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Professor Sophie-Grace Chappell

Profile summary

Professional biography

Sometimes Sophie Grace Chappell works in feminist philosophy, political philosophy, ancient philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of religion, metaethics, aesthetics, philosophy of literature, or on the philosophy of personal identity.

Her main current research project is, as usual for her, in ethics. With the support of a three-year Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship (2017-2020, £142,000), she has recently completed a new book, provisionally entitled Epiphanies: an ethics and metaethics of experience. 

For more about epiphanies, see Epiphanies: an ethics and metaethics of experience

Epiphanies will, if all goes well, be the successor to Chappell’s previous research project. That resulted in a book published by OUP in March 2014, namely: Knowing What To Do: imagination, virtue, and Platonism in ethics, for which she held a £40,883 AHRC personal research-leave fellowship (August 2011 to January 2012).Find out more about this book from OUP's website.


Access Professor Chappell's page here:

Personal Interests

Sophie Grace Chappell likes cycling, skiing, ski-mountaineering, hillwalking, and climbing (but not falling off) [PDF, 66 KB]. She once skied 29 full descents of the Sunnyside in Glenshee in a day, and would have made it to 30 but for a grumpy lift-attendant and the fact that she didn't have her skins with her. She has also skied all three of Cairngorm, The Lecht, and Glenshee in a single day—when she did have her skins with her—and would like to try skiing all five Scottish centres in a day some time soon. She completed the Munro summits in 2004, and is now rounding up the last two dozen or so tops. She climbs, or has climbed, VS 5a (lead), E1 5b (second) in summer, and Scottish grade V (lead) and VII, 7 (second) in winter. 

She writes poetry [PDF 204 KB], some of it published, with a particular interest in translation. She has recently completed translations of Aeschylus' Prometheus Vinctus [PDF 82 KB], Agamemnon [PDF 660 KB],  Choêphoroi [PDF 378 KB], and Eumenides [PDF 457 KB]. She is married with four children, and is a long-term member of All Souls’ Episcopalian Church, Dundee

Research interests

Ethics, metaethics, applied ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics especially philosophy of literature, ancient philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of religion especially religious experience and mysticism, mediaeval philosophy.

Some examples of Professor Chappell's published and late-draft work in philosophy are available on her  Publications page.

PhD supervision

In progress:

Chris Grey, "Church-musical aesthetics"

Second supervisor; with Martin Clarke (Music)

Lucy Fay Manning, "Logical atomism in the Theaetetus and the Tractatus"

First supervisor; with Naoko Yamagata (Classics)

James Holden, "Moral saints"

First supervisor; with Sean Cordell

James Leigh, "Schopenhauer as educator in the thought of Nietzsche and Wittgenstein"

Second supervisor; with Manuel Dries

Rob Jones, "Asceticism in Nietzsche"

Second supervisor; with Manuel Dries


2014-2018 Sarah Pawlett Jackson, "Second-person-plurality in ethics" (PhD awarded 2019)

First supervisor; with Manuel Dries (second supervisor)

2012-2016 Jon Phelan, "Truth in narrative fictions" (PhD awarded spring 2017)

Second supervisor; with Derek Matravers (first supervisor)

2010-2015 Paul Jackson, "Epicurean atheism and theism in Lucretius' de Rerum Natura" (PhD awarded spring 2015)

First supervisor; with Naoko Yamagata (Classics)

2006-2013 Raymond Boyce, "Moral perception" (PhD awarded spring 2013)

Second supervisor; with Alex Barber (first supervisor)

2006-2013 Luca Sciortino, "Ian Hacking on styles of thinking" (PhD awarded autumn 2013)

Second supervisor; with Cristina Chimisso (first supervisor)

Teaching interests

There is no area of philosophy that Sophie Grace Chappell is not interested in teaching, though she is probably not the Go-To Person for philosophy of quantum physics.

