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Metaphysics has a long and distinguished history at The University of Manchester.

Past staff include Samuel Alexander and Dorothy Emmet, and our PhD alumni include Peter Simons, Kevin Mulligan and Barry Smith. We are home to two journals that regularly publish papers on metaphysical topics: Analysis (edited by Chris Daly and David Liggins) and The Monist (edited by Fraser MacBride). Current areas of research include the philosophy of mathematics, grounding, metaphysical explanation, metaontology, freedom of the will, and truthmaking. Follow the 'People' link on the navigation menu for more information about what current members of staff and PhD students are working on in these and other areas of metaphysics.

Projects and events

Our current project, The Age of Metaphysical Revolution: David Lewis and his Place in 20th Century Philosophy, attempts to shed light on current metaphysical debates by tracing their recent history, through the lens of the role played by David Lewis and, further back, the philosophical influences on the development of his views. The project runs from 2016 to 2019 and is funded by the AHRC.

From 2011 to 2014, another AHRC-funded project, The Foundations of Ontology, aimed to defend ontological enquiry - conceived as the study of what exists - against sceptical objections.

Upcoming events can be found by clicking the 'events' link on the left.

For more information ...

We welcome expressions of interest from prospective master's and PhD students, and from postdoctoral researchers who would like to come to Manchester to work on metaphysics. Take a look at our page for prospective postgraduate researchers.

For general queries about Metaphysics at Manchester, please contact Helen Beebee.