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Name: Boo Jackson

PhD: Philosophy

Thesis Title: Rethinking sexual orientation: what it is, what it should be, and how we should get there.

Thesis Description:

My project will investigate what people mean when they talk about sexual orientation, what they would need to mean in order for our practices to be maximally socially just, and how to bridge the gap between these two things.

My project has three parts. First, I will uncover how we understand sexual orientation now.

Second, I will undertake a forward-looking analysis of sexual orientation that is driven by the goal of reducing LGBTQ+ discrimination. I will establish whether our current concept of sexual orientation meets this goal, and if it doesn’t, I will develop a new “target” concept: a concept that does meet the goal, whilst also performing as many of the other functions of the old concept as possible.

Third, I will present what I see to be a realistic first step towards the target concept of sexual orientation. While this part of my analysis will be revisionary and driven by the same goal as the second component, it will be rooted in current circumstances. It will allow me to establish an “interim target” concept that can be built upon and discarded when no longer useful.


Supervisors and Institution(s):

Dr. Katharine Jenkins (University of Nottingham)

Prof. Jonathan Tallant (University of Nottingham)


Conferences / Public Engagement Activities:

-Social Metaphysics (Nottingham 2017). Paper presented: ‘Haslangerian Genders and Temporal Ontology’

-International Association for the Philosophy of Time. 4th Annual Meeting. (Milan 2017). Paper presented: ‘Haslangerian Genders and Temporal Ontology’

-Philosophy in Progress (Nottingham 2018). Paper presented: 'Sexual orientation: sex, gender, and sexual 'druthers'

-Nottingham LGBT network event ‘'Sexual orientation: sex, gender, and sexual 'druthers''. I was the invited speaker

-Participant in BBC radio 4 ‘The Global Philosopher’ January 2018. Topic: Free Speech

-Nottingham Social Ontology Conference 2018. I helped to run and manage the event


Other Research Interests:

-Philosophy of Sex

-Social Ontology

-Feminist Philosophy

University email address:

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