LI, Hon-lam


B.A. (Princeton); M.A. (Oxford); Ph.D (Cornell)
Rm 425

Brief Biography

I was majoring in physics at Princeton University when I took Thomas Nagel’s course, Philosophy 101, by accident. At the end of the semester I switched my major to philosophy. My two Junior Papers and my Senior Thesis were written under the supervision of Nancy Cartwright, Thomas Nagel, and Thomas Scanlon respectively. I was accepted into Oxford’s B.Phil. program in philosophy. Upon arrival in Oxford, I told Professor H. L. A. Hart of my interests in Philosophy of Law. Having accepted his advice, I switched into Oxford’s program in jurisprudence (a legal program) before the Term started. I took legal and philosophical subjects. In philosophy, I was tutored by John Mackie, John McDowell, Jonathan Glover, and John Finnis. I received my Ph.D. in philosophy at Cornell University, where I was supervised by Allen Wood.

I returned back to Hong Kong to practice law as a junior barrister. Three years later, I taught philosophy at the Colorado College. Subsequently, I returned to Hong Kong to teach at Lingnan College briefly, before taking up my post at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

I have been an academic visitor at All Souls College, Oxford, a Visiting Scholar at Cornell Univeristy, a Visiting Fellow at Robinson College, Cambridge, and as a Fulbright Visiting Senior Scholar at Harvard University.

I am currently working on a book in Practical Ethics.

Research Interests

  1. Practical Ethics
  2. Ethics
  3. Political Philosophy
  4. Philosophy of Law

Selected Publications

  1. Hon-Lam Li, “Contractualism and the Death Penalty,” Criminal Justice Ethics (accepted for publication).
  2. Hon-Lam Li (2016), “What We Owe to Terminally Ill Patients: The Option of Physician-Assisted Suicide,” Asian Bioethics Review, forthcoming in September 2016.
  3. Hon-Lam Li (2015), “Contractualism and Punishment”, Criminal Justice Ethics, 34:2, 177-209, DOI: 10.1080/0731129X.2015.1067959.
  4. Hon-Lam Li (2007), “Toward Quasi-vegetarianism,” in Hon-Lam Li and Anthony Yeung, eds., New Essays in Applied Ethics, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
  5. Hon-Lam Li (2003), “Economic Justice,” in ‘Institutional Issues Involving Ethics and Justice.” Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS). Developed under the auspices of the UNESCO. Editied by Robert Elliot. 17 pages. Oxford, United Kingdom: Eolss Publishers [].
  6. Hon-Lam Li (2002), “Animal Research, Non-vegetarianism, and the Moral Status of Animals — Understanding the Impasse of the Animal Rights Problem,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 2002, vol. 27, No. 5, pp. 589-615.
  7. Hon-Lam Li (1997), “Abortion and Degrees of Personhood,” Public Affairs Quarterly, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 1-19.