Why Philosophy Matters
Philosophy has a reputation for being abstract and other-worldly, but it also concerns itself with concrete questions relating to mind and action. Our researchers explore various aspects of their nature and relation from a variety of perspectives including philosophy of biology, psychoanalysis, philosophy of action, feminist theology, philosophy of education, epistemology, philosophy of cognitive science, and Hume Studies.
For the past three years we have co-organised a fortnightly Philosophy of Action seminar with Oxford University, and we recently won a large award from Microsoft Research to fund a doctoral degree on Communicative Action.
We also host the Oxford Hume Forum, an annual Hume conference, and a research seminar on intellectual humility funded by the Templeton Foundation. Other current projects include research on human understanding, failure and loss, and, a series of papers on divine understanding and the role of empathy, developing out of collaboration with the Munich and Innsbruck University analytic theology projects.
Oxford Brookes takes a serious interest in public engagement concerning the relevance and importance of philosophy outside the narrow confinements of academia. The philosophy team at Brookes runs philosophical enquiry programmes for children in a number of primary and secondary schools in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire. Since 2013, under the auspices of a Brookes Team Teaching Fellowship, we have been placing Brookes undergraduate philosophy students into local schools to run philosophical enquiry sessions. We also host a public lecture series organised by the Royal Institute of Philosophy branch at Brookes in association with Blackwells’ bookshop.