Jonathan Wolff (philosopher)

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Jonathan Wolff
Born 1959
Nationality British
Main interests Political philosophy
Alma mater University College London

Jonathan Wolff (born 1959) is Dean of Arts & Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at University College London, in England.


Wolff earned his MPhil from UCL[1] under the direction of G.A. Cohen. He was formerly the secretary of the British Philosophical Association and has been Editor and then honorary secretary of the Aristotelian Society, which publishes Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society. Recently, Wolff's work has specialized in disadvantage and equality and public policy decision making.

As a scholar on the topic of Marxism, Wolff published Marx and Exploitation, an article about Marxist thinking, in The Journal of Ethics. He also co-edited (with Michael Rosen) Political Thought (ISBN 0-19-289278-9), an introductionary reader on political philosophy.

He has also published a critique of Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State and Utopia called Robert Nozick: Property, Justice and the Minimal State, a short book on Karl Marx, Why Read Marx Today?, and An Introduction to Political Philosophy. He currently writes a monthly column for The Guardian and occasionally blogs at Brian Leiter's "Leiter Reports" blog.

Jonathan Wolff presented a 4 part series about the UK's National Health Service for the BBC's Radio 3 programme 'The Essay' during the week of 27 July 2009.[2] The series, entitled "Doctoring Philosophy", marked the 60th anniversary of the NHS and commenced by studying the philosophical background which led to the foundation of the service and the changing definitions of sickness and health. It went on to explore entitlement, issues of equality of service, and issues of priorities in a world of universal access.

He is currently a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. He has been a member of two of the Council’s Working Parties; on the ethics of animal research,[3] and the ethics of personalised healthcare[4]


  • Robert Nozick: Property, Justice and the Minimal State. Oxford: Polity in association with Basil Blackwell. 1991. ISBN 978-0-7456-0603-3. 
  • An Introduction to Political Philosophy. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. 1996. ISBN 978-0-19-289251-5. 
  • Michael Rosen (1999). Political Thought. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-289278-9. 
  • Why Read Marx Today?. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. 2002. ISBN 978-0-19-280335-1. 
  • Disadvantage, co authored with Avner de Shalit. New York: Oxford University Press, USA. 2007. ISBN 978-0-19-927826-8. 
  • The Human Right to Health. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, USA. 2012. ISBN 978-0-393-07900-5. 


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