Luke Elson

June 2023

Research         Teaching         CV (pdf)

I’m a philosopher at the University of Reading. I grew up in Llanelli and did my PhD in philosophy at UNC Chapel Hill, before joining Reading in 2014.

Picture of me – photo credit Eva van Herel


My main research project focuses on a cluster of issues around incomplete preferences, unsharp or imprecise credences, and value incommensurability. I am working on a book arguing that these all involve vagueness.


(Forthcoming) A paper on healthcare marketisation and the introduction of risk into the doctor-patient relationship. Promised to Ratio, special issue on risk.

(Forthcoming) A paper on group responses to climate change given indeterminacy. Promised to the Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, special issue on intra- and interpersonal dilemmas in ethics and rational choice.

(2021) What does incommensurability tell us about agency? in Value Incommensurability: Ethics, Risk, and Decision-Making, edited by Henrik Andersson and Anders Herlitz. Routledge.

(2021) Review of Companions in Guilt Arguments in Metaethics edited by Christopher Cowie and Richard Rowland, at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.

(2019) Probabilistic Promotion and Ability, Ergo vol. 6, no. 34. doi:10.3998/ergo.12405314.0006.034

(2019) Can Streumer simply avoid Supervenience?, Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy vol. 16, no. 3 (2019). doi:10.26556/jesp.v16i3.508

(2018) Review of David Sobel’s From Valuing to Value, Analysis, Volume 78, Issue 3, pp. 583-586. doi:10.1093/analys/any045.

(2017) Incommensurability as Vagueness: a Burden-Shifting Argument, Theoria 83: 341-363. doi: 10.1111/theo.12129

(2016) Tenenbaum and Raffaman on Vague Projects, the Self-Torturer, and the Sorites, in Ethics Vol. 126, No. 2, pp. 474-488. doi:10.1086/683533.
(journal page)

(2014) Heaps and Chains: is the Chaining Argument for Parity a Sorites?, Ethics Vol. 124, No. 3, pp. 557-571. doi: 10.1086/674844
(journal page)

(2014) Borderline Cases and the Collapsing Principle, Utilitas volume 26, issue 01, pp. 51-60. doi:10.1017/S095382081300023X
(journal page)


I mostly teach moral philosophy and mediaeval philosophy. I have also in the past taught epistemology, metaphysics, and logic.

Some documents: