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Philosophy at Stirling prides itself on combining an innovative teaching programme with research at the highest level. We offer an undergraduate teaching curriculum centred in the analytic tradition broadly conceived, and covering all major aspects of the subject. We are committed to providing a dynamic and supportive learning environment in which students can easily feel at home.

In the National Student Survey, philosophy at Stirling is regularly ranked among the top one or two undergraduate philosophy programmes in the UK.  We came first in the UK in the latest survey (2014) with 100% for 'overall satisfaction' (we were also first in 2009 and 2010, third in 2011 and fourth in 2012).  Our most recent external teaching review “noted a very positive student-staff relationship within the division, where students were encouraged to approach staff for help with their studies, advice and support. This was supplemented by the formal student-staff arrangements and a high level of support provided through the Law & Philosophy Office. The Panel commended the strong sense of identity with and acknowledgement of the division’s cohesive collegial ethos and recognised that students were uniformly highly satisfied with their learning experience”.

Postgraduate Study

Postgraduate study is offered in the context of the joint St Andrews and Stirling Graduate Programme in Philosophy (SASP). This programme is Scotland's leading centre for graduate study in Philosophy and one of the highest-ranked and largest Philosophy schools in the United Kingdom, with an outstanding placement record for its graduates.


We have an active research environment with regular events open to all: weekly Visiting Speaker Seminars (see tab above), frequent conferences and seminar series (including, recently, the Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association, Frege@Stirling, the Stirling Political Philosophy group among many others) ongoing research projects, and a lively student Philosophy Society (see tab above) with a regular programme of talks and an annual staff-student reading weekend in the Highlands.  

The research expertise of our staff members falls into the following groups, which provide a framework for our research activity:

  • Epistemology, Rationality and Normativity
  • History of Philosophy
  • Legal, Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Mind and Metaphysics

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 62% of our research was judged as 'world leading' or internationally excellent, and we have a very strong record of success in gaining research funding.

Good Practice


We are actively committed to diversity and equality in both our teaching and research. We were the first Philosophy unit in Scotland to adopt the good practice scheme for women in philosophy developed by the British Philosophical Association and the Society for Women in Philosophy (see our policies here), and we recently sponsored the launch of Stirling's MAP (Minorities and Philosophy) chapter.  

Recent News

Staff Leaving

August 2016

Dr Jesse Tomalty, Lecturer at Stirling, has accepted a position as Associate Professor at the University of Bergen (Norway). We are extremely sorry to see Jesse leave us but we wish her all the best for her new appointment!

MAP at Stirling

March 2016

On 13.3.2016 we held a MAP (Minorities in Philosophy) event. It features a plenary discussion focusing mainly on the topic of women in philosophy, implicit bias, and the aim of equality, with talks by Amanda, Jesse, Philip, and two representatives of the LGBT+ committee. The plan is to have more events in the future. If you have questions or want to participate please have a look at the Diversity tab here.

Research Grant Success

January 2016

Professor Crispin Wright was awarded £ 646,337 from the Templeton Foundation for the project “Knowledge Beyond Natural Science”. A 33-month research project (March 2016—November 2019) involving six senior Stirling philosophers, Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins and Jonathan Ichikawa Jenkins both from UBC. In addition, we are currently advertising for two Postdoctoral position and four PhD studentships.

New Staff

January 2016

We are delighted to announce two new appointments:

Dr Amanda Cawston

Amanda received her PhD in 2014 from Cambridge University. Her areas of specialisation include political philosophy and feminist philosophy, in particular, she works on the ethics of war and violence and here focuses on determining whether pacifism is a defensible position. She also has interests in ethics and international relations. 

Dr Lauren Ware

Lauren received her PhD in 2014 from Edinburgh University. Her primary research is in the philosophy of emotion, in particular, what role they play in political and legal decision-making, in the evaluation of risk and security, in social and group cognition, and in teaching and learning. She also has interests in ancient Greek philosophy.

Staff Promotion


Many congratulations to Dr Sonia Roca Reyes on her promotion to Senior Lecturer.

European Training Network grant


Prof. Crispin Wright has been awarded a major European Training Network grant in conjunction with the Universities of Barcelona, Stockholm, Munich, Edinburgh, Neuchâtel and the École Normale Supérieure.  This will involve training and workshops for PhD students in conjunction with non-academic partners.  The project focuses on explaining the lack of convergence in philosophy and investigating whether the dynamics of the philosophical debate, despite the subject’s highly theoretical nature, bear important and instructive resemblances to the dynamics of debates about more practical matters and their political and socio-economical antecedents.

MAP Chapter


Stirling's MAP (Minorities and Philosophy) chapter was inaugurated on 17 April 2015 with a guest lecture by Prof. Christine Battersby (University of Warwick), entitled 'Philosophy, Feminism and the Female Self'.  The event was co-sponsored by the Philosophy Society and the Division of Law and Philosophy.  Congratulations to the MAP committee (Eduarda Fernandes Dias, Giulia Carones, Jessica Bernard, Marlene Sammito, Matilde Liberti and Natalie Craw) for a very successful and extremely well-attended launch.

