Heritage in War conference (New Orleans, 18-19 March 2020)

Registration for the New Orleans Heritage in War conference is now open! Early bird registration is available until the 1st of February. After that the registration fee will increase by an additional £15.

Keynote speakers:

  • Laurie Rush (Cultural Resources Manager and Army Archaeologist stationed at Fort Drum)
  • Rob Hopkins (NYU, Philosophy)
  • Nancy Sherman (Georgetown, Philosophy)

The AHRC-funded Heritage in War Project, led by Helen Frowe and Derek Matravers, explores the moral value of cultural heritage and how we ought to incorporate this value into our accounts of the ethics of war, and how to deal with damage to heritage in the aftermath of conflict. The aim of this interdisciplinary conference is to bring together researchers and practitioners from a wide range of fields, including (but not limited to) philosophy, international law, heritage studies, archaeology, and the military, to explore issues connected to the protection of heritage in war and conflict.

For more information about the conference, including schedule, registration, and contact information, see https://www.heritageinwar.com/conference-heritage-in-war

Alex Barber on Dishonesty

Alex Barber has just published an article in the Journal of Ethics in which he defines the notion of dishonesty, argues that it is a more useful notion than lying, and applies these findings to some real-world cases in law and political journalism.

The article is currently available through an OPEN ACCESS agreement. You can download it from the journal website:

Lying, Misleading, and Dishonesty

or go straight to the pdf.

Prof. Sophie-Grace Chappell on How (and Why) to be Car Free

Prof. Sophie-Grace Chappell shares a prescient blast from the past: a piece from the Guardian from 1993, “How to be Car Free.” Shocking at the time. Less so now?

The idea that we should live car-free lives as far as possible is quite fashionable today. It was less fashionable in April 1993, when I published this in The Guardian. It subsequently got reprinted in Philosophy Now.

Funny how one can literally forget having written something. Perhaps I forgot because at the time I was worried that my position was a bit extreme, afraid that coming across as a green ultra would not help me get a proper job. I was just a college lecturer when I wrote this–so it never went on my CV for job applications, for instance, which maybe is another reason why I forgot that I’d written it.

So at the time I was partly embarrassed that I’d written this. I’m not in any way embarrassed now.

With acknowledgements to Philosophy Now and The Guardian.

Mark Pinder, Conceptual Engineer


Mark Pinder celebrates a double success this month. Mark has just returned from a research visit at the Department of Philosophy II, Ruhr University Bochum, having given a talk at the conference, Inconsistent Concepts and Conceptual Engineering. In addition, his paper on conceptual engineering, “Conceptual Engineering, Metasemantic Externalism and Speaker-Meaning” has been accepted for publication in MIND, one of the leading philosophy journals.


Jon Pike Elected Chair of the British Philosophy of Sport Association


Congratulations to Dr. Jon Pike, Senior Lecturer and Staff Tutor in Philosophy, who was recently elected Chair of the British Philosophy of Sport Association (BPSA). The BPSA’s mission is to “provide avenues and opportunities for those interested in philosophical issues in sport to present their ideas and network with others.” The Society’s principal activities include an annual UK-based conference, a tri-annual conference with the European Association for Philosophy and Sport, and the publication, in partnership with Taylor & Francis, of the esteemed journal Sport, Ethics and Philosophy.

Jon will be off to the WADA conference in Katowice, Poland for the 5th – 7th of November.  This is the conference that will agree anti-doping regulations for the next five years of elite sport.  He will be blogging a conference diary from the conference (watch this space for a link!), casting a quizzical and philosophical eye over proceedings.  Jon has previously acted as a consultant for both UKAD (UK Anti-Doping) and WADA, and he is keen to see if any of his thoughts about anti-doping get incorporated into the new code.

Derek Matravers to Edit the British Journal of Aesthetics

Philosophy is delighted to announce that Professor Derek Matravers has been appointed co-editor, along with Paloma Atencia-Linares, of the British Journal of Aesthetics.

The BJA, as it is known, is a premier forum for peer-reviewed scholarship in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. Currently in its 59th year, it is published quarterly on behalf of the British Society of Aesthetics by Oxford University Press.

Congratulations, Derek!


Peter Cave’s new book on modern mythology

Peter Cave, one of our long-standing philosophy tutors, has just written a book of popular philosophy:

The Myths We Live By: Adventures in Free Speech and Other Liberal Adventures

Anyone who knows him through his teaching or his other books will know that it contains plenty to disagree with, and plenty of imaginative (in the best sense) arguments to make doing so tricky.

Derek Matravers Shortlisted for Research Excellence Award!

Professor Derek Matravers has been shortlisted for a 2019 OU Research Excellence Award, under the category of Outstanding Research Project.

The project in question is the AHRC-funded Heritage in War, led by Derek and Helen Frowe (Stockholm). The project explores the moral value of cultural heritage and how we ought to incorporate this value into our accounts of the ethics of war, and deal with damage to heritage in the aftermath of conflict. Whilst some work has been done on these topics by people working in cognate areas, few philosophers have directly engaged with these sorts of questions.

Please keep your fingers crossed for Derek on Wednesday 23rd October, when the winners are announced.