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Philosophy Research

Our department has a unique and distinguished history as an internationally renowned centre. Our research is structured around four clusters of activity:

  • history of philosophy
  • ethics and political philosophy
  • language, epistemology, metaphysics and mind
  • philosophy of art and aesthetics.

Each cluster is supported by a number of recurring research events, including through close collaboration with the Institute of Philosophy.

We cultivate a pluralistic approach to research that allows people to pursue and collaborate across a range of different interests, including by venturing beyond traditional topics of philosophical analysis.

For example, we work on traditionally well-known figures in the history of philosophy, such as Aristotle, and Descartes, and on the role of women in the development of analytic philosophy; on established topics in the philosophy of mind and language but also as supported by experimental psychology; and on topics in political philosophy, metaphysics, and epistemology.


Our key partners include the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) and Oxford’s Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS).

The department collaborates extensively with the Birkbeck Institute of Humanities, including through the organisation of lectures and workshops.

We also have a close relationship with the Institute of Philosophy, at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study (SAS), through which consultancy work has been provided for Coca Cola and Kellogg, among others. Recently, the department has been invited to provide expert evidence to the Department of Health.


Our academics, researchers and MPhil/PhD students work together via research centres, networks, groups and societies. These cut across departments, subjects and areas of expertise, to encourage and enable innovative, interdisciplinary research.