Philosophy research at the University of Liverpool


The Department of Philosophy seeks to maintain the highest standard in research excellence while pursuing fruitful civic engagements, collaborative relationships and opportunities for knowledge exchange and research impact.

Our work encompasses a wide range of topics, traditions and projects. See here for information about some of our current and recent research projects.

Our pioneering Philosophy and the Future research theme brings together work in the Department on the philosophical dimensions and implications of the threats, challenges and opportunities for humanity brought by actual or foreseeable scientific and technological change.

Staff in the department have senior editorial roles in leading journals within their research areas. For example:

Partnerships and Collaborations

Our work involves collaboration with colleagues in a wide variety of national and international universities and partner organisations. Much of this work reflects our commitment to the idea of Philosophy in the World: to philosophy as a set of approaches and methods that can help us make sense of whatever is puzzling, perplexing or interesting in the world around us, which is why we take pride in maintaining a direct, hands-on connection to that world.

For instance, we work with local and regional partners such as the Bluecoat Gallery, Tate Liverpool, National Museums Liverpool, NHS North-West, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and others to find applications for our work and to inspire our thinking and the practices of our communities and the wider world. We also work with colleagues in Copenhagen, Bristol, Oxford, KCL, Nottingham, Virginia Tech, Amsterdam, Durham, Cambridge, Macquarie, and York on an interdisciplinary project focused on understanding how people form views about contentious political issues such as the costs and benefits of immigration and about scientific issues that are relevant to public policy such as climate change.

We collaborate closely with colleagues in Durham and elsewhere on a project that aims to establish the important but previously neglected place in 20th century philosophy of the work of a quartet of female philosophers - Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley and Iris Murdoch - viewed as constituting a philosophical School in their own right the recognition of which will help reverse the continuing underrepresentation of women in academic philosophy. Other collaborations include a partnership with the University of Essen to investigate empathy and interpersonal understanding and with colleagues in Harvard and Queens University Belfast, with which Liverpool forms part of a multi-site centre for research into the work of the philosopher and theologian Jonathan Edwards.  

Other current and recent close research partners include the Global Institute for Advanced Studies (New York University), the European Union’s Creative Research Adaptive Roadmap Project, the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical and Theological Research, Budapest Central European University, Royal Holloway University and the Universities of Dortmund, Exeter, Hamburg, Konstanz, Mannheim, Münster, Potsdam, Rochester, Rome, Tromsø, Vienna and the West of England.

Follow the links above for more information on these and other current and recent projects and partnerships.

Grant Funding

As a Department, we have secured considerable research grant funding, including from the AHRC, The Leverhulme Trust, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, Mind Association, the British Society of Aesthetics, the Forum for European Philosophy, The European Union, the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft - DFG) and the Academy of Finland.

Postgraduate Research

We have a thriving community of energetic postgraduate researchers and welcome applications from talented students wishing to work in any of the areas mentioned on these pages. Our current PhD students are working on topics in philosophy of mind, aesthetics, meta-ethics, Indian philosophy, environmental philosophy, critical realism, modern French philosophy, medical ethics, philosophy of religion, philosophy of science and metaphysics. They play an active role in the research life of the Department. 

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