She is an Open University course author on 

A222 (Philosophy of religion)

A333 (Philosophy of narrative art)

A853 (Plato's Meno)

Impact and engagement

Sophie Grace Chappell gives frequent talks in schools and public philosophy clubs and other such forums, both in Britain and elsewhere: for example at the Barnes Philosophy Club (at least when she doesn't stand them up), at the Pinner Philosophy Group, at Chigwell School, at Wellington College, at How The Light Gets In, and at Harris Academy. She also gives the sermon in her church sometimes, and on one occasion in Magdalen College Chapel, Oxford.

She is always happy to consider invitations for further banging on and sounding off in public. 

External collaborations

Sophie Grace Chappell has held the following Visiting Fellowships or Professorships:

School of Latin and Greek, St Andrews University, September 2001-May 2002
University of British Columbia in Vancouver, January-April 2003
Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, September-December 2005
Centre for Ethics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs, St Andrews University, January-May 2006
University of Oslo, February 2010
University of Reykjavik, August 2011
Flinders University, Adelaide, June 2014

Philosophy, St Andrews, 2017-2020

Erskine Fellowship, Univesity of Canterbury, NZ, February to April 2020

Since 2000 she has been Treasurer of the Mind Association, and Associate Editor and Reviews Editor of The Philosophical Quarterly. The latter role gives her some insight from the journal's side into a minor literary genre that every academic knows from the author's side – the rejection slip. Between 2006 and 2012 she was Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Philosophical, Anthropological, and Film Studies at St Andrews. She held AHRC research-leave fellowships in 2001-2, 2005-6, and 2011-12, and was the Director of the AHRC Scottish Ethics Network in 2006. She was the Secretary of the Scots Philosophical Association 2003-6, of which she is now an Honorary Life Member.

Governor, The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy 

Patron, Accepting Evangelicals

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Mind, Meaning and Rationality Research GroupGroupFaculty of Arts


To Live Outside the Law You Must Be Honest (2021-07)
Chappell, Sophie Grace
Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume, 95(1) (pp. 233-252)

Introducing Epiphanies (2019)
Chappell, Sophie Grace
Zeitschrift für Ethik und Moralphilosophie, 2(1) (pp. 95-121)

Utrum Sit Una Tantum Vera Enumeratio Virtutum Moralium (2018-04-16)
Chappell, Sophie Grace
Metaphilosophy, 49(3) (pp. 207-215)

The Cross (2018)
Chappell, Sophie-Grace
International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 26(3) (pp. 478-498)

The Objectivity of Ordinary Life (2017-08)
Chappell, Sophie Grace
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 20(4) (pp. 709-721)

Commentary: From metaphysics to ethics: three routes (2015)
Chappell, Sophie Grace
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society: The Virtual Issue(3) (pp. 290-309)

Why ethics is hard (2014-07)
Chappell, Timothy
Journal of Moral Philosophy, 11(6) (pp. 704-726)

Critical Notice. Paul Horwich, Wittgenstein's Metaphilosophy (2014-07)
Chappell, Timothy
Philosophical Investigations, 37(3) (pp. 258-271)

The varieties of knowledge in Plato and Aristotle (2012-10)
Chappell, Timothy
Topoi, 31(2) (pp. 175-190)

Glory as an ethical idea (2011-04)
Chappell, Timothy
Philosophical Investigations, 34(2) (pp. 105-134)

On the very idea of criteria for personhood (2011-03)
Chappell, Timothy
Southern Journal of Philosophy, 49(1) (pp. 1-27)

Mi Kyoung Lee's Epistemology after Protagoras: responses to relativism in Plato, Aristotle, and Democritus (2010-04)
Chappell, Timothy
Philosophical Books, 51(2) (pp. 117-125)

Ethical blindspots: why Socrates was not a cosmopolitan (2010-03)
Chappell, Timothy
Ratio, 23(1) (pp. 17-33)

“A logos that increases itself”: response to Burley (2010-01)
Chappell, Timothy
Philosophy, 85(1) (pp. 105-108)

