Philosophy at St Andrews

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All pictures were taken in or around St Andrews and are © Simon Prosser

Philosophy at St Andrews

St Andrews is one of the leading international centres for philosophy in Britain.

In the latest UK-wide assessment of the research of UK universities (REF 2014) the philosophy department was ranked 1st in Scotland and 5th in the UK (by grade point average). 83% of research was assessed as either 4* or 3*. The St Andrews/Stirling graduate programme (SASP) was ranked second in Britain in a recent US-based survey.

There is a busy programme of conferences, workshops and visiting speakers from universities in the UK and from abroad. The Philosophy Club, which is open to everyone, is the regular visiting speakers' seminar. Several specialized research seminars meet weekly or fortnightly. There is also a Friday Seminar for doctoral students, and a seminar specifically for MLitt students.

There are two philosophical research centres in St Andrews: The Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs (CEPPA), and the Arché Philosophical Research Centre for the Philosophy of Logic, Language, Metaphysics and Epistemology. The Philosophical Quarterly, one of the most respected international philosophy journals, is edited from St Andrews.


We are happy to welcome our new students to the Department of Philosophy.

New undergraduates should refer first to the Guide for new students 2015/16, the Philosophy Handbook for Undergraduates 2015/16 and the Philosophy Peer Prospectus 2015/16.

Latest news

New books from Philosophy staff

James Harris ("Hume: An Intellectual Biography") and Tim Mulgan ("Purpose in the Universe: The Moral and Metaphysical Case for Ananthropocentric Purposivism") have recently seen the publication of new books.

British Philosophical Association/Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) Good Practice Scheme

In 2014/15, The British Philosophical Association (BPA) and the Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) launched a Good Practice Scheme to encourage the representation of women in philosophy. The guidelines deal with gender bias, conference and seminar series, sexual harassment, caregivers and staff-student relationships.

We are proud to announce that from January 2016, Philosophy at St Andrews has subscribed to every aspects of the scheme and will continue to work with all members of the philosophy community in St Andrews to ensure that the good practice is embedded within the life of the department. 

New Appointments in Philosophy

We are delighted to announce three permanent appointments in Philosophy, all starting in September 2016:

Alexander Douglas, currently lecturer at Heythrop College, London, will join us as Lecturer. He works on early modern philosophy, especially Spinoza and Descartes, and also on the history and philosophy of political economy.

Adam Etinson, currently Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago, will join us as Lecturer. he works on moral and political philosophy, with a particular focus on human rights, social epistemology, and the foundations of liberalism.

Kevin Scharp, currently Professor at Ohio State University, will join us as Reader. He works on philosophy of language, logic, metaphysics, philosophy of science, and the history of analytic philosophy.

Royal Society of Edinburgh Arts and Humanities Research Workshop Award

Dr James Harris and Dr Tom Jones (English) have been awarded £10 000 by the Royal Society of Edinburgh to develop a research project on historical and present-day understandings of the philosophical life. The award will fund a series of three workshops in 2016-17.

More departmental news | Arché news | CEPPA news


This is a selection of forthcoming and highlighted events - see also the full schedule of Philosophy events.

Wed 24th February 2016 16:15

Modal Horrors

Robin Le Poidevin (University of Leeds)

Philosophy Club

Wed 2nd March 2016 16:15

Gender Fictionalism

Heather Logue (University of Leeds)

Philosophy Club

Wed 9th March 2016 16:15

Epistemicism, Distribution, and the Argument from Vagueness

Ofra Magidor (Oxford University)

Philosophy Club

Tue 29th March 2016 to Wed 30th March 2016

The Philosophical Foundations of Effective Altruism

Wed 30th March 2016 16:15

Variables under Epistemic Modals

Brian Rabern (University of Edinburgh)

Philosophy Club

Mon 4th April 2016 to Tue 5th April 2016

Northern Association of Ancient Philosophy

The 2016 meeting of the Northern Association for Ancient Philosophy will be held at the University of St Andrews.

Wed 6th April 2016 16:15

The Epistemology of Plato’s Phaedo

Gail Fine (Cornell and Oxford University)

Philosophy Club

Wed 4th May 2016

Paton Colloquim

Thu 5th May 2016 to Fri 6th May 2016

7th Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy