Areas of interest
My research interests lie primarily at the intersection of political theory and social epistemology. Over the past few years, I've been especially interested in the norms that should govern political discourse in divided societies.
Here are some of the more specific questions I'm interested in:
- What is the role of negative emotions, such as anger, in democratic public discourse?
- How should we deal with hateful utterances or campaigns of misinformation? In particular, can we neutralise their harms through "more speech"?
- How much of an obstacle do partisan divisions pose for fruitful deliberation?
I am interested in supervising students working in contemporary political theory, particularly on the topics of democracy, free speech (including hate speech and misinformation), or political emotions (e.g. anger, hope).
Research centres and groups
Reading Ethics and Political Philosophy (REAPP)
I joined the Department of Politics and International Relations in January 2021 as Lecturer in Political Theory. Before that, I worked as Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow in Politics and Nuffield College, Oxford (2018-2002), and as Residential Fellow at the University of Connecticut (2019).
- PhD in Philosophy, University of Cambridge
- BPhil in Philosophy, University of Oxford
- BSc in Politics and Philosophy, London School of Economics and Political Science
Awards and honours
Ernest Barker Prize for Best Dissertation in Political Theory (2019)
- Associate Member, Nuffield College, University of Oxford
- Executive Committee Member, Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought
- Lepoutre, M. (2020) Hate speech laws: expressive power is not the answer. Legal Theory , 25 (4). pp. 272-296. ISSN: 1469-8048
- Lepoutre, M. (2020) Democratic group cognition. Philosophy & Public Affairs , 48 (1). pp. 40-78. ISSN: 1088-4963 | doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/papa.12157
- Lepoutre, M. (2018) Rage inside the machine: defending the place of anger in democratic speech. Politics, Philosophy and Economics , 17 (4). pp. 398-426. ISSN: 1741-3060 | doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1470594X18764613
- Lepoutre, M. (2017) Hate speech in public discourse: a pessimistic defense of counterspeech. Social Theory and Practice , 43 (4). pp. 851-883. ISSN: 2154-123X | doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/soctheorpract201711125
- Lepoutre, M. (2016) Immigration controls: why the self-determination argument is self-defeating. Journal of Social Philosophy , 47 (3). pp. 309-331. ISSN: 1467-9833 | doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josp.12156