Philip Noel Pettit (born 1945, Ballygar, County Galway) is an Irish philosopher and political theorist. He is Laurence Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton University. He was a Guggenheim Fellow.
He was educated at Garbally College, the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and Queen's University, Belfast. He was a lecturer at University College, Dublin, a Research Fellow at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and professor at the University of Bradford. Pettit was for many years Professorial Fellow in Social and Political Theory at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. He is the recipient of numerous honours, including an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland. He was keynote speaker at Graduate Conference, University of Toronto.
Pettit is well known for defending a version of republicanism in political philosophy. His book Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government provided the underlying justification for political reforms in Spain under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Pettit detailed his relationship with Zapatero in his A Political Philosophy in Public Life: Civic Republicanism in Zapatero's Spain, co-authored with José Luis Martí.
Pettit holds that the lessons learned when thinking about problems in one area of philosophy often constitute ready-made solutions to problems faced in completely different areas. Views he defends in philosophy of mind give rise to the solutions he offers to problems in metaphysics about the nature of free will, and to problems in the philosophy of the social sciences, and these in turn give rise to the solutions he provides to problems in moral philosophy and political philosophy. Pettit's corpus as a whole was the subject of a series of critical essays published in Common Minds: Themes from the Philosophy of Philip Pettit (Oxford University Press, 2007).
- The Concept of Structuralism: a Critical Analysis (1975)
- Judging justice: an introduction to contemporary political philosophy (1980)
- Rawls: 'A Theory of Justice' and its critics (1990) with Chandran Kukathas
- The Common Mind; an essay on psychology, society and politics (1993)
- Not Just Deserts. A Republican Theory of Criminal Justice (ISBN 978-0-19-824056-3) with John Braithwaite
- Republicanism: a theory of freedom and government (1997)
- Three Methods of Ethics: a debate (1997) with Marcia Baron and Michael Slote
- A Theory of Freedom: from psychology to the politics of agency (2001)
- Rules, Reasons and Norms: selected essays (2002)
- The Economy of Esteem: an essay on civil and political society (2004) with Geoffrey Brennan
- Made with Words: Hobbes on Language, Mind, and Politics (2007)
- "Joining the Dots" in Common Minds: Themes from the Philosophy of Philip Pettit (2007) edited by Geoffrey Brennan, R.E. Goodin, Frank Jackson and Michael Smith
- A Political Philosophy in Public Life: Civic Republicanism in Zapatero's Spain (2010) with José Luis Martí
- Group Agency: The Possibility, Design, and Status of Corporate Agents. (2011) with Christian List
- On The People's Terms: A Republican Theory and Model of Democracy. (2012)
- See "Republican Criminology and Victim Advocacy: Comment" for an article concerning the book in Law and Society Review, Vol. 28, No. 4 (1994), pp. 765–776.
- Dimova-Cookson, Maria (2012), "Republicanism, philosophy of freedom, and the history of ideas: an interview with Philip Pettit.", in Browning, Gary; Dimova-Cookson, Maria; Prokhovnik, Raia, Dialogues with contemporary political theorists, Houndsmill, Basingstoke, Hampshire New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 155–169, ISBN 9780230303058
- Republican reflections on the 15-M movement, by Philip Pettit, in Books and Ideas.
- Eye to Eye. An interview with Philip Pettit by Petri Koikkalainen and Sami Syrjämäki.