Book Review. Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity. By Christine M. Korsgaard (2010)
Chappell, Timothy
Philosophy, 85(3) (pp. 425-432)

Philosophy as a humanistic discipline – by Bernard Williams The sense of the past – by Bernard Williams (2009-10)
Chappell, Timothy
Philosophical Investigations, 32(4) (pp. 360-371)

Ethics beyond moral theory (2009-07)
Chappell, Timothy
Philosophical Investigations, 32(3) (pp. 206-243)

The fear of death (2009-07)
Chappell, Timothy
New Blackfriars, 90(1028) (pp. 413-423)

Moral perception (2008)
Chappell, Timothy
Philosophy, 83(4) (pp. 421-437)

Utopias and the art of the possible (2008)
Chappell, Timothy
Analyse und Kritik, 30 (pp. 179-203)

Defending the unity of knowledge (2008)
Chappell, Timothy
The Philosophical Quarterly, 58(232) (pp. 532-538)

Critical study of Sylvain Delcomminette, Le Philèbe de Platon (2008)
Chappell, Timothy
International Journal of the Platonic Tradition, 2(1) (pp. 65-75)

Infinity goes up on trial: must eternal life be meaningless? (2007)
Chappell, Timothy
European Journal of Philosophy, 17(1) (pp. 30-44)

Reading the peritropê: Theaetetus 170c-171c (2006-04)
Chappell, T. D. J.
Phronesis, 51(2) (pp. 109-139)

Two distinctions that do make a difference: the action-omission distinction and the principle of double effect (2002-04)
Chappell, Timothy
Philosophy, 77(2) (pp. 211-234)

Option ranges (2001-04)
Chappell, Timothy
Journal of Applied Philosophy, 18(2) (pp. 107-118)

The virtues of Thrasymachus (1993)
Chappell, Timothy
Phronesis, 38(1) (pp. 1-17)

Ethics Beyond the Limits: New Essays on Bernard Williams’ Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy (2018-12-20)
Chappell, Sophie Grace and van Ackeren, Marcel
ISBN : 9781138481640 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London

Knowing What To Do: Imagination, Virtue, and Platonism in Ethics (2014-03-27)
Chappell, Timothy
ISBN : 9780199684854 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford

Ethics and Experience: Life Beyond Moral Theory (2009-07)
Chappell, Timothy
ISBN : 1844651460 | Publisher : Acumen Publishing | Published : Durham

The Inescapable Self: an Introduction to Western Philosophy since Descartes (2005-10)
Chappell, Timothy
ISBN : 029784735X | Publisher : Weidenfeld & Nicholson | Published : London

Reading Plato's Theaetetus (2005)
Chappell, Timothy
ISBN : 872207609 | Publisher : Hackett Publishing Company | Published : Indianapolis, USA

Duty, beauty and booty: an essay in ethical reappropriation (2018-12-20)
Chappell, Sophie Grace
In: Chappell, Sophie Grace and van Ackeren, Marcel eds. Ethics beyond the limits (pp. 94-118)
ISBN : 9781138481640 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London

Seeds: on personal identity and the resurrection (2016-12)
Chappell, Sophie Grace
In: Cholbi, Michael ed. Immortality and the Philosophy of Death (pp. 85-98)
ISBN : 9781783483839 | Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield | Published : London

How Encounters with Values Generate Moral Demandingness (2015-09-16)
Chappell, Sophie Grace
In: van Ackeren, Marcel and Kuehler, Michael eds. The Limits of Obligation: Moral Demandingness and Ought Implies Can. Routledge Studies in Ethics and Moral Theory (pp. 84-99)
ISBN : 9781138824232 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London

Augustine's ethics (2014)
Chappell, Timothy
In: Stump, Eleonore and Meconi, David eds. The Cambridge Companion to Augustine (2nd ed). Cambridge Companions (pp. 189-207)
ISBN : 978-1-107-68073-9 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge

