100% of our Research Environment, and 96% of our research outputs, were rated to be of international quality (2*, 3* and 4*) in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014).
A lively and productive centre of research with an international reputation for excellence, the Department of Philosophy contributes cutting-edge thinking and developments to the field. Our projects have a global reach, and a genuine impact on the world around us.
Watch a trailer for a public lecture delivered by Professor Emma Borg at the University of Reading:
areas of specialism
Our staff have wide-ranging expertise, encompassing areas of philosophy which include: ethics, philosophy of language, Wittgenstein, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, philosophy of science, aesthetics, philosophy of law, early modern philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of religion, epistemology, Kant, Plato and Aristotle.
“I work on consciousness and sensory perception. What drives me is wanting to understand these things in their own right – I want to understand how the senses enable us to know about the world and ourselves. But not only this, the questions I work on have important clinical implications – for example, if we can understand which parts of the brain are responsible for consciousness, then we could determine if people in vegetative states are conscious or not. Once we know this, we can work to improve their lives.”
An interdisciplinary approach
The Department of Philosophy is part of the University's 'Heritage and Creativity' research theme. We maintain strong relationships with a wide range of departments and institutions across the University, underpinning the interdisciplinary nature of philosophy. As this suggests, we're actively involved with a number of interdisciplinary research centres and clusters, including:
Centre for Cognition Research (CCR)
The CCR aims to promote excellence in research concerning the understanding of human intelligence. Bringing together researchers from different disciplines, it enables cross-discipline discussion and hosts events to promote new and existing research collaborations.
Reading Ethics and Political Philosophy (REAPP)
Bringing together the University's moral and political philosophers, REAPP acts as a hub for individual scholars to exchange ideas, develop projects and organise events and workshops.
This five-year programme will provide funding for up to 15 doctoral students to undertake research across a range of areas related to Climate Justice.
A project aiming to create an international network of researchers to investigate the problems associated with pervasive context-sensitivity, and to explore theoretical positions which have emerged in the area.
sharing knowledge and expertise
Our Department runs a number of events throughout the year dedicated to stimulating and fostering research. There is a full visiting speaker programme in which leading researchers from around the world present their work to staff and students; a work-in-progress programme in which staff discuss their current research; a graduate seminar for research students; a regular staff-student reading group, as well as informal reading groups on recent and classic books; the highly regarded annual Ratio Conference, sponsored by the leading international philosophy journal edited in the Department; and various other speaker events and seminars throughout the year.
research at the cutting-edge
Each of our leading academics actively researches and contributes to their field of interest. Discover the latest developments in our Department.