Researcher Biography Link to heading

Charlie Harry Smith is a political philosopher pursuing a DPhil at the Oxford Internet Institute and Balliol College, University of Oxford. He is funded through the ESRC’s Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership and is supervised by Professors Victoria Nash and Helen Margetts.

Charlie’s research considers the normative and theoretical issues emerging at the intersection of digital identities and digital government. In particular, he investigates the UK Government’s ongoing engagement with the private sector to develop federated digital identity systems.

He holds an MSc in Political Theory (Distinction) from the London School of Economics and a BA (First-Class Hons.) in Philosophy from Durham University, which included a year studying abroad at the University of Hong Kong.

Research Interests: digital identity, digital government, federated identity, national ID cards, reflective equilibrium

Academic Publications Link to heading

Work in Progress Link to heading

Digitising Reflective Equilibrium. Conference Paper—please get in touch for an advance copy.

Abstract: The method of reflective equilibrium is overdue a twenty-first century update. Despite its apparent popularity, few theorists seem to ever follow the method to completion, and even fewer thoroughly, openly and transparently publish their attempts to do so in print. This paper proposes the digitisation of reflective equilibrium as a solution. Inspired by the global open science movement, I advocate coupling a novel, digital implementation of the method with new publication norms that can capitalise on the reproducibility of digital data. I make three main claims: that digitising will make it easier to a) methodically construct, b) widely disseminate, and c) thoroughly critique equilibria. I also provide practical guidance where possible. Altogether, I argue that embracing digital reflective equilibria as standard will not only help theorists to better realise the method’s latent theoretical potential in practice, but also greatly extend its value as a justificatory device in academic discourses.

Book Chapters Link to heading

Smith, C. H. (2020). ‘Corporatised Identities ≠ Digital Identities: Algorithmic Identities, Social Media, and their Harmful Impacts for Autonomy and Well-Being’ in L. Floridi & C. Burr (eds.) Ethics of Digital Well-being: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Springer. p.55-88. [Available Online].

Undergraduate Journal Articles Link to heading

Smith, C. H. (2018). ‘The Tesla Problem: Trolleys, Proximity, and Duty’. Ephemeris, (5): 22-32. [Available online].

Smith, C. H. (2018). ‘Do Companies Treat Their Employees Merely as Means to Ends? Kantian business ethics and the case of workplace surveillance’. Dialectic, VXII (1):1-8. [Available online].

Smith, C. (2017). Orwellian Nationalism as the Liberal Democratic Convention. Critique, (4):31-39. [Available online].

Conferences: Link to heading

  • Organised ‘Connected Life 2022: Designing Digital Futures’ (2022, Oxford)
  • Presented ‘Digitising Reflective Equilibrium’ at ‘Reflective Equilibrium: 51 years after A Theory of Justice’ (2022, Berne)
  • Presented ‘Corporatised Identities ≠ Digital Identities’ at ‘Futures Thinking’ (2019, Oxford)
  • Presented ‘Moral Surveillance? Democratic Discourse and the Habermasian Critique of Untargeted Mass Surveillance’ at the ‘LSE Undergraduate Political Review’ (2018, London)
  • Presented ‘The Tesla Problem: Trolleys, Proximity, and Duty’ at the ‘Southampton Undergraduate Philosophy Conference’ (2018, Southampton)
  • Presented ‘Orwellian Nationalism as the Liberal Democratic Convention’ at the ‘Durham Philosophy Society’s Undergraduate Conference’ (2017, Durham)
  • Attended ‘Westminster eForum Policy Conference: Biometrics and Digital Identity in the UK’ (2020, Remote due to Coronavirus)
  • Attended ‘The Ethics and Politics of Online Interaction’ (2019, Oxford)
  • Attended ‘Privacy in the New Public Sphere, its Value and its Threats’ (2018, London)
  • Attended ‘Tracking People: Looking to the Future’ (2017, Leeds/London)
  • Attended ‘Worldwide Symposium and Roundtable on Confucian Political Philosophy’ (2017, HKU)

Public Philosophy Link to heading

Podcasts and Interviews Link to heading

  • Guest (with Julia Slupska) on the skeptechs podcast (October 6, 2021). Episode 2.? Face-to-Facebook. [Listen Here]
  • Guest (with Colin Wallis) on Ubisecure’s Let’s Talk about Digital Identity podcast (April 28, 2021). Episode 44: Is digital identity for citizens a commodity? [Listen Here]