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Philosophy

Finding a supervisor

We allocate at least two supervisors to each student in order to cover sufficient specialism and a variety of skills and expertise within a student’s research project.

Explore our research areas to find out more about the specialisms available at Manchester, and the academics who are keen to supervise in each area.

We also have members of staff who specialise in the following areas.

Epistemology

  • Thomas Uebel - epistemic justification, scepticism, a priori knowledge, and social epistemology and historical studies.
  • Joel Smith - self-knowledge and our knowledge of other minds.
  • Ann Whittle - the claim that we can have no knowledge of the intrinsic natures of properties.
  • Catharine Abell - the epistemic standing of pictures, in work that responds to recent developments in aesthetics.
  • Helen Beebee - the problem of induction (in connection with the metaphysics of laws and the work of Hume) and transfer of warrant.
  • Chris Daly - the notion of acquaintance.
  • David Liggins - epistemological arguments against abstract objects.

Ethics

  • John O’Neill - environmental ethics.
  • Michael Scott - expressivist theories of moral and religious discourse.
  • David Liggins - metaethical questions, with interests in moral realism and anti-realism.
  • Thomas Smith - promises (and other commitments), the ethics of social and professional roles, the ethics of collectives.

History of Modern Philosophy

  • Helen Beebee - Hume on causation and, more broadly, his psychology, epistemology and metaphysics.
  • Joel Smith - Kant and post-Kantian philosophy, especially phenomenology.
  • Sean Crawford - Descartes’s philosophy of mind

In the 2014 Philosophical Gourmet Report, we were ranked in the top 15 departments internationally for History of Analytic Philosophy.

Philosophy of religion

  • Michael Scott - all areas of philosophy of religion with particular emphasis on religious language, including the realism/antirealism problem.
  • Michael Scott and Graham Stevens have recently published a paper on whether the possibility of divine knowledge enforces a form of semantic realism.
  • Chris DalyDavid Liggins and Michael Scott have investigated the prospects for religious fictionalism.

Philosophy of science and maths

  • Thomas Uebel - the philosophy of science of Mach, Poincare, Duhem, Rey and the logical empiricists, and also in the scientific realism debate.
  • Chris Daly - a number of areas in philosophy of science, especially as they overlap with issues in metaphysics and the philosophy of language.
  • Ann Whittle and Helen Beebee - causation and the laws of nature.
  • John O’Neill - the philosophy of economics
  • Thomas Uebel - the philosophy of economics and social science generally.
  • David Liggins - the philosophy of mathematics. He is particularly interested in providing an attractive fictionalist alternative to platonist accounts of mathematics.
  • Chris Daly - fictionalism and mathematics.
  • Michael Scott and Graham Stevens - the relation between theism and mathematical realism.
  • Fraser MacBride - philosophy of mathematics, specifically neo-Fregeanism, structuralism, and fictionalism.

Social and political philosophy

  • John O’Neill co-directs the Political Economy Centre, and has research interests in political theory and philosophical aspects of political economy and environmental policy. 
  • Thomas Smith - the metaphysics and ethics of social groups and institutions.
  • Thomas Uebel - the philosophy of social science, in particular issues concerning methodological individualism and value neutrality. He is currently working on Neurath’s philosophy of social science.

See also