Dr Glen Allan Pettigrove

BA (Michigan), PhD (Riverside)

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Associate Professor


Associate Professor, Philosophy

After earning a BA in philosophy from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1992, I moved to South Hamilton, Massachusetts, to work on a Master of Divinity degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which I completed in 1996. I then began an MA in philosophy at Boston College. After two years at BC I transferred to the University of California at Riverside, where I completed my MA (2000) and my PhD (2003). 

Prior to my arrival at the University of Auckland in 2008, I taught philosophy at Santa Clara University in California and at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Research | Current

  • Ethics
  • Political philosophy
  • Early modern philosophy
  • Philosophy of emotion

My work is chiefly concerned with the place of character and of the emotions in the moral life.  Because emotions are such a significant part of our experiences both of being victims of wrongdoing and of reconciling with those we have wronged, I spent several years investigating the nature and norms of forgiveness.  This study culminated in the publication of Forgiveness and Love (Oxford University Press 2012).

My work on character has taken three forms.  First, I have studied particular traits of character, such as meekness, ambition, and grace.  Second, I have highlighted the significance of beliefs about character in contexts where they have been almost wholly ignored in contemporary ethical discussion, such as in the context of apologizing.  Third, I have looked at the place of character in virtue ethical theories.  To read some of this work, visit my academia.edu page

Although most of my work focuses on issues in contemporary ethics, I also have a strong interest in early modern philosophy.  Many of my projects have emerged in the course of teaching early modern texts.  Joseph Butler drew my attention to forgiveness as a topic of philosophical interest.  Adam Smith (and some students who could not understand why someone might think it a vice) prompted my work on ambition.  David Hume’s surprising remarks about meekness led to my investigation of that topic.  And all of the above, together with Descartes, Spinoza, Shaftesbury, and Hutcheson have inspired my overarching interest in the relationship between emotions, character, and moral judgment.

Teaching | Current

PHIL 103 Freedom, Rights, and Justice

PHIL 211 Ethical Theory 2

PHIL 267 Early Modern Philosophy

PHIL 309 Early Modern Philosophy

PHIL 726 Ethics 1

Postgraduate supervision

Doctoral Thesis Supervisor:

Mark Tan, 'An Emotion-based Approach to Moral Unanimity and Diversity' (primary supervisor) from 2015

Marcel Zentveld-Wale, ‘Libertas in Nobis: Autonomy and the Politics of Virtue’ (primary supervisor) from 2014

Sarah Anderson, ‘Ethical Responses to Child Abuse in New Zealand’ (co-supervisor with Tim Dare) from 2014

Marco Grix, 'The Ethics of Consumption' (co-supervisor with Gillian Brock and Rosalind Hursthouse) from 2014

Marinus Ferreira, ‘Morality by Convention’ (co-supervisor with Fred Kroon) from 2012

Jeremy Johnson, ‘Reasons for Morality’ (co-supervisor with Rosalind Hursthouse) 2011-2015

Nick Smith, ‘Constructing a Virtue Ethical Account of Right Action’ (primary supervisor) 2012-14

Areas of expertise

Ethics, Political Philosophy, Early Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of Emotion

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Pettigrove, G. A. (2015). Passions, Perceptions, and Motives: Fault-Lines in Hutcheson's Account of Moral Sentiment. In H. Kerr, D. Lemmings, R. Phiddian (Eds.) Passions, Sympathy and Print Culture : Public Opinion and Emotional Authenticity in Eighteenth-Century Britain (pp. 203-222). Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Perrett, R. W., & Pettigrove, G. A. (2015). Hindu Virtue Ethics. In L. Besser-Jones, M. Slote (Eds.) The Routledge Companion to Virtue Ethics (pp. 51-62). New York: Routledge. Related URL.
  • Pettigrove, G. (2015). Re-Conceiving Character: The Social Ontology of Humean Virtue. Res Philosophica, 92 (3), 595-619. 10.11612/resphil.2015.92.3.3
  • Pettigrove, G. A. (2014). Virtue Ethics, Virtue Theory, and Moral Theology. In S. van Hooft (Ed.) The Handbook of Virtue Ethics (pp. 88-104). Durham: Acumen.
  • Pettigrove, G. A., & Tanaka, K. (2013). Anger and Moral Judgment. Australasian Journal of Philosophy10.1080/00048402.2013.795990
  • Pettigrove, G. A. (2012). Forgiveness without God?. Journal of Religious Ethics, 40 (3), 518-544. 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2012.00534.x
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/23584
  • Pettigrove, G. (2012). Meekness and 'moral' anger. Ethics, 122 (2), 341-370. 10.1086/663230
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/23585
  • Pettigrove, G. (2012). Forgiveness and Love. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Pages: 190.


Contact details

Primary location

ARTS 1 - Bldg 206
Level 4, Room 407
New Zealand

Web links