation: A New Solution, 2013.

2015-: Assistant Professor (tenure track), Free University of Amsterdam.

2013-15: Assistant Professor, University of Bayreuth.

Dr. Susanne Burri: A Rights-Based Perspective on Permissible Harm, 2014.

A chapter of this thesis won the Society for Applied Philosophy's 2013 postgraduate essay prize.

2015-: Assistant Professor (tenure-track), London School of Economics.

2013-15: Postdoc at the University of St. Gallen.

Tom Rowe (on distributive ethics under risk and uncertainty, in progress).


Nicolas Wuethrich (on economic models in macroeconomics, in progress).


Chris Marshall (on individual duties of justice, in progress)


Asbjorn Schmidt (on substantive responsibility in distributive justice, in progress).