Dr Neil MansonSenior Lecturer
PHIL100 - Introduction to Philosophy
PPR 213 Epistemology
PPR307 History of Twentieth Century Philosophy
PPR 456 Paternalism, Autonomy and Consent
I studied philosophy at King's College London, University College London and Corpus Christi College Oxford. From 1998 to 2005 I was a fellow of King's College Cambridge. Since 2005 I’ve been at Lancaster University, and enjoying living bang in the middle of the city (which, oddly, is only a few minutes walk from open fields!)
My main research interest these days is consent. More specifically, permissive consent, the kind of consent that renders others actions permissible (rather than consent as agreement or consent to be bound by a set of rules). Although we all engage in permissive consent practices (seeking, giving, negotiating, revising) consent in our everyday lives, it turns out that permissive consent is philosophically pretty complex, and a bit odd in places. I see my work over the past few years as a kind of normative cartography – getting to know the terrain, mapping it, exposing some of the oddities and perplexing features that, in a sense, were there all along (it’s a bit like wandering around a city that you know taking photos (which I like doing too), and you suddenly notice things, or realise that there is a non-obvious connection between two parts of the city. My cartographic journeys have covered topics in medical ethics, including such oddities as a seeming asymmetry between consent and refusal in adolescent treatment (roughly, in some countries, including the UK, there are situations where an adolescent has the legal power to permit her own treatment, but she may not have the power to refuse it). All very odd, but with the right viewpoint, the puzzle disappears. Other recent work includes papers on consent to research, and biobank consent (especially upon what is required by way of making a decision to participate). A very different region of the consent terrain is sexual consent, and here I have done some work on how and why deception might invalidate consent.
In 2019-20 I will be on sabbatical in order to give a more “joined up” overview – working title Permissive Consent: an Essay in Normative Cartography (it may end up being called something else).
I'm a great believer in the idea that philosophers should try to say, and do, things that take them beyond the insular world of the "academy". I'm currently chair of the Society for Applied Philosophy (and have been involved with the Society, and its journal, the Journal of Applied Philosophy for many years now). I've also been involved in a wide variety of applied philosophy discussions, workshops, and committees. I'm currently a member of the (UK) Medical Research Ethics Committee "Ethics, regulation, and public involvement committee".
You may be looking at this page because we've met on an applicant visit day, or university open day - that would be with my "admissions tutor" hat on - if you have any queries about studying philosophy at Lancaster, as an undergraduate, then do contact me (email is on the right).
If you are interested in doing a PhD, I’m keen to consider proposals to do with any area of consent, informed consent, and, because these are (in my view) essentially communicative practices, I’m also interested in proposals to do with the ethics of communication (freedom of speech, lying, deception, civility) and how these are transformed by context and media.
My main research interest is permissive consent. This covers questions to do with what consent is, how it works, and how it can be undermined. It has applications in biomedical ethics: the nature, justification and limits of informed consent; the nature and role of consent in legitimating biobank research; the contrast between explicit consent and other kinds of “consent” in organ donation policy (tacit, presumed, deemed). My work with Onora O'Neill on consent is in Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics (CUP, 2007); I will soon be working on a monograph, provisionally entitled Permissive Consent: An Essay in Normative Cartography.
PhD Supervision Interests
The nature of consent; the nature and limits of informed consent (in medical ethics and elsewhere); consent and organ donation policy; adolescent consent; consent to uses of personal information; biobank consent policy; sexual consent; deception and consent; other topics in the ethics of communication.
The ethics of biobanking: assessing the right to control problem for broad consent
Manson, N.C. 1/06/2019 In: Bioethics. 33, 5, p. 540-549. 10 p.
The biobank consent debate: why “meta-consent” is not the solution
Manson, N.C. 1/05/2019 In: Journal of Medical Ethics. 45, 5, p. 291-294. 4 p.
The Scope of Consent
Manson, N.C. 11/06/2018 In: The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Consent. London : Routledge p. 65-74. 10 p. ISBN: 9781138855540. Electronic ISBN: 9781351028264.
Misleading by omission: rethinking the obligation to inform research subjects about funding sources
Manson, N.C. 15/11/2017 In: Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 42, 6, p. 720–739. 20 p.
