Dr Daniel Watts

Senior Lecturer
School of Philosophy and Art History
Dr Daniel Watts
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872706

  • Location

    5B.125, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    See office door



Dan Watts has been at Essex since 2007. Prior to that, he completed his doctoral work in philosophy at the University of Sheffield, having also studied history and philosophy as an undergraduate there. He taught Continental Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin for two years, and then took up a postdoctoral fellowship awarded by the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences. Dan's principal research interests are in Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, and the phenomenological tradition. He has published several papers in these areas, in journals such as The European Journal of Philosophy and Mind. He was Co-Investigater on the AHRC-funded research project 'The Ethics of Powerlessness: the Theological Virtues Today'. He is currently working on a book-length study on Kierkgaard, subjectivity, and thought.


  • BA Sheffield

  • PhD Sheffield


University of Essex

  • Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Essex (1/8/2007 - present)

Research and professional activities

Research interests


Open to supervise


Open to supervise

The theory of judgement

Open to supervise

Medical Humanities

Open to supervise

Existentialism and phenomenology

Open to supervise

Moral and political philosophy and

Open to supervise

Philosophy of religion

Open to supervise

Current research

Dan is currently working on a book entitled, Thinking Humanly: Kierkegaard on Subjectivity and Thought; and on papers on Kierkegaard on the limits of thought, ethical repetition and truth.

Dan is also Co-Investigator on the three-year AHRC-funded research project, The Ethics of Powerlessness: The Theological Virtues Today.

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Kierkegaard (PY402)

  • Narrativity, Truth and Flourishing (PY404)

  • Philosophy and Religion (PY407)

  • Kierkegaard (PY946)

Previous supervision

Joshua Lee Kennedy
Joshua Lee Kennedy
Thesis title: Conscience, Guilt and the Struggle for Purity of Heart in Kierkegaard
Degree subject: Philosophy
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 20/4/2020


Journal articles (20)

Watts, D., Review: Reason and Conversion in Kierkegaard and German Idealism. British Journal for the History of Philosophy

Watts, D., (2022). Participation in Grace: Kierkegaard's Corrective to Luther. Studies in Christian Ethics, 095394682211075-095394682211075

Watts, D., (2021). Between Action and Suffering: Kierkegaard on Ambiguous Guilt. International Journal on Humanistic Ideology. XI (1), 169-198

Watts, D. and Stern, R., (2019). Valuing Humanity: Kierkegaardian Worries about Korsgaardian Transcendental Arguments. International Journal of Philosophy and Theology. 80 (4-5), 424-442

Watts, D., (2019). The Fullness of Time: Kierkegaardian Themes in Dreyer's Ordet. Religions. 10 (1), 58-58

Watts, D., (2018). Kierkegaard and the Limits of Thought. Hegel Bulletin. 39 (1), 82-105

Watts, D., (2018). Kierkegaard on Truth: One or Many?. Mind. 127 (505), 197-223

Watts, D., (2017). Rule-Following and Rule-Breaking: Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein. European Journal of Philosophy. 25 (4), 1159-1185

Watts, D., (2017). The Problem of Kierkegaard's Socrates. Res Philosophica. 94 (4), 555-579

Watts, D., (2017). Kierkegaard, Repetition and Ethical Constancy. Philosophical Investigations. 40 (4), 414-439

Watts, D., (2015). Recent Work on Kierkegaard. British Journal for the History of Philosophy. 23 (1), 185-192

Watts, D., (2013). Kierkegaard and the Search for Self-Knowledge. European Journal of Philosophy. 21 (4), 525-549

Watts, D., (2013). Kierkegaard and Death. British Journal for the History of Philosophy. 21 (2), 415-417

Watts, D., (2013). Review of P Stokes and A J Buben (eds) (2011). Kierkegaard and Death. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. British Journal for the History of Philosophy. 21 (2), 415-417

Watts, D., (2012). The Exemplification of Rules: An Appraisal of Pettit’s Approach to the Problem of Rule-following. International Journal of Philosophical Studies. 20 (1), 69-90

Watts, D., (2011). Dilemmatic Deliberations In Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling. Faith and Philosophy. 28 (2), 174-189

Watts, D., (2010). Subjective Thinking: Kierkegaard on Hegel's Socrates. Hegel Bulletin. 61 (1), 23-44

Watts, D., (2010). Subjective Thinking: Kierkegaard on Hegel's Socrates. Hegel Bulletin. 31 (01), 23-44

Watts, D., (2008). Kierkegaard's Concept of Despair. Journal of Moral Philosophy. 5 (1), 166-168

Watts, D., (2007). The paradox of beginning: Hegel, Kierkegaard and philosophical inquiry. Inquiry. 50 (1), 5-33

Book chapters (2)

Watts, D., (2022). Love's Telos: Kierkegaard's Critique of Preferential Love. In: Philosophy of Love in the Past, Present and Future. Editors: Grahle, A., McKeever, N. and Saunders, J., . Routledge. 54- 72. 9781003014331

Watts, D., (2013). Søren Kierkegaard. In: Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy. Editors: Pritchard, D., . Oxford University Press

Conferences (1)

Watts, D., Faith, Hope and Love as Virtues in Modernity

Dataset (1)

Watts, D., (2013).Søren Kierkegaard

Grants and funding


The Ethics of Powerlessness: The Theological Virtues Today

Arts And Humanities Research Council

+44 (0) 1206 872706


5B.125, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

See office door