Ethics of Powerlessness
The Ethics of Powerlessness project aims to clarify ethical challenges of experiences of powerlessness, especially in palliative and end-of-life care situations,
and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
Philosophy at Essex was founded in 1974 by Professor Frank Cioffi and from the start, has been committed to fostering a wide variety of philosophical approaches and to developing
links between philosophy and other disciplines.
Our courses offer a unique combination of European continental and Anglo-American analytic philosophy, and attract a large and diverse student
body from the UK and abroad. We are internationally recognised as a leading centre for postgraduate study and many of our former
PhD students hold academic posts around the world.
In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise in 2014, we were ranked in the top ten philosophy departments in the UK and a leading centre for continental philosophy.
We were ranked fifth for research outputs. 85 percent of our research activity rated either as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent'.
Our academic staff have interests in a wide range of philosophical areas and are the authors of numerous major
publications . We are particularly known for our expertise in critical theory,
phenomenology and medical humanities as well as classical German philosophy.
In the last decade, our School has attracted substantial research funding. Between 2005 and 2008, we were home to the Transcendental Philosophy and
Naturalism research project, funded with over £330,000 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
and headed by the late Professor Mark Sacks. Since 2010, we have been home to the Essex Autonomy Project, which is funded by the AHRC
and other funding bodies, and has attracted in
excess of £1m and is led by Professor Wayne Martin and
Dr Fabian Freyenhagen.
2015 sees the beginning of a new three-year research project funded by the AHRC called
The Ethics of Powerlessness: the Theological Virtues Today, which
aims to clarify ethical challenges arising from experiences of powerlessness, particularly in palliatvive and end-of-life
care situations. The project is being carried out by Professor Béatrice Han-Pile,
Dr Daniel Watts and
Dr David Batho
Seminars, events and discussion groups
Throughout the year, we run an exciting programme of events, including philosophy seminars, minicourses and
conferences with speakers invited from across the UK and abroad, as well as from our School.
We host our annual international graduate conference, organised by postgraduates, who also run their own regular
seminars and reading groups. We also have an active Philosophy Society run
by our undergraduates.
Artworks on our website
We would like to thank Essex Collection of Art from Latin American Art (ESCALA) for permission to reproduce the following artworks from their
collection on our website:
- José Pedro Costigliolo, Cuadaros y rectángulos (1976), © the artist, image courtesy of ESCALA.
- Carlos Martins, Natureza morta 2 (1977), © the artist, image courtesy of ESCALA.
- Daniel Senise, Tres caminos (1995), © the artist, image courtesy of ESCALA.
We are internationally recognised as a leading centre of postgraduate study in philosophy, both at Masters and PhD level.
By undertaking PhD study at Essex, you will become a member of an exciting and active research community, and benefit from the expert supervision of
our internationally recognised staff.
Watch our videos
Find out more about studying philosophy at Essex and our academics' research by visiting our
Our academic staff
Our academic staff are internationally recognised for their expertise across a wide range of philosophical areas.