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Milburn Josh

Josh Milburn


BA (Hons) Philosophy (Lancaster University), MA Philosophy (Lancaster University)


I am working to develop an account of political justice which takes the rights of non-human animals seriously. The most well-known theories of justice all but ignore the needs and interests of members of other species, but there is an emerging interest among academics from multiple disciplinary backgrounds in the links between animal ethics and political theory. I intend to avoid the “all animals are equal” rhetoric which has been popularised by certain prominent ethicists, which I consider unrealistic and counter-intuitive, while simultaneously condemning any kind of speciesism; to do otherwise, I suggest, is philosophically untenable. Instead, I intend to examine whether a (wholly non-speciesist) account recognising that different rights-possessing beings can be viewed as morally unequal is a viable alternative.

Research interests:

My key concern is in animal ethics, from the perspective of moral and political philosophy and from that of political theory. I also have an interest in the philosophy of biology and philosophical aspects of evolution as they apply to non-human animals. I have a broader interest in applied moral and political philosophy generally.

Supervisors: Professor David Archard and Dr Jeremy Watkins