When is a choice not a choice?: "sham offers" and the asymmetry of adolescent consent and refusal
Manson, N.C. 05/2017 In: Bioethics. 31, 4, p. 296-304. 9 p.
How not to think about the ethics of deceiving into sex
Manson, N.C. 1/01/2017 In: Ethics. 127, 2, p. 415-429. 15 p.
Permissive consent: a robust reason-changing account
Manson, N.C. 12/2016 In: Philosophical Studies. 173, 12, p. 3317-3334. 18 p.
Transitional paternalism: how shared normative powers give rise to the asymmetry of adolescent consent and refusal
Manson, N. 02/2015 In: Bioethics. 29, 2, p. 66-73. 8 p.
Normative consent is not consent
Manson, N. 01/2013 In: Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 22, 1, p. 33-44. 12 p.
Manson, N. 2013 In: International encyclopedia of ethics. Wiley
Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary
Informed consent and referential opacity
Manson, N. 2013 In: Reading Onora O'Neill. London : Routledge
Reading Onora O'Neill
Archard, D., Deveaux, M., Manson, N., Weinstock, D. 2013 London : Routledge. 250 p. ISBN: 9780415675901.
Epistemic Restraint and the Vice of Curiosity
Manson, N. 2012 In: Philosophy. 87, 2, p. 239-259. 20 p.
First-person authority: an epistemic-pragmatic account
Manson, N. 2012 In: Mind and Language. 27, 2, p. 181-199. 18 p.
Making Sense of Spin
Manson, N. 2012 In: Journal of Applied Philosophy. 29, 3, p. 200-213. 13 p.
Why "consciousness" means what it does.
Manson, N.C. 01/2011 In: Metaphilosophy. 42, 1-2, p. 98-117. 20 p.
Why do patients want information, if not to make decisions?
Manson, N. 12/2010 In: Journal of Medical Ethics. 36, 12, p. 834-837. 4 p.
Epistemic Inertia and Epistemic Isolationism
Manson, N. 08/2009 In: Journal of Applied Philosophy. 26, 3, p. 291-298. 8 p.
Consciousness and the unconscious
Manson, N. 2009 In: Encyclopedia of the Mind. Sage
Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary
The medium and the message : tissue samples, genetic information and data protection.
Manson, N. 2009 In: Governance of genetic information : who decides?. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press 248 p. ISBN: 9780521509916.
The medium and the message: tissue samples, genetic information and data protection legislation.
Manson, N.C. 2009 In: The Governance of Genetic Information: Who Decides?. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press p. 15-36. 22 p. ISBN: 978-0-521-50991-6.
Contemporary naturalism and the concept of consciousness.
Manson, N.C. 07/2007 In: Consciousness : from perception to reflection in the history of philosophy. Springer p. 287-310. 24 p. ISBN: 978-1402060816.
My genes made me do it? The implications of behavioural genetics for responsibility and blame
Levitt, M., Manson, N. 2007 In: Health Care Analysis. p. 33-40. 8 p.
Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics.
Manson, N.C., O'Neill, O. 2007 Cambridge University Press. 212 p. ISBN: 978-0521-87458-8.
Rights, wrongs and neurons
Manson, N.C. 07/2006 In: Brain. 129, 7, p. 1929-1932. 4 p.
What is genetic information, and why is it significant? : a contextual, contrastive, approach.
Manson, N.C. 01/2006 In: Journal of Applied Philosophy. 23, 1, p. 1-16. 16 p.
Reason explanation: a first-order normative account
Manson, N.C. 05/2004 In: Philosophical Explorations. 7, 2, p. 113-130. 18 p.
Brains, vats and neurally-controlled animats.
Manson, N.C. 2004 In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 35, 2, p. 249-268. 20 p.
Freud's own blend : functional analysis, idiographic explanation and the extension of ordinary psychology.
Manson, N.C. 01/2003 In: Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society. 103, 1, p. 179-195. 17 p.
Manson, N.C. 09/2002 In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A. 33, 3, p. 425-441. 17 p.
What does language tell us about consciousness? First-person mental discourse and higher-order thought theories of consciousness.
Manson, N.C. 2002 In: Philosophical Psychology. 15, 3, p. 221-238. 18 p.
The future of consent
01/06/2009 → 31/05/2010
- Centre for Bioethics and Medical Law