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Department of Philosophy

Organisational unit: Department

Organisation profile

The department is one of the leading philosophy departments in the UK, with researchers working in most of the major areas of philosophy.

The department’s research staff is comprised of twenty permanent members, plus a number of post-doctoral researchers. The department is dedicated to high-quality academic research and scored highly in the recent REF. Staff members’ research interests are diverse, spanning all the major areas of philosophy, and with numerous inter-disciplinary links. In recent years the department has hosted several major research projects, with external funding from the Wellcome Institute, the ERC, the AHRC, and the Leverhulme Trust, among others. The department puts on regular workshops, seminars and conferences, and welcomes a regular stream of visiting scholars from around the world (see our calendar).

The department is particularly noted for its strength in the philosophy of science, logic and mathematics, for which it is one of the major centres in the English-speaking world. The department is home to the Centre for Science and Philosophy, which promotes the interpretation of science through collaboration with other disciplines, and to the Centre for Health, Humanities and Science, which promotes work at the intersection of philosophy and the medical sciences. Other areas of research strength include ethics and political philosophy, history of philosophy, and philosophy of mind and language.

The principal research areas of the department are:

  • Epistemology: formal epistemology and decision theory, epistemic utility theory
  • Ethics and Political Philosophy: virtue ethics, Kantian ethics, Rousseau, immigration
  • History of Philosophy: Kant, Heidegger, Leibniz, Aristotle
  • Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics: theories of truth, structuralism, paradoxes
  • Philosophy of Biology: foundations of evolutionary theory, social evolution, explanation in genetics and molecular biology
  • Philosophy of Medicine: the nature of illness, the phenomenology of health
  • Philosophy of Mind and Language: perception, representation, fictional objects
  • Philosophy of Physics: space and time, foundations of quantum mechanics, chaos and dynamical systems
  • Philosophy of Science: realism and anti-realism, induction and probability, values in science

Communicating our research with the wider public is also an important and regular activity for us. For more information, see our Public Engagement page.

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Contact information

Cotham House
Cotham Hill
Bristol
BS6 6JL
United Kingdom