I joined Philosophy at Stirling in 2002 after completing my PhD - on the justification of property rights - at Cambridge. Before postgraduate research, I worked for a year on tax policy as a civil servant in HM Treasury. I am currently Head of Philosophy and deputy head of the Division of Law and Philosophy.
My research focuses on the nature and justification of rights and duties. Recent work examines the relationship between rights and respect, and the structure (as individualistic or non-individualistic, 'foundationalist' or 'transcendental') of the moral grounds for rights. My work aims to reveal the comparative importance of different forms of right including human rights, natural rights, contractual rights, property rights, legal rights. I defend the view that human rights are distinguished by their individualistic grounding, while many other important rights including property are non-individualistically justified. I have recently been working on how legal rights are best grounded as serving 'the generic citizen' or 'the generic one of us'.
A guiding aim of my research is to demonstrate how philosophical positions bear on the justification of public policies and law. I have participated in policy development for NGOs and government, and in public inquiries including in 2012 as an invited witness at the Leveson Inquiry (http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/evidence/?witness=dr-rowan-cruft) and as co-author of a submission to the Commission on a Bill of Rights for the UK.
Professional Activities: In addition to reviewing for many journals, I am a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, a member of the management committee of The Philosophical Quarterly, and from Autumn 2014 I'm on the executive committee of the Aristotelian Society.