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Philosophy Research

Philosophy at Birkbeck has a unique and distinguished history. Our internationally renowned research is focused on the following four areas of expertise: 

  • history of philosophy and its reception
  • ethics, normativity and reasoning 
  • mind, emotion and cognition 
  • epistemology, metaphysics and the philosophy of science 

Each area of activity is supported by a number of recurring research events, including through close collaboration with the Institute of Philosophy in the University of London’s School of Advanced Studies. 

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 moral philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology and logic. 

In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, 78.8% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading or internationally excellent.


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. 



Birkbeck Philosophy has a close and long-standing relationship with the Institute of Philosophy, at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study (SAS) through the organisation of conferences and seminars, including the London Aesthetics Forum. Birkbeck philosophers also collaborate with the Institute on individual research projects, such as the London AI and Humanity Project

Along with other colleagues in the School, Birkbeck philosophers also collaborate with the Birkbeck Institute of Humanities through the organisation of lectures and workshops.