Welcome!

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.

News

Philosophy in Prisons

Since July 2021, Centre member Jim Chamberlain has been involved with the charity Philosophy in Prison, first as its Research Associate and then as a Trustee. Philosophy in Prison promotes the development and delivery of philosophy sessions in prisons and aims to explore the practical and philosophical principles that such sessions involve. As an example …

Helping others might feel good, but is it really good for you?

Centre member  Ryan Byerly has recently published in Psyche magazine a piece, based on his research, on the value of other-centeredness, and its role in our disposition to help others. Ryan also discussed  the article in a radio interview on ABC Radio Australia’s Counterpoint with Amanda Vanstone, which you can listen  to here  (10th Oct …

Events

2022

2021

“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:

2020

2019

2018

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

Members

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

Jim Chamberlain

Jim’s research includes work on metaethics, moral psychology, and philosophical issues arising from doing philosophy in prison. On behalf of the University of Sheffield and the charity Philosophy in Prison, Jim has led 31 philosophy sessions in two Category B prisons. He is interested in ways in which we might learn from the philosophical insights of marginalised people, including those in prison.
Josh Forstenzer
Co-Director

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. She is currently working with the NHS on how to reduce inequalities in access to elective health care.  With Professor William Watkin of Brunel University, she is setting up a Culture and Policy website, aimed at introducing more Humanities research into policy thinking and formation.  She has also recently been appointed to the Advisory Board of the new Plato’s Academy Centre, which directs the resources of ancient Greek philosophy to contemporary issues.

Jules Holroyd
Co-Director

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.
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.
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.
Minna Shkul

Minna’s work is interdisciplinary and informed by social sciences, as she examines identity and prejudice, particularly in the areas of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and religion. She is especially interested in ethnography, lived religions and analysis of real life questions that matter to feminists, LGBTQ communities and ethnic minorities.
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.
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

Affiliated Members

Lijiaozi 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 subhealth is being made sense of.
Matthew Cull

Matthew is currently an Interdisciplinary Research Fellow at the Centre for Biomedicine, Self, and Society, University of Edinburgh. They are working on a couple of projects: one on the contemporary crisis in trans healthcare and politics in the UK, and another is a book on the metaphysics of gender under contract with Bloomsbury, and currently titled What Gender Should Be.
Anna Klieber

Anna is interested in political and feminist philosophy of language. Their research mainly focuses on conversational silence and trans issues surrounding speech. They are also interested in social and political epistemology and philosophy of language more generally. They are currently a lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Cardiff.
Will Morgan

Will is currently a Research Associate at Bristol on the project ‘MetaScience’, which asks ‘what (if anything) unifies the sciences?’ https://metascience.xyz/project-team
 Most of my research is at the intersection of metaphysics and the philosophy of biology, looking at questions such as ‘What is an organism?’, ‘What is a human person?’ and ‘What is death?’.
Maria Pietrini Sanchez

Maria is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Philosophical Research at UNAM. Maria’s current research focuses on issues related to procreative ethics, in particular examining the normative meaning of procreation in the context of reproductive technologies and surrogacy.
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.