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.


Climate Crisis Education: CEP co-director Joshua Forstenzer launches partnerships with Union of Justice and Synergie Family

Our very own Josh Forstenzer has begun working with Union of Justice and Synergie Family this semester, investigating what should be the future of education in response to the Climate Crisis. The project is entitled ‘Educating for Catastrophe: What should a Climate Crisis curriculum look like in practice for children and young people, communities and …




“Thinking in Action: Engaging Philosophy” is an event series by the CEP, with the aim to do exactly that: put thinking in action. In a series of events, organized by postgraduate students, we want to explore philosophical themes, paths and arenas that will engage topics and speakers both in and outside academia. It is our goal to introduce and discuss a range of philosophically engaging topics that will help students think critically about how their philosophical skills will be applicable and crucial in their lives after, or outside of, the academy. This should in particular help undergraduate, but also postgraduate students and the wider public, to think about philosophy in non-traditional ways and outside the ivory tower. This series is supported by the White Rose College of Arts and Humanities.

Thinking in Action: Engaging Philosophy events:

Other lectures:




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


Core Members

Ed Armitage

Ed is mainly interested in epistemology and the philosophy of mind. His research is focused on giving a philosophical account of worry, specifically in terms of the extent to which it can be rational or irrational, and the implications this may have for our understanding of mental action and agency. 
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.
Kayleigh A. Doherty

Kayleigh’s research focuses on how blame is a powerful mechanism for shaping our social and moral worlds. She looks, in particular, at how social injustice can make it the case that marginalised groups may not have equal access to blame as a mechanism by which they can change social and moral norms and navigate the socio-moral world. She also studies how social trust can facilitate successful communications of blame. 
Thyra Elsasser

Thyra’s research concerns conceptual resources and their role in advancing social justice. In particular, she is interested in attempts to ameliorate existing or develop new conceptual resources designed to contribute to socially critical projects.
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.

Jane Gatley

Jane works in philosophy of education. She is interested in the aims of education, the curriculum and the place of philosophy in schools. She is also interested in the nature and value of philosophy. Her thesis presents an argument for teaching philosophy in schools.
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
Max Khan Hayward

Max works on ethics, metaethics and moral psychology. At the moment he is particularly interested in co-operation, trust, and empathy, and the way that these shape the political domain.
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

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

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.
Carien Smith

Carien works on the social epistemology and ethics of climate change. Her current focus is especially on the intersection between the ethics and epistemology of climate change conspiracy theories. Her other research interests include meaning in life and the apocalypse.
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. Their thesis argues that objectificaiton is not necessarily harmful, and that pornography is not uniquely or distinctly harmful insofar as it objectifies. Rosa is currently interested in the way our work impacts the world and the pernicious side-effects feminist research can have.
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.  
Sabina R. Wantoch

Sabina’s research is about anomalous experiences (voices/ visions, often described as hallucinations) and how the way that they are framed may affect the very experiences themselves. Their research weaves together work in phenomenology with critical psychiatry and the contemporary mad movement.  
Elliott Woodhouse

Elliott studies the ethics and global justice of climate geo-engineering. He is particularly interested in human/nature dichotomy and the role it plays in thinking about our responsibilities in a time of catastrophic climate change