Prof Bob Brecher
Scholarly biography and interests
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. Over the last ten or so years 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 (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 (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
- Chapter in book 'Values-based practice: but which values and whose?' inDebates in Values-Based Practice, Cambridge University Press, pp. 62-68. ISBN 9781107038936
- Chapter in book: 'No: Why Torture is Wrong', in R. Jackson and S J Sinclair (eds), Contemporary Debates on Terrorism (London: Routledge), ISBN 9780415591164, pp. 159-165.
- Entries in the International Encyclopaedia of Ethics, ed. H La Follette (Oxford: Blackwell-Wiley): 'Academic Freedom' , 'The Holocaust'
- Article: 'What is wrong with eliminating genetically based disability?' Public Health Ethics
- Article: 'Which values? And whose? A reply to Fulford' Journal of Evaluation in Critical Practice
- Article: 'The family and neoliberalism: time to revive a critique Ethics and Social Welfare'
- Chapter in book :'Torture: a touchstone for global social justice', in H Widdows and N J Smith (eds), Global Social Justice (London: Routledge), ISBN 9780415579414, pp. 90-101.
- Article: What is wrong with eliminating genetically-based disability? Public Health Ethics, 4 (3). pp. 218-225. ISSN 1754-9973
- Book: Brecher. B, War and Terror: Politics, Representation, Practice. Rodopi: Amsterdam & New York, 2010
- Book: Brecher. B, Devenney, M, Winter, A, Discourses and practices of Terrorism. Routledge: London & New York
- Article: Brecher, B, Newbery, S, Sands, P, Stuart, B: 'Interrogation, intelligence and ill-treatment: lessons from Northern Ireland, 1971-72. Intelligence and National Security, 2009. Vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 631-643 ISSN 02684527
- Article, 'The politics of professional ethics' Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 2010 16 (2). p.p 351-355. ISSN 1356-1294
- Conference paper: ‘Is moral responsibility impossible?’ at Inter-Disciplinary.Net’s 1st International Conference on Ethics in Public Life, Salzburg. Austria, 13 -15 March 2009.
- Conference paper: ‘Is critical education still possible in UK universities today’ at Critical Education, Oxford
- Conference paper: ‘Torture and the ticking bomb’ at Interrogating Terror, Brighton
- Conference paper: ‘Torture and the ticking bomb: fantasy and the so-called war on terror’ at War, virtual war and human security, Budapest, Hungary
- Conference paper: ‘On not tolerating the intolerable’ at Values and Diversity: culture, religion and law in contemporary Europe, Plzen, Czech Republic
- Conference paper: ‘Philosophy and sex’ at The Erotic, Salzburg, Austria
- Journal article: 'Torture and the “Ticking Bomb”: Fantasy and the so-called War on Terror', Zeitschrift für Menschengerecht
- Journal article: 'Rational rationing?' Guest editorial for Clinical Ethics
- Authored “Ethical Opinion” for Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, Report: Holding Health to Ransom: GSS Interrogation and Extortion of Palestinian Patients at Erez Crossing
- Public lecture in series on torture, Centre for Research Ethics and Ethical Deliberation, Edgehill University
- Contributor to/organiser of Brighton Photo Biennial events on the ethics of representing violence
- Invited speaker, ESRC seminar series on terrorism, Leicester University
- Invited speaker, conference on “terror”, Antwerp University
Invited Keynote Addresses
- ‘Critical education’ at Critical Education conference, SRHE
- ‘Why there is no such thing as political terrorism’, University of Antwerp, Belgium
- ‘Problems of Professional Ethics’, St George’s Medical School, London and conference on risk analysis, Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation, LSE
- 'Why torture is wrong: everywhere; always’ at CREED Public lecture Series, Edgehill University, and at London Philosophical Society
- ‘Rational rationing?’ at NHS Critical Network conference
- ‘Why people should not get what they want’ at South Place Ethical Society
- Public lecture on the responsibility of scientists, University of Ulster
- Book: Torture and the Ticking Bomb (Oxford: Blackwell)
- Journal article: 'Dershowitz on legalizing interrogational torture: the fantasy of the “ticking bomb”', Contemporary Journal of International Criminal Law
- Journal article (Festschrift): 'The politics of medical and health ethics: collapsing goods and the moral climate', Journal of Value Inquiry
- Journal article: 'Why the Kantian ideal survives medical learning curves; and why it matters', Journal of Medical Ethics
- Journal review article: 'Reparation, responsibility and the memory game', Res Publica
- Chapter in book: 'Communitarianism: the Practice of Postmodern Liberalism', in eds K-G Giesen and K van der Pijl, Global Norms for the 21st Century (Cambridge Scholars Press)
- Journal article: '"In its own image": neo-liberalism and the managerialist university', Prospero
- Chapter in book: 'The politics of humanism', in ed. D Cummings, Debating Humanism
(Exeter: Imprint Academic).
- Journal article: 'Moral Obligation and Everyday Advice', South African Journal of Philosophy
- Journal article: 'Complicity and modularization: how universities were made safe for the market', Critical Quarterly
- Journal article (with Alyce von Rothkirch) 'Beyond multiculturalism; beyond tolerance', Planet
- Journal article: 'Morality, Professions and Ideals: A Response to Paul Griseri',Philosophy of Management
- Chapter in book: 'Do intellectuals have a special public responsibility?', in eds William Aiken & John Haldane, Philosophy and its Public Role (Imprint Academic: St Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Affairs)
- Journal article: 'Against Professional Ethics', Philosophy of Management
- Journal article (with Doris Schroeder): 'Transgenerational Obligations: 21st Century Germany and the Holocaust', Journal of Applied Philosophy.
- Journal article: 'Our obligation to the dead', Journal of Applied Philosophy.
- Book: Getting What You Want?: a Critique of Liberal Morality (London: Routledge)
- Edited book:(with Jo Halliday & Klára Kolinská) Nationalism and Racism in the Liberal Order (Basingstoke: Ashgate)