Dr Ulrike Heuer

Associate Professor

+ 44 (0)113 343 1018

Summary: Theoretical Ethics; Action Theory; Value Theory; Theories of Practical Reasons; Moral Psychology; Normative Ethics.

Ulrike joined the Department in 2004 after holding previous appointments at Columbia University, New York, and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Her main interests are in theories of practical reasons, action theory and problems in normative ethics (such as the so-called 'paradox of deontology', voluntary obligations, and the significance of intentions).

In 2008-9, Ulrike was a faculty fellow at the Center for Ethics, Harvard University; in 2013-14, she received a mid-career fellowship from the British Academy to work on the normative significance of intentions.  In 2014-15, she held a Guest Research Professor at the University of Vienna as part of the ERC advanced project 'Distortions of Normativity', starting to work on a monograph on the relation of intentions, practical reasons and responsibility.

Research Interests

  • Metaethics, Value Theory, Theories of Practical Reasons
  • Action Theory 
  • Moral Psychology
  • Normative Ethics

Research Supervisions 

I'm happy to supervise PhD or MA dissertations in the following areas:

  • Theories of practical reasons and normativity
  • Moral philosophy
  • Moral psychology
  • Action theory (in particular: theories of responsibility; intentions)
  • Normative ethics (in particular: the moral significance of intentions; consequentialism and deontology; responsibility & moral luck; voluntary obligation, e.g. promising) 

Selected Publications 


  • Luck, Value and Commitment: Themes from the Ethics of Bernard Williams. Co-edited with G. Lang. Oxford University Press 2012.
  • The Normative Significance of Intentions. Special Issue of Philosophical Explorations 2017. Co-edited with M. N. Smith.


  • ‘The Relevance of the Wrong Kind of Reasons’ in C. McHugh, J. Way, D. Whiting (eds), Epistemic and Practical Normativity, Oxford University Press (forthcoming).
  • ‘Moralischer Zufall und Kontrolle durch Fertigkeiten’. Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, Vol. 70 (2016), pp. 5-27.
  • 'Intentions and the Reasons for Which We Act' in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114:3 (2014), pp. 291-316.
  • 'Reasons to Intend' in Daniel Star (ed), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity, Oxford University Press (forthcoming).
  • 'Intentions, Permissibility, and the Reasons For Which We Act' in Pavlakos, G. &  V. Rodriguez-Blanco (eds), Reasons and Intentions in Law and Practical Reason, Cambridge University Press 2015, pp. 11-30.
  • 'The Reasons That Can't Be Followed'. Comment on J. Raz, From Normativity to Responsibility in The Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 2013, vol. 8: 1-14 (with a reply by the author)
  • 'Guided by Reasons: Raz on the Normative-Explanatory Nexus' in Jurisprudence 2 (2), 2012, 353-65.
  • 'Promising, Part 1 & 2' in Philosophy Compass 7 (12), 2012, pp.832-41 & 842-51.
  • 'Thick Concepts and Internal Reasons' in Heuer, Lang (eds), Luck, Value and Commitment: Themes from the Ethics of Bernard Williams, pp. 219-46, OUP 2012.
  • 'The Paradox of Deontology, Revisited', forthcoming in Mark Timmons (ed), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, pp. 236-67, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2011.
  • 'Beyond Wrong Reasons: The Buck-Passing Account of Value', in Michael Brady (ed.), New Waves in Metaethics, Palgrave: 2010, pp. 166-184
  • 'Wrongness and Reasons' in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol 13:2 (April 2010), 137-152.
  • 'Reasons and Impossibility' in Philosophical Studies, Vol 147, No 2, 2010, 235-246.
  • ‘Reasons for Actions and Desires’ in Philosophical Studies 121, 2004, 43-63.
  • ‘Raz on Reasons and Values’. P. Pettit, M. Smith, S. Scheffler, R.J. Wallace (eds.), Reason and Value. Themes from the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz. Oxford University Press 2004, pp. 129-52.

See Ulrike's personal page for full publication details.

Research Students (MA & PhD)

  • Olof Leffler, 'Moral Constitutivism' (jointly supervised with Pekka Väyrynen)
  • Jim Baxter, 'Responsibility and Psychopathy' (jointly supervised with Helen Steward)
  • Aida Cortes, 'Well-being and self-deception' (2012 award)
  • Oliver Mason, 'Intentions and Permissibility'  (2011 award)
  • Jim Baxter, 'On Toleration' (2010 award)
  • Jonah Popp, 'Wrong Reasons' (2008 award)
  • Michael Spencer, 'Scalar Utilitarianism' (2006 award)
  • Rosemary Lowry, 'Practical Reasons' (visiting PhD student, supervised from Jan to Dec 2005; 2008 award)