Robert Mark Simpson

I’ve been a lecturer in philosophy at Monash since July 2013, having previously been a graduate student and sessional tutor in philosophy at the University of Oxford (2009-13) and at Monash prior to that (2007-08). From January to June 2015 I was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Law and Philosophy Program at the University of Chicago. I’ve also been a short-term visiting scholar at the Australian National University in 2014, and at the University of Cambridge in 2016.

My research interests are primarily in social and political philosophy; they include: free speech, hate speech, the analysis of speech-harm, attributions of responsibility in law, the moral limits of the criminal law, the ethics of human enhancement, the epistemology of disagreement, and philosophical issues around religious conflict. My main teaching responsibilities at present are in human rights theory and ethics.

My full CV can be downloaded via the link below. For publications details of my papers and links to PDF copies (for most of them), see the ‘Publications’ tab above.

Robert Mark Simpson CV



  • When we ask why it’s important to protect freedom of speech – and likewise, when we’re trying to explain what’s objectionable about repressive regimes that fail to protect freedom of speech – one of the notions that we routinely invoke is that ‘people have minds of their own’. The idea, roughly stated, is something like ... Read more
  • Can speech be used to oppress people? There’s a sense in which the answer must be ‘yes’. If by ‘oppressing someone’ we just mean ‘treating someone very badly’ or ‘making someone’s life worse’, then of course speech can be used to oppress people. Words can be used to bully people, to harass people, or to ... Read more
  • Listen to an ABC Radio National podcast of me chatting with author Richard King and RN Host Waleed Aly about “On Offence: The Politics of Indignation”, King’s new book about the manufacturing of offence, and how offence is used to advance different groups’ purposes in contemporary politics. Read More... Read more