Welcome to the Centre for Engaged Philosophy at the University of Sheffield! The Centre for Engaged Philosophy brings together scholars and practitioners dedicated to philosophical practices that aim to inform, learn from, and build, ongoing collaborative relationships of import beyond the academy. 

This work is timely: our contemporary world is beset by complex problems. While philosophers were once deeply involved in addressing public affairs and social issues of their day, there is a tendency now to think of philosophy as an exercise in isolated reflection that abstracts away from real-world complexities. The Centre for Engaged Philosophy aims to engage philosophy deeply in the problems of our time, wrestling with the question of how careful thought might help to build a better future. 


Consciousness: how can we solve the greatest mystery in science?

“Scientific advances have sent people to the Moon and to the greatest depths of the ocean. We’ve split the atom and created computers that can defeat a chess grandmaster. And yet science still can’t explain arguably the most fundamental aspect of existence – our subjective experience of existence. Our consciousness.” In a new article in …

“The Class” at Philosophy in the Showroom in February

Centre Co-director Joshua Forstenzer will be talking about the film “The Class” at Philosophy in the Showroom. When? 28th of Feburary at 18:00Where? The Showroom, Sheffield, 15 Paternoster Row What’s “The Class”? “Based on the 2006 novel of the same name (in French Entre les Murs) by François Bégaudeau. The novel is a semi-autobiographical account …

Education and Philosophy Seminar: “The Cognitive Benefits of Philosophy for Children”

The first event of the seminar series Education and Philosophy is coming up, organised by center co-director Joshua Forstenzer and Ansgar Allan. The Cognitive Benefits of P4C (Philosophy for Children)Dr Dave Ward (University of Edinburgh)Date: Thursday 20th of February 2020, 2pm-3.30pmVenue: Humanities Research Institute – Seminar Room, Upper Hanover Street Abstract: Philosophy for Children, or P4C, is …




Further information about past philosophy events at Sheffield can be found on the departmental web page.


Core Members

Chris Bennett

Chris’s research includes work on criminal justice, punishment and alternatives to punishment; as well as topics in moral psychology, such as moral emotions, blame and forgiveness.
Megan Blomfield

Megan’s research concerns global justice and the environment, focusing on the ethical and political dimensions of climate change.
T. Ryan Byerly

Ryan’s current research includes work on the character trait of others-centredness, the virtues of the intellectually dependable person, and the collective character traits of religious congregations
Lijiaozi Cheng (Cheer Cheng)

Lijiaozi looks at concepts and experiences of health, disease and “sub-health”, the grey area between disease and health. She combines conceptual analysis with ethnographic research, in exploring how people construct accounts of their body and mind, weaving through different cultural frameworks when visiting alternative medicine.
Matthew Cull

Matthew’s research looks at the nature of gender categories and how they might be improved in ways that promote justice, especially for trans people.
Josh Forstenzer

Josh’s research focuses on the value of democratic deliberative norms and practices. His most recent research pays special attention to the democratic value of higher education.
Isela González Vázquez

Isela works on Feminism, Philosophy of Science, and Philosophy of Biology. Their PhD focuses on the role of values in science, with a particular focus on biological accounts of sexual orientation.
Richard Hassall

Richard’s research is on the effects that psychiatric diagnoses have on their recipients. Specifically, this concerns the manner in which such medicalised diagnoses impact on an individual’s self-narrative and how this may lead to experiences of epistemic injustice
Angie Hobbs

Angie is Professor for the Public Understanding of Philosophy. She focusses on ethics, political theory and ancient philosophy, and appears regularly in press, TV and radio, discussing issues like democracy, refugees or philosophy in schools. Also, she is member of the 2018-9 World Economic Forum Council for Values, Ethics and Innovation.
Jules Holroyd

Jules’ research focuses on ways that our cognitions are influenced by, and complicit in, injustices that track social identity, such as gender and race. Her recent work has focused on implicit racial bias.
Anna Klieber
Web & Media Project Assistant

Anna is interested in feminist philosophy of language. Their research mainly focusses on silence and its role in conversations. They are also interested in social and political epistemology and philosophy of language more gerally.
Robbie Morgan

Robbie is interested in the philosophy of sex and feminist philosophy. His current research is on the wrongness of sexual offences, the definition of ‘sexual act’, and whether a notion of sexualisation can help us to explain the harms of objectification.
Will Morgan

Will works on metaphysics, the philosophy of biology, and the intersection between these two areas. Specifically, he is interested in the problem of biological individuality in the philosophy of biology and how it bears on questions about composition in metaphysics.
Eric Olson

Eric has written on the possibility of life after death, what makes it bad to die, and the metaphysics of transhumanism and artificial intelligence.
Ashley L. Pennington

Ashley’s research focuses on the intersection of identities and feminist philosophy of language and pragmatics. Her current research looks at the role of socially share values, beliefs and values in the in the use and misuse of language. In particular, her work is currently concerned with language and it’s relationship to police violence.
Maria J Pietrini Sanchez

Maria works primarily on Ethics, Political Philosophy and Theory, and Feminism. Her research examines different approaches to the surrogacy debate, including the self-ownership view and the autonomy view. Particularly, her research focuses on commercial contractual surrogacy.
Barney Riggs

Barney works on the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. He is concerned with developing an account of Kierkegaard’s concept of busyness, as both a personal-religious and a socio-political critique.
Henry Roe
Web & Media Project Assistant

Henry is interested in epistemic vice and, in particular, arrogance. His thesis will explore how arrogance manifests in groups and the varieties of harm this supports.
Komarine Romdenh-Romluc

Komarine works in phenomenology. She has two current research projects: one is on the nature of habit, which she is exploring in clinical settings; the other is concerned with issues of power and communication between different cultures.
Jennifer Saul

Jenny’s current research is mainly in two areas: ways to improve workplaces (especially academia) to make them more welcoming for members of marginalised groups; and the pragmatics of sexism and racism in political speech.
Robert Stern

Bob is working on the Danish philosopher and theologian K. E. Løgstrup, who focuses on issues surrounding care, inter-dependence and vulnerability, and what it might mean to ‘love the neighbour’.
Rosa Vince

Rosa’s main research interests are in feminism and philosophy of sex. Her thesis examines the different kinds of feminist critiques and defences of pornography, and explores whether there are necessary harms in pornography or only contingent ones.
Alana Wilde

Alana works on the metaphysics of disability, particularly in relation to mental health related disabilities. Her work involves trying to develop an account of mental health related disability which does not commit us to the view that being disabled is negative. She is also interested in social ontology more broadly, as well as philosophy of language.