New Staff


We are delighted to announce two new appointments:

Prof. Crispin Wright (formerly Regius Professor of Philosophy at Aberdeen) joined Stirling this spring as professor of philosophical research.  Prof. Wright is one of the world's leading philosophers; his work includes significant contributions in epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of language and of mathematics, including work on Wittgenstein and on Frege.  Prof. Wright will work in Stirling for one semester each year, spending the other semester at New York University.

Dr Jesse Tomalty (currently postdoctoral prize research fellow at NuffieldCollege, Oxford) will join Stirling philosophy in autumn 2015, as a lecturer in moral, legal and political philosophy.  Dr Tomalty works on the nature of human rights and the relationship between human rights and poverty; we are delighted to welcome her to Stirling.  

Research Grant Success


Dr Sonia Roca Royes has been awarded a Leadership Research Fellowship for 2015, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, to develop her theory of the epistemology of modality.

Dr Rowan Cruft has been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for 2016 to write a monograph on rights, roles and the individual, focusing on how different rights are grounded in how they serve their holders or the wider public good.

Prof. Mike Wheeler has been awarded funding by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as a member of a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary team investigating the nature and implications of historical expressions of the notion of distributed cognition from classical antiquity to modernism; see  The 39-month project (2014-18) involves the National Museums of Scotland as a project partner. 

Staff Move


Many congratulations to Dr Zoe Drayson, who will leave Stirling to take up a tenure-track assistant professorship at the University of California, Davis from Autumn 2015.

Weekend Away


The Philosophy Society's weekend away was held in Comrie, Perthshire on 27-29 March, with attendance from undergraduates, postgraduates and staff.  Many thanks to Matilde Liberti, Francesco Tonci Ottieri, Cory Stone, Melissa Walker, Peter Milne and Paul Conlan for their talks, and to all for a very enjoyable event.

Good Practice Scheme for Women in Philosophy


The Philosophy subdivision adopted the BPA/SWIP good practice scheme for women in philosophy in December 2014. 

Abune Scholarship


Congratulations to Heather Duncan, the first recipient of the Abune scholarship.  Many thanks to Jock Scott for supporting his old university by creating this award for Stirling philosophy undergraduates.

National Student Survey


Stirling's undergraduate philosophy programme was ranked joint first in the UK, with 100% 'overall satisfaction' in the 2014 National Student Survey.

Visiting Speakers Seminars

Everyone is welcome at the Visiting Speaker meetings. They are held in Room C1, Pathfoot Building at 4.15pm (unless otherwise stated). For further information please contact Amanda Cawston (

Visiting Speaker Seminar Programme Autumn 2016


Date (Thurs)





Julien Dutant




Ellen Fridland




Tom Stern




Laura Valentini




Fiona Wollard




Matthew Nudds








Ulrike Hahn




Douglas Lavin




Christine Tiefensee  




James Harris

St Andrews



Michael Blome-Tillmann


The Philosophy Society


The Philosophy Society at Stirling University was created by students in order to facilitate those with a shared curiosity or passion for philosophical discussion and study. It is open to all inquisitive students with an interest in areas like morality, human rights and the nature of being, regardless of their degree. A background in philosophy is not required, so no amount of knowledge is assumed. We especially welcome first and second year students who want to learn more about what philosophy is, and how the skills it teaches can be applied at a more practical level in later life.

About Us

The aim of the Society is to provide an informal forum where students can investigate the significance of philosophy and philosophical study, discuss the important issues uncovered therein, and learn from one another. There are weekly meetings held on campus to discuss particular topics, and we also arrange film nights, social events and debates with other departments. Some meetings are dedicated towards helping new or existing students learn more about how to write a philosophical essay, and how to present their work. We often also have visiting speakers from the faculty and elsewhere. The Philosophy Office is located in Room A71/73 in the A-corridor of the Pathfoot building. Look for posters there and throughout campus for more information about the society.

Regular Meetings

Weekly meetings are currently held on campus in the Pathfoot building, where typically a presentation is given by a student or a member of the faculty, which is then followed by a question and answer session. For further details, check this website again during the semester, and also look out for the advertising posters.


In 2015 we adopted the the BPA/SWIP guidelines. We believe in creating a welcoming environment for all philosophers, and in particular for members of groups that are underrepresented. 

Here are some important ways that we are following the guidelines:

Anonymising:  We are committed to anonymising all submitted work from our students and we have also adopted a policy to assess written work anonymously during job searches.

Implicit Bias training: Each year we run an implicit bias session within the department which all new members of staff or tutorial assistants attend. We also invite our students to attend these sessions.

Diversifying syllabi: All department members are urged to strive for diversity, aiming to include members of under-represented groups in their teaching syllabi.

Workshops/conference/seminar series: All workshops, conferences and seminar series include support for child care and we aim for a balanced speaker line-up.

We also have an Equality and Diversity committee that continues to look for ways to ensure a welcoming atmosphere at our department for all philosophers. If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Philip Ebert. 

We also work in collaboration with our Philosophy Society to make sure that students from underrepresented groups feel welcome and at home at Stirling and fully support our MAP (Minorities and Philosophy) chapter (

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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