Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!


PhD Viva Success: David Hurrell

Congratulations go to David Hurrell, who has successfully defended his PhD thesis on Nietzsche’s conception of decadence.

David was supervised by Manuel Dries, Sophie-Grace Chappell and Cristina Chimisso. The examiners were Andrew Huddleston (Birkbeck) and Derek Matravers.L-R: Manuel Dries; David Hurrell; Andrew Huddleston; Derek Matravers.

PhD Success: Susanne Mathies

Congratulations to Susanne Mathies, who recently completed her PhD “The Simulated Self – Fiction Reading and Narrative Identity”.

L-R: Manuel Dries (internal examiner); Carolyn Price (supervisor); Susanne Mathies; Kathleen Stock (University of Sussex, external examiner).

In the thesis, Susanne develops an account that explores the relation between fiction reading and the reader’s narrative identity. The account is based on two starting assumptions: first, that human beings are entangled in stories throughout their lives, and second, that emotions are complex and have a narrative structure. During the reading process, the fiction reader creates her own narratives which contain not only the story provided by the work of fiction, but also event sequences from her own experiential memories. This involves the creation of self-conscious emotions, which can continue after the reading is finished, and can motivate the reader to engage in self-reflection and to refigure her self-narrative. Susanne’s account thus examines a new topic: the interactive influence of fiction reading and the fiction reader’s narrative identity.

Registration open for first Heritage in War conference

Registration for the first Heritage in War conference, Cultural Heritage and the Ethics of War, is now open!

The conference takes place in Cambridge, 18-19 September 2019. Its aim is to begin to develop a robust account of the status of heritage in war by exploring philosophical work on such matters as incommensurability and incomparability, the nature and status of cultural heritage, risk imposition, and the reconstruction and replacement of damaged or destroyed heritage.

More information about the conference can be found here, and you can register for the conference here.