Cultural Heritage and Ethics of War – Registration Closing Soon!

Final call for registrations for Cultural Heritage and Ethics of War Conference:

Registrations close Monday 2nd September 2019

The conference will take place at Homerton College, Cambridge, 18–19 September 2019.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Constantine Sandis (Hertfordshire)
  • Ruth Chang (Oxford)
  • Victor Tadros (Warwick)

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 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. The aim of this conference 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.

Provisional Agenda:

Wednesday 18th September

09.30 – 10.45: Ruth Chang (Oxford)
– Keynote: How Does Cultural Heritage Matter?

10.45 – 11.05: Coffee

11.05 – 12.05: Lisa Giombini (Roma Tre University)
– Objects and Symbols. How Should We Respect Architectural Property?

12.15 – 13.15: Erin L. Thompson (CUNY)
– Return to the Scene of the Crime: Legal, Political, and Ethical Analysis of Determinations of Safe Return

13.15 – 14.15: Lunch

14.15 – 15.15: David Garrard (Oxford Brookes)
– How to Feel About the Fall of Carthage: Cultural Devastation in Retrospect

15.15 – 15.45: Coffee

15.45 – 17.00: Victor Tadros (Warwick)
– Keynote: Cultural Destruction and Reconstruction

17.00 – 18.00: Drinks reception

Thursday 19th September

09.30 – 10.30: Rasa Davidaviciute (St. Andrews)
– Cultural Heritage, Genocide and Agency

10.30 – 10.50: Coffee

10.50 – 11.50: Samuel Bruce and Lucie Fusade (Oxford)
– When Should Post-Conflict Damage to Historic Buildings be Preserved?

12.00 – 13.15: Constantine Sandis (Hertfordshire)
– Keynote: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bombed

13.15 – 14.00: Lunch


Organised as part of the AHRC Heritage in War Project.

For more information about the project and other related events, please see:


Heritage in War Project (call for participants)

3rd Call for Abstracts: Heritage in War

18th-19th of March 2020

Loyola University, New Orleans

This interdisciplinary conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners from a wide range of fields, such as philosophy, international law, heritage studies, archaeology, and the military, to explore issues connected to the protection of heritage in war and conflict. Both normative and empirical papers are welcome.

Extended abstracts of no more than 1500 words, to form the basis of a thirty-minute presentation, should be submitted to no later than the 1st of September 2019.

More information about the conference can be found here:

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.

Philosophy Values and Reasons Research Seminar 2019/2020: Programme

We are happy to announce the programme for the Department of Philosophy’s Values and Reason Research Seminar Series, for the academic year 2019/20.

Thursday 3rd October 2019: Carolyn Price (The Open University)

Wednesday 6th November 2019: Natalia Waights Hickman (University of Oxford)

Wednesday 4th December 2019: Constantine Sandis (University of Hertfordshire)

Wednesday 8th January 2020: Giuseppina D’Oro (Keele University)

Wednesday 5th February 2020: Solveig Aasen (University of Oslo)

Wednesday 4th March 2020: Anil Gomes (University of Oxford)

Wednesday 1st April 2020: Josh Habgood-Coote (University of Bristol)

Wednesday 6th May 2020: Ema Sullivan-Bissett (University of Birmingham)

Wednesday 3rd June 2020: Michael Frazer (University of East Anglia)

All of the seminars take place in the Walton Hall Campus in Milton Keynes, 2pm-4pm. If you would like to attend, please contact Mark Pinder.

Dr Antonia Peacocke (NYU) at the Philosophy Research Seminar

In June’s Philosophy Research Seminar, Dr Antonia Peacocke from New York University spoke to us about how literature expands the imagination.

According to Dr Peacocke, poetic devices in literature can direct your attention to previously unnoticed phenomenal properties of your own experiences. allowing you to conceptualize those previously unnoticed properties. One upshot is that literature can help you form new phenomenal concepts to expand the range of your active phenomenal imagination.

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.

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.

A Companion to Nineteenth-Century Philosophy

John Shand, a long-standing OU Tutor and Associate Lecture, has edited A Companion to Nineteenth-Century Philosophy, which has just been published as part of the prestigious  (not to say incredibly useful) Blackwell’s Companions series.

Contents below. Follow the link to the publisher’s site for more information.

  • Introduction / John Shand
  1. Transcendental Idealism: Kant / John J. Callanan
  2. Theory of Science: Fichte, Schelling / Gabriel Gottlieb
  3. Absolute Idealism: Hegel / Sebastian Stein
  4. The World as Will and Representation: Schopenhauer / Mary S. Troxell
  5. Historicizing Naturalism: Mill, Comte / Christopher Macleod
  6. The Single Individual is Higher than the Universal: Kierkegaard / Karl Aho and C. Stephen Evans
  7. The Rise of Liberal Utilitarianism: Bentham, Mill / Piers Norris Turner
  8. Critique of Religion: Strauss, Feuerbach, Marx / Todd Gooch
  9. Historical Materialism: Marx / Jan Kandiyali
  10. Philosophy and Historical Meaning: Schleiermacher, Dilthey / Benjamin D. Crowe
  11. Late Utilitarian Moral Theory and Its Development: Sidgwick, Moore / Anthony Skelton
  12. American Pragmatism: From Peirce to James / Douglas McDermid
  13. The Value of Our Values: Nietzsche / Andrew Huddleston
  14. British Idealism: Green, Bradley, McTaggart / James Connolly and Giuseppina D’Oro
  15. Neo-Kantianism: Marburg, Southwest School / Evan Clarke
  16. The Origins of Phenomenology in Austro-German Philosophy: Brentano, Husserl / Guillaume Fréchette
  17. New Logic and the Seeds of Analytical Philosophy: Boole, Frege / Kevin C. Klement
  18. Time, Memory and Creativity: Bergson / Michael Kelly