Virtue ethics and rules (2013-11-28)
Chappell, Timothy
In: van Hooft, Stan ed. Handbook of Virtue Ethics
ISBN : 184465639X | Publisher : Acumen | Published : London

There are no thin concepts (2013-04-25)
Chappell, Timothy
In: Kirchin, Simon ed. Thick concepts. Mind Association Occasional Series (pp. 182-196)
ISBN : 978-0-19-967234-9 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford

Virtue ethics in the twentieth century (2013-02)
Chappell, Timothy
In: Russell, Daniel ed. Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics. Cambridge Companions to Philosophy (pp. 149-171)
ISBN : 978-1-107-00116-9 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge

Kalou Heneka (2012-12-03)
Chappell, Timothy
In: Peters, Julia ed. Aristotelian Ethics in Contemporary Perspective. Routledge Studies in Ethics and Moral Theory (pp. 158-176)
ISBN : 9780415623414 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London/ New York

Intuition, System, and the “paradox” of deontology (2011-02)
Chappell, Timothy
In: Jost, Lawrence and Wuerth, Julian eds. Perfecting Virtue: New Essays on Kantian Ethics and Virtue Ethic (pp. 271-288)
ISBN : 9780521515252 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge

Plato (2010-12-02)
Chappell, Timothy
In: Bernecker, Sven and Pritchard, Duncan eds. Routledge Companion to Epistemology. Routledge Philosophy Companions (pp. 655-665)
ISBN : 978-0-415-96219-3 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

Impartial benevolence and partial love (2009-09-16)
Chappell, Timothy
In: Chappell, Timothy ed. The problem of moral demandingness (pp. 70-85)
ISBN : 9780230219403 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : London

“Naturalism” in Aristotle's political philosophy (2009)
Chappell, Timothy
In: Balot, Ryan ed. A Companion to Greek and Roman Political Thought (pp. 382-398)
ISBN : 9781405151436 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Oxford

Understanding human goods (2007)
Chappell, Timothy
In: Riordan, Patrick ed. Values in Public Life (pp. 77-96)
ISBN : 978-3-8258-0552-4 | Publisher : Lit Verlag | Published : Berlin

'The good man is the measure of all things': objectivity without world-centredness in Aristotle's moral epistemology (2005-03-03)
Chappell, Timothy
In: Gill, Christopher ed. Virtue, norms, and objectivity: issues in ancient and modern ethics (pp. 233-255)
ISBN : 199264384 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford, UK

Introduction (2004-10)
Chappell, Timothy and Oderberg, David S.
In: Chappell, Timothy and Oderberg, David S. eds. Human Values (pp. 1-10)
ISBN : 1403918104 | Publisher : MacMillan | Published : Houndmills

Absolutes and particulars (2004)
Chappell, Timothy
In: O'Hear, Anthony ed. Modern Moral Philosophy. Royal Instittute of Philosophy Supplement (54) (pp. 95-115)
ISBN : 9780521603263 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge

The polymorphy of practical reason (2004)
Chappell, Timothy
In: Chappell, Timothy and Oderberg, David S. eds. Human Values (pp. 102-126)
ISBN : 1403918104 | Publisher : MacMillan | Published : Houndmills

Persons in time: metaphysics and ethics (2003)
Chappell, Timothy
In: Dyke, Heather ed. Time and Ethics. Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy (14) (pp. 189-207)
ISBN : 978-1-4020-1312-6 | Publisher : Kluwer | Published : Dordrecht

Intuition, Theory, and Anti-Theory in Ethics (2015-03-05)
Chappell, Sophie Grace ed.
ISBN : 9780198713227 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford

The Problem of Moral Demandingness: New Philosophical Essays (2009)
Chappell, Timothy ed.
ISBN : 9780230219403 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : London

Values and Virtues: Aristotelianism in contemporary ethics (2006)
Chappell, Timothy ed.
ISBN : 9780199291458 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford

Bernard Williams (2010)
Chappell, Timothy
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Knowledge in the Theaetetus (2009)
Chappell, Timothy
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy