UoA 60: Philosophy

Philosophy has been central to the radical and freethinking aims of UCL since its foundation, and members of this submission have research connections with virtually every faculty in the University. The Department of History and Philosophy of Science – the forerunner to the Department of Science and Technology Studies – was initially part of the Department of Philosophy, becoming independent in 1919. The two remain separate for administrative and teaching purposes but are closely related in their research activities.

The Departments have long traditions of individual research excellence which they complement with research collaboration where this delivers added value.  We also see it as our duty to train the next generation of teachers and researchers; this also contributes to the quality of life for academic researchers.

Since RAE 2001 we have produced 12 monographs, 5 edited collections of essays, several with substantial editorial contributions, 94 chapters in books, 114 journal articles and many working papers, reports, reviews, encyclopedia entries and shorter writings, with translations and original publications in other languages.  Almost £400,000 has been received in research income, with a further £330,000 to start from October 2007. 33 PhDs have been awarded.

The research interests of members of the submission are extremely wide with collective strengths in Philosophy of Mind (Crane, Martin, Snowdon, O’BrienPeacocke, Zalabardo, Gardner), Philosophy of Science (Chang, Gillies, Massimi, Giaquinto), Epistemology (Snowdon, Peacocke, Kalderon, O’Brien, Crane, Martin, Chang, Zalabardo), Philosophy of Language and Logic (Giaquinto, Peacocke, Martin, Kalderon, Zalabardo, Kurbis (early career researcher – 2007)) Moral and Political Philosophy (Otsuka, Munoz Darde, Wolff, Richmond, Kalderon), 19th and 20th German and French Philosophy (Gardner, Richmond, Wolff) Philosophy of Mathematics (Giaquinto, Kalderon, Gillies) Metaphysics (Snowdon, Peacocke, Crane, Kalderon, Otsuka) and Aesthetics (Gardner, Kalderon, Martin).  Greek Philosophy (Heinaman) is another important area. Modern Philosophy, which is a research interest of Martin, Gardner, Munoz Darde, Massimi and Snowdon, is a growing strength.

Most of the themes mentioned in RAE 2001 remain central. The overlapping areas of Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics and Epistemology have grown in prominence with publications by Martin on perception and sense-experience, books by O’Brien on self-knowledge and (in press) by Snowdon on personal identity, a book and papers by Peacocke on rationalism, papers by Crane on intentionality, and by Snowdon and Zalabardo on knowledge. We are a world-leading centre for the Philosophy of Perception.

Political Philosophy remains a major research area with books by Otsuka defending left libertarianism, and by Wolff on Marx and on Disadvantage, and papers particularly in contemporary distributive justice by Munoz Darde, Otsuka, and Wolff. No other Philosophy department in the UK can match our research strength in political philosophy.

Moral philosophy, identified as an emerging area in 2001, has developed considerably, with the publication of Kalderon’s book Moral Fictionalism, and papers on empathy by Richmond, and by Munoz Darde and by Otsuka on aggregation. Applied philosophy, especially in relation to public policy, is now a developing strength, with publications by Wolff on the regulation of drugs, and on risk and safety, and will be consolidated further through the AHRC-funded project on the Ethics of Risk.

Philosophy of Language and Logic, although for a time diminished somewhat with the departure of Horwich, is now extremely strong, with the appointment of Peacocke, and the work of Giaquinto, Martin, Zalabardo and Kurbis. Aesthetics has also survived the departure of a previous member staff, in this case Budd, with Gardner continuing his research and Kalderon and Martin increasingly contributing to this area. Indeed graduate students in the Department set up, in 2006, the London Aesthetics Forum (hosted by the Institute of Philosophy – see below) to which many of the world’s leading figures, such as Jerome Levinson and Kendall Walton, have presented papers, as well as Martin.

The appointments of Massimi and Gillies, joining Chang, Giaquinto and Kalderon mean that Philosophy of Science and Mathematics are very strong.

Download full text of the RA5a statement for Philosophy (pdf 104Kb)

Staff names below link to submitted publications:

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