Welcome to the Royal Institute of Philosophy, the UK’s largest independent charitable foundation devoted to sharing philosophical thinking as widely as possible. Addressing ourselves to fundamental questions across the whole breadth of philosophy, we aim to bring these questions to the curious of every age and background, and to empower them to address them for themselves.
The Royal Institute of Philosophy was formally established in 1925 to educate the public in the subject of philosophy’ and to explore ‘matters which constitute the deepest and most permanent interests of the human spirit’. We continue to do so today.
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Baroness Onora O’Neill
A crossbench member of the House of Lords, Baroness O’Neill is a former Principal of Newnham College Cambridge, Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, and President of the British Academy.
Professor Lucy O’Brien
Professor O’Brien is Richard Wollheim Professor of Philosophy at University College London and the co-editor of Mind. She is the author of Self-Knowing Agents and co-editor of Mental Actions.
Professor Sarah Sawyer
Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sussex, Professor Sawyer is author of articles on philosophy of mind, language, metaphysics and epistemology. She is editor of New Waves in Philosophy of Language.
Professor Edward Harcourt
Professor Harcourt is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Keble College. His research lies in moral psychology, and on the boundaries between ethics and the philosophy of mind. From 2018-22 he was Director of Research, Strategy and Innovation at the UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Members of the Executive Committee
Our Executive Committee members are trustees of the charity and serve on the editorial board of the Institute’s journals, Philosophy and Think.
Professor Ben Colburn
Professor Fiona Ellis
Professor John Haldane
Professor Beth Lord
Professor Lucy O'Brien
Dr Léa Salje
Professor Constantine Sandis
Professor Sarah Sawyer
Dr Rachael Wiseman
Dr David Edmonds
Professor James Wilson
Professor Hallvard Lillehammer
Professor Susan James
Members of the Council
Our large Council appoints the Executive Committee, and helps to determine the policies that we adopt as an educational charity and as a company limited by guarantee.
Policies and governance
Our charitable purpose is to advance the education of the public in the subject of philosophy. Our main governing document was drafted in 1925 when the Institute was founded, and revised in 2009.