Professor Irene McMullin

School of Philosophical, Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies
Professor Irene McMullin



I joined the department of Philosophy at the University of Essex in 2013 after a postdoctoral year at Bergische Universität in Wuppertal, Germany and six years teaching at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. I completed my PhD at Rice University and my MA at the University of Toronto. I am the author of Existential Flourishing: A Phenomenology of the Virtues (Cambridge UP, 2018) and Time and the Shared World: Heidegger on Social Relations (Northwestern UP, 2013), as well as articles on Husserl, Heidegger, Kant, Sartre, Arendt, and virtue ethics. I am primarily interested in questions of personhood, agency, and self-becoming - espeically the role that other people play in those things. I draw inspiration from both Continental and Analytic approaches. I am currently pursuing research into the phenomenology of ideality and the role that encounters with the good play in the functioning of practical agency. Key Research Interests: Existentialism and Phenomenology Ethics (especially virtue ethics and Kantian ethics), Moral Psychology


  • PhD Rice University,

  • MA University of Toronto,

  • BA Hons St. Francis Xavier University,


University of Essex

  • Professor, Philosophy, University of Essex (1/1/2013 - present)

Research and professional activities

Research interests


I am primarily interested in questions of personhood and self-becoming - espeically the role that other people play in those things.

Open to supervise


My methodological approach is grounded in the work of Husserl, Heidegger, and Levinas.

Open to supervise


Key words: Virtue Ethics
Open to supervise

Conferences and presentations

Keynote Speaker

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Society for European Philosophy Conference, University of Cardiff, 2024

Existential Flourishing

Keynote presentation, Modern Ethical Ideals, Belfast, United Kingdom, 29/3/2019

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Self and Identity (PY110)

  • Introduction to Philosophy (PY111)

  • Ethics (PY408)

  • Feminism (PY453)

  • Existentialism and Phenomenology (PY454)

  • Environmental Philosophy (PY911)

Previous supervision

Camille Walker
Camille Walker
Thesis title: A Phenomenology of Forgetting
Degree subject: Philosophy
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 13/3/2024
Jakub Jacek Kowalewski
Jakub Jacek Kowalewski
Thesis title: The Phenomenology of Ethical Self-Awareness
Degree subject: Philosophy
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 25/3/2019
Darshan Thomas Matthew MS Cowles
Darshan Thomas Matthew MS Cowles
Thesis title: Thrownness, Attunement, Attention: A Heideggerian Account of Responsibility
Degree subject: Philosophy
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 12/2/2018


Journal articles (12)

McMullin, I., Trust in the World: Løgstrup on the Conditions of Shared Moral Life. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal

McMullin, I., (2020). Levinas and Løgstrup on the Phenomenology (and Metaphysics?) of Moral Agency. The Monist. 103 (1), 38-62

McMullin, I., (2020). Response to Commentators on Existential Flourishing. International Journal of Philosophical Studies. 28 (2), 239-253

McMullin, I., (2017). Embodied Expression: The Role of the Lived Body in Husserl's Notion of Intention Fulfilment. European Journal of Philosophy. 25 (4), 1739-1767

McMullin, I., (2015). A Response to Mark D. White’s “A Modest Comment on McMullin: A Kantian Account of Modesty”. Journal of Philosophical Research. 40, 7-11

McMullin, I., (2013). Kant on Radical Evil and the Origin of Moral Responsibility. Kantian Review. 18 (01), 49-72

McMullin, I., (2013). Review of Iain D. Thomson. Heidegger, Art, and Postmodernity. Cambridge-New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Journal of the History of Philosophy. 51 (2), 324-325

McMullin, I., (2011). The Amnesia of the Modern. Philosophical Topics. 39 (2), 91-116

Mcmullin, I., (2011). Love and Entitlement: Sartre and Beauvoir on the Nature of Jealousy. Hypatia. 26 (1), 102-122

McMullin, I., (2010). A MODEST PROPOSAL: ACCOUNTING FOR THE VIRTUOUSNESS OF MODESTY. The Philosophical Quarterly. 60 (241), 783-807

McMullin, I., (2009). Sharing the ‘now’: Heidegger and the temporal co-constitution of world. Continental Philosophy Review. 42 (2), 201-220

McMullin, I., (2006). Articulating Discourse. Southwest Philosophy Review. 22 (1), 173-183

Books (3)

McMullin, I., (2019). Normativity, Meaning, and the Promise of Phenomenology. Routledge. 9781138479913

McMullin, I., (2018). Existential Flourishing: A Phenomenology of the Virtues. Cambridge University Press. 978-1108471664

McMullin, I., (2013). Time and the shared world: Heidegger on social relations. 9780810129030

Book chapters (6)

McMullin, SI., Curiouser and Curiouser: On Curiosity as Epistemic Vice. In: The Cambridge Critical Guide to Being and Time. Editors: Wendland, A. and Keiling, T., . Cambridge University Press

McMullin, S., (2025). Patience and Virtuous Passivity. In: The Virtue of Patience. Editors: Pianalto, M. and Schnitker, S., . Oxford University Press

McMullin, S., (2024). Ideal Value and Exemplary Experience. In: Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Existentialism. Editors: Aho, K., Altman, M. and Pedersen, H., . Routledge. 9781003247791

Mcmullin, SI., (2019). Rational Ideals and the Unity of Practical Agency: Kant’s Postulates of Practical Reason and their Heideggerian Reconceptualization. In: Transcending Reason: Heidegger’s Reconceptualization of Rationality. Editors: Burch, M. and Mcmullin, SI., . Rowman & Littlefield

Mcmullin, SI., (2019). Resoluteness and Gratitude for the Good. In: Normativity, Meaning, and the Promise of Phenomenology. Editors: Burch, M., Mcmullin, SI. and Marsh, J., . Routledge. 137- 154. 9781138479913

Burch, M., Marsh, J. and McMullin, I., (2019). Introduction. In: Normativity, Meaning, and the Promise of Phenomenology. Routledge. 1- 6. 9781138479913

+44 (0) 1206 872711


5B.141, Colchester Campus

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