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Baroness Onora O'Neill FBA

Ethics; Political Philosophy; Kant.
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About this Fellow

Onora O’Neill combines writing on political philosophy and ethics with a range of public activities. She comes from Northern Ireland and has worked mainly in Britain and the US. She was Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge from 1992-2006, President of the British Academy from 2005-9, chaired the Nuffield Foundation from 1998-2010, has been a crossbench member of the House of Lords since 2000 (Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve). She has chaired the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission from 2012-16 and served on of the Medical Research Council and the Banking Standards Board until 2018. In 2017, she was awarded the Holberg Prize and the Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture. She lectures and writes on justice and ethics, accountability and trust, justice and borders, as well as on the future of universities, the quality of legislation and the ethics of communication. 



Current post

  • Professor Emeritus, University of Cambridge; past President of the British Academy

Past Appointments

  • Assistant, then Associate Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, 1970 - 1977
  • Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader then Professor, University of Essex, 1977 - 1992
  • Principal, Newnham College University of Cambridge, 1992 - 2006
  • Honorary Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, 2003

British Academy Appointments

  • President, 2005 - 2009
  • Member of Council, 1997 - 1999


Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics 2002


A Question of Trust 2002


Faces of Hunger 1986


Acting on Principle 2013 2nd edition


Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics 2007


Constructing Authorities: Reason Politics and Interpretation in the Work of Immanuel Kant 2016


Justice Across Boundaries: Whose Obligations? 2016


Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant's practical philosophy 1989


Towards justice and virtue 1996


Bounds of justice 2000


Other Philosophy Fellows

Professor Peter Simons

Philosophy Central Europe Austria Germany Metaphysics History of Philosophy Logic Philosophy of Language USA, Canada and/or Mexico East Africa Eastern Europe including Russia Poland Northern Europe Scandinavia including Finland Southern Europe Italy Western Europe Ireland France Netherlands Belgium Portugal Switzerland East Asia China, Hong Kong, Japan

Professor Robert Adams

Philosophy of Religion, History of Modern Philosophy (mainly 17th and 18th centuries), Ethical Theory, Metaphysics