Bob Brecher is a moral and political philosopher with special interests in the philosophical issues surrounding conflict, torture and medicine, and in the ethics of education.
He founded the university's Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics and the Conflict research cluster. He serves on a number of ethical committees within and outside the university and has developed a range of initiatives and interventions in the educational framework.
Having initially started his career as a philosopher of religion, Bob Brecher moved into moral and political philosophy, in response partly to developing teaching duties, partly to the trajectory of actually existing neo-liberalism. During his tenure as a professor he has focused on applying the rationalist ethics he began to develop theoretically in Getting What You Want? A Critique of Liberal Morality (1998) in both his research and his institutional activities, a trajectory recognized by his Research Fellowship in the Centre for Philosophy & Public Affairs at St Andrews University.
Brecher founded the journal Res Publica in 1995; Torture and the Ticking Bomb was published by Blackwell in its Public Philosophy series in 2007; and he serves on a variety of NHS and other research and clinical ethics committees, editorial boards and other ventures combining academic research and teaching with public engagement and dissemination.
On the basis of his earlier remit to develop ethics in the Faculty of Health, he has founded the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics & Ethics (CAPPE) and lead the current development of an innovative MA Programme in Applied Ethics, a cross-Faculty, University-wide initiative, validated in July 2007, as well as developing the Centre’s range of activities both in the public arena and the University.
Brecher is an external advisor for Edgehill University Research Ethics and Governance Committee and is the organiser of CAPPE's Public Controversies series.
Brecher, Bob and Neu, Michael (2016) Intellectual Complicity in Torture In: Neu, Michael, Dunford, Robin and Afxentiou, Afxentis, eds. Exploring Complicity: Concept, Cases and Critique. Rowman and Littlefield, London, pp. 143-160. ISBN 9781786600622
Brecher, Bob (2016) Torture In: Jackson, R., ed. The Routledge handbook of critical terrorism studies. Routledge, London, pp. 170-180. ISBN 9780415743761
Brecher, Bob (2015) Andrea Dworkin’s Pornography: men possessing women – a reassessment In: Marway, H. and Widdows, H., eds. Women and violence: the agency of victims and perpetrators. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 145-161. ISBN 9781137015112
Brecher, Bob (2015) Neo-liberalism and its threat to moral agency In: Bielskis, A. and Knight, K., eds. Virtue and economy: essays on morality and markets. Ashgate, London, UK, pp. 23-32. ISBN 9781472412560
Brecher, Bob (2014) Values-based practice: but which values, and whose? In: Loughlin, Michael, ed. Debates in values-based practice: arguments for and against. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 62-68. ISBN 9781107038936
Brecher, Bob (2014) Values-based practice: but which values, and whose? In: Loughlin, M., ed. Debates in Values-Based Practice. Cambridge university press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 62-68. ISBN 9781107038936
Brecher, Bob (2014) What is professional ethics? Nursing Ethics, 21 (2). pp. 239-244. ISSN 0969-7330
Brecher, Bob (2013) What is the erotic? Journal of the International Network for Sexual Ethics & Politics, 1 (1). pp. 63-68. ISSN 2196-6931
Brecher, Bob (2013) Academic freedom In: LaFollette, Hugh, ed. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 9781405186414
Brecher, Bob (2013) The Holocaust In: LaFollette, Hugh, ed. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 9781405186414
Brecher, Bob (2012) The "ticking bomb": a spurious argument for torture TORTURE: Asian and Global Perspectives, 1 (1). pp. 30-38. ISSN 2304-134X
Brecher, Bob (2012) Pornography: men possessing women. A reassessment In: Marway, H. and Widdows, H., eds. Women and violence: the agency of victims and perpertrators. Palgrave Macmillan.
Brecher, Bob (2012) Why torture is wrong In: Jackson, Richard and Sinclair, Justin, eds. Contemporary debates on terrorism. Routledge, London, UK, pp. 159-165. ISBN 9780415591164
Brecher, Bob (2012) The family and neoliberalism: time to revive a critique Ethics and Social Welfare, 6 (2). pp. 157-167. ISSN 1749-6535
Brecher, Bob (2011) Which values and whose? Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 17 (5). pp. 996-998. ISSN 1356-1294
Brecher, Bob (2011) Torture: a touchstone for global social justice In: Widdows, Heather and Smith, Nicola, eds. Global Social Justice. Routledge, London and New York, pp. 90-101. ISBN 9780415579414
Brecher, Bob (2011) What is wrong with eliminating genetically-based disability? Public Health Ethics, 4 (3). pp. 218-225. ISSN 1754-9973
Brecher, Bob (2010) The politics of professional ethics Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 16 (2). pp. 351-355. ISSN 1356-1294
Devenney, Mark, Brecher, Bob and Winter, Aaron (2010) Discourses and practices of terrorism: interrogating terror Critical Terrorism Studies . Routledge, London and New York. ISBN 0415488087
Brecher, Bob (2010) Is critical education still possible in UK universities? In: The possibility/impossibility of a new critical language in education. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, pp. 351-366. ISBN 9789460912702
Brecher, Bob (2009) Interrogation, intelligence and ill-treatment: lessons from Northern Ireland, 1971-72 Intelligence and National Security , 24 (5). pp. 631-643. ISSN 0268-4527
Brecher, Bob (2008) Rational rationing Clinical Ethics, 3. pp. 53-54. ISSN 1477-7509
Brecher, Bob (2007) Tortue and the ticking bomb Blackwell Public Philosophy . Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford. ISBN 9781405162029
Brecher, Bob (2007) Torture and the Ticking Bomb Blackwell Publishing, London, UK. ISBN 9781405162012
Brecher, Bob (2007) The politics of medical and health ethics: collapsing goods and the moral climate Journal of Value Inquiry, 4 (2-3). pp. 359-370. ISSN 0022-5363
Brecher, Bob (2006) Communitarianism: the practice of postmodern liberalism In: Giesen, K.-D. and Van der Pijl, K., eds. Global norms in the twenty-first century. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Cambridge, UK, pp. 212-225. ISBN 9781904303985
Brecher, Bob (2006) ‘In its own image’: neo-liberalism and the managerialist university Prospero, 12 (4). pp. 6-12. ISSN 1358-6785
Brecher, Bob (2006) Why the Kantian ideal survives medical learning curves; and why it matters Journal of Medical Ethics, 32 (9). pp. 511-512. ISSN 0306-6800
Brecher, Bob (2006) The politics of humanism In: Cummings, D., ed. Debating humanism. Imprint Academic, Exeter, pp. 108-116. ISBN 184540069
Brecher, Bob (2005) Complicity and modularization: how universities were made safe for the market Critical Quarterly, 47 (1-2). pp. 72-82. ISSN 0011-1562
Brecher, Bob (2004) Do intellectuals have a special public responsibility? In: Aiken, William and Haldane, John, eds. Philosophy and its Public Role. Imprint Academic: St Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Affairs, pp. 25-38. ISBN 1845400038
Brecher, Bob (2003) Transgenerational Obligations: 21st Century Germany and the Holocaust Journal of Applied Philosophy, 20 (1). pp. 45-57. ISSN 0264-3758
Brecher, Bob (2002) Our obligation to the dead Journal of Applied Philosophy, 19 (2). pp. 109-119. ISSN 02364-3758