Head of Unit: Prof. Vasti Roodt


Vasti Roodt Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Head of the Unit for Social and Political Ethics in the Centre for Applied Ethics. She holds and MA and DPhil (Philosophy) from Stellenbosch University. Her research specialisation is moral and political philosophy, with specific focus on issues around the public/private distinction and contractualism. She has published extensively on the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and Hannah Arendt, and has also written on identity politics and public happiness. She is co-editor of Nietzsche, Power and Politics: Rethinking Nietzsche’s Legacy for Political Thought (De Gruyter, 2008) and of the South African Journal of Philosophy special issue on happiness (Vol. 33 Nr. 4, 2014). Her current research focuses on the the way in which metaphor and analogy shape – and distort – philosophical reasoning about key political concepts, notably ‘violence’, ‘identity’ and ‘community’. This is part of a broader research project on conceptual ethics.

Full profile

Dr. Anna Hartford

Dr. Anna Hartford is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy. Her research focuses on moral epistemology— including the ethics of ignorance, and broader questions of knowledge and responsibility— as well as applied ethics. She received her MA in Cultural Reporting and Criticism from New York University, and her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Cape Town. Her doctoral research focused on the problem that moral ignorance poses to theories of blameworthiness. She is currently working on questions concerning the moral relevance of difficulty, and of distance.

Selected publications and talks

Mr. Athol Williams

Athol Williams is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Ethics, University of Stellenbosch, as well as a Senior Lecturer specialising in Corporate Responsibility and Ethical Leadership at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.

He is an experienced Corporate Strategy Advisor, having served as a Partner at Bain & Company, Strategy Director for Old Mutual and MD at Taurus Associates. He has served on the boards of numerous companies and NGOs, and currently serves as the Chairman of Read to Rise, a youth literacy NGO which he co-founded in 2013.

Athol holds a BSc(Eng) in Mechanical Engineering from Wits University, as well as five Masters degrees – from Harvard University, University of Oxford, London School of Economics, MIT  and London Business School in public policy, political philosophy, political theory, business (MBA) and corporate finance, respectively, and is currently completing his doctorate at the University of Oxford.