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 these questions for themselves.

Our history 

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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If you have any inquiries, or want to find out more, get in touch.

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President of the Royal Institute

Professor Jonathan Wolff 

Jonathan Wolff (FBA) is the Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University, and Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford.

Chair of the council

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.

Vice-Chair of the council

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.

Academic Director

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.

Finance Director

Rebecca Davis 

Rebecca is an experienced charity finance director and accountant who has worked in the NHS and consultancy, as well as in the not for profit sector. Rebecca’s undergraduate degree was in philosophy, politics and economics and more recently she returned to philosophy as a post-graduate at the University of York.

Co-Editor of Philosophy

Professor Maria Alvarez 

Professor Alvarez is Professor of Philosophy at King’s College London and author of Kinds of Reasons: An Essay in the Philosophy of Action. She works mainly on philosophy of action, reasons and normativity.

Co-Editor of Philosophy

Professor Bill Brewer 

Susan Stebbing Professor of Philosophy at King’s College London, Professor Brewer is author of Perception and Reason and Perception and Its Objects. He works on philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and epistemology and has an abiding interest in the objectivity of perceptual experience.

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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.

Professor Anna Alexandrova 

Dr. Maria Balaska 

Professor Mike Beaney 

Dr. Anna Bergqvist 

Dr. Mazviita Chirimuuta 

Dr. Alix Cohen 

Professor Ben Colburn 

Dr. Sam Coleman 

Joan Concannon 

Professor Rowan Cruft 

Dr. Alexandra Couto 

Professor Max de Gaynesford 

Dr. David Edmonds  

Dr. Nadine Elzein 

Dr. Yasemin J. Erden 

Dr. Suki Finn 

Jules Goddard 

Professor John Haldane 

Dr. Margaret Hampson 

Dr. Ulrike Heuer 

Professor Angie Hobbs 

Professor Susan James 

Dr. Anneli Jefferson 

Joanna Kavenna 

Paul Keyte  

Professor Simon Kirchin  

Dr. Jason Konek 

Dr. Mary Leng 

Professor Hallvard Lillehammer 

Grace Lockrobin 

Professor Beth Lord 

Dr. Federico Luzzi 

Dr. Claire Mac Cumhaill 

Professor John Marenbon 

Professor Matt Matravers 

Peter Momtchiloff 

Professor Véronique Muñoz-Dardé 

Professor Alex Neill 

Dr. Christina Nick 

Dr. Fay Niker 

Professor Lucy O’Brien 

Professor Martin O'Neill 

Dr. Sarah Patterson 

Professor Pauline Phemister 

Dr. Robyn Repko Waller  

Dr. Tina Röck 

Minna Salami 

Dr. Léa Salje 

Professor Constantine Sandis 

Professor Sarah Sawyer 

Professor Genia Schönbaumsfeld 

Dr. Tasia Scrutton 

Dr. Shyane Siriwardena 

Dr. Glenn Skellhorn 

Dr. Edward Skidelsky 

Professor Ray Tallis 

Professor John Tasioiulas 

Professor James Wilson 

Ed Winters 

Dr. Rachael Wiseman 

Professor Lea Ypi 

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.

Policies and governance

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