"true philosophy exists in relearning to look at the world"
Philosophy at Essex was founded in 1974 by Professor Frank Cioffi, and has
been committed from the start to fostering a wide variety of philosophical
approaches, and to developing links between philosophy and other disciplines.
Philosophy at Essex has a well-established international reputation, and
a strong record of educating graduate students at all levels. One indicator of
the success and international standing of Philosophy at Essex is the large number of
former PhD students who now hold academic posts around the world. See
student placements and testimonials.
In the most recent assessment of research activity (RAE 2008) we were ranked
in the top ten Philosophy Departments in the UK. 55% of our research was deemed
to be 'internationally excellent' and 25%, 'world-leading'. The ranking also
established that Philosophy at Essex is the first in the UK for Continental
Philosophy. See here for profiles of our
current academic staff.
In the last ten years Philosophy at Essex has attracted substantial research
funding: between 2005 and 2008, it was home to an AHRC funded project (over
£330K) on ‘Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism’, headed by Professor Mark
Sacks. Since 2010, Philosophy is home to another three-year AHRC funded
project on 'Deciding for Oneself: Autonomous Judgment in History, Theory and
Practice', led by Professor Wayne Martin and Dr Fabian Freyenhagen. This
exciting project, funded in excess of £392K, involves (amongst other things) a
series of conferences and workshops at Essex, in London and the US. See here for
more on the Essex Autonomy Project.
Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy
Philosophy at Essex currently hosts the editorial operation of
Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, currently in its 52nd year of
publication (general editor: Wayne Martin). Inquiry has long been a high-impact
journal, particularly in the area of interface between Anglo-American and
Continental European philosophy – the main area of emphasis of the Philosophy at
Essex. Inquiry contributors include some of
the most prominent figures on the contemporary philosophical scene, as well as
emerging scholars. Over the course of the current editorial
tenure, Inquiry has received submissions from 39 countries around the world.
A wide variety of philosophical viewpoints are represented in the department.
Here are just some of those interests:
- Transcendental Idealism, Post-Kantian German Idealism,
Phenomenology, recent French Philosophy, Critical Theory
- Classical philosophical questions about existence, the
possibility of knowledge and the nature of logic and language
- Problems in social philosophy.
- Issues in moral and political philosophy.
- Philosophical problems arising from the study of human
beings, their practical and moral lives and their literary and
aesthetic forms of expression
The variety of our modules reflects this diversity. Some modules are
traditional in conception, and aim to provide a basic understanding of
philosophical problems as they are usually taught and discussed. Others are
innovatory: they aim to break new ground, offering a fresh approach, and bring
new problems under philosophical scrutiny. The content and structure of all our
modules and courses are regularly reviewed: we would be glad to have your
comments on them. See here for our current
Seminars, events and discussion groups
There are various opportunities for group discussions, outside lectures and
classes (e.g. the Philosophy Society, Philosophy Seminars and Reading Groups).
Philosophy Seminar is held on Thursday evenings, from 5.00-7.00 pm, with a
mix of internal speakers (both faculty and research students) and external
speakers. You are warmly invited to attend.
For graduate students at all levels our aim is to provide an academic
atmosphere which helps them to meet the various challenges involved in
philosophical studies. In addition to formal coursework on the MA courses, the
MA Seminars in which both MA and more advanced students take part, and
individual supervision of research students, there is a great deal of less
formal activity which makes for a supportive and stimulating intellectual
environment. There are frequent opportunities for contact with staff and for
philosophical conversation, in an atmosphere which is both friendly and serious.
And office hours are there to be used, whether for discussion of personal or of
A number of special events, such as mini-course and conferences, are usually
organised during the year. For up-to-date information, please check regularly
the ‘News’ box on our homepage.
We hope you enjoy looking around our site!