OU philosophy research engages with the public to enhance public understanding of major issues and challenges.
Research to develop an anti-systematic philosophical ethics, and in particular notions of personhood and second-personality, has changed thinking and practice in paediatrics at the UK’s Northampton General Hospital, challenging staff to consider how they view patients as persons.
OU research in aesthetics has contributed to the public understanding of art, by offering a definition of ‘art’ that moves beyond the obscurantism associated with contemporary art. An OU podcast on the subject, as part of the PhilosophyBites series, has taken the topic into public discourse and has been widely downloaded.
OU researchers actively use their expertise to enhance the teaching of philosophy at Key Stage 5. In addition to talks at schools and colleges, they engage directly with teachers, and have provided over 120 hours of free online learning on philosophy topics to the publicly available OU portal OpenLearn.