Category Archives: student news and events

Recent PhD Graduate Susanne Mathies Publishes in Philosophia

Dr Susanne Mathies, who recently passed her PhD viva at the Open University, has published “The Simulated Self – Fiction Reading and Narrative Identity” in Philosophia. The article develops a new model of fiction reading, built on two assumptions: that human beings are entangled in stories, and that emotions are complex and have a narrative structure.

The article is open access, and can be read here.

Susanne was supervised by Dr Carolyn Price and Professor Derek Matravers.


Recent doctoral student Jon Phelan awarded book contract by Routledge

Former doctoral student Jon Phelan has accepted an offer to publish a research monograph based on his PhD thesis, under the working title ‘Reading Between the Lines: Investigating the Cognitive Value of Literary Fiction’, with Routledge in their Literature and Education series.

Jon argues, following his PhD thesis with the Open University, that one gains cognitively through an engagement with the literary work’s literary devices (metaphor, irony, ambiguity). This is often missed in the debate, which tends to focus on the fictional status of literary fiction. The reviews of the book proposal said that ‘the book is original’ and ‘promises to reinvigorate a central debate’…’it has significant interdisciplinary appeal’. Jon notes that he is indebted to Professor Derek Matravers and Professor Sophie Grace Chappell for their continued encouragement with the project, to the commissioning editor Ms. Emilie Coin, and to the series editors Dr. David Aldridge and Dr. Andrew Green from Brunel University, London.

Doctoral candidate Sarah Pawlett-Jackson publishes in Synthese

Congratulations go to our doctoral candidate Sarah Pawlett-Jackson (supervised by Sophie-Grace Chappell and Manuel Dries), who has published her article “Gestalt structures in multi-person intersubjectivity” in Synthese.

In the article, Sarah argues that there are gestalt principles underlying intersubjective interactions. Framed from the first-person perspective: I am able to recognise intersubjective interactions between multiple others who are not me. Sarah goes on to explore the consequences of these claims for the second-person standpoint.

Philosophy Day School 2016 (22nd March)


(Image credit: Discarding Images. Monkey riding an owl, Letters of St. Augustine, Anjou 15th century. Marseille, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 209, fol. 246r.)

(Image credit: Monkey riding on an owl, discarding images)

We are pleased to announce a Day School for Undergraduate Philosophy students at the Open University, on Tuesday 22nd March 2016 in the Berrill Building at the Open University Campus in Milton Keynes, from 10.00 am – 4.30 pm.

The event is open, and free, to anyone currently enrolled on our core philosophy undergraduate modules (A222 or A333). We expect to accommodate everyone who wishes to come, but an upper limit, defined by the venue’s capacity, means we must monitor numbers. Therefore, if you intend to come, please register by sending an email with ‘Attending’ in the message header of an email and sending it to:, with your name in the body of the message.

This is just an early announcement of the date. The programme is still fluid. To find the latest, see the stable Philosophy Day School 2016 site. We can say now that day will most likely be organized mainly around sessions and lectures led by team members of the Philosophy Department and guest philosophers. We also plan to feature much of the day’s material, or complementary versions of it, to students via the OU Virtual Learning Environment and provide a discussion forum to follow the event. Continue reading