Our new Academic Director

The Royal Institute of Philosophy is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Edward Harcourt as its new Academic Director.

Our new Academic Director, Professor Edward Harcourt, is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford and has been a Fellow of Keble College since 2005.

He has been a Mind Association Research Fellow and has held various visiting appointments including Visiting Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and Wittgenstein Professor at the University of Innsbruck. From 2018-22 he was Director of Research, Strategy and Innovation at the UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council.

He says:

“I salute my predecessor Julian Baggini for doing so much for public philosophy in the extremely challenging conditions of a global pandemic. As I take over from him, a great many of the most pressing public questions have a philosophical dimension – be it the limits of free speech, how to find a place for social value in public funding decisions, how to relate to the natural world, or what to commemorate and how to commemorate it. So the Royal Institute’s mission, to advance the philosophical education of the public, is thus now more timely than ever.”

Professor Harcourt will join the Royal Institute of Philosophy in October 2022 and will oversee its 2022-3 London Lecture series, this year on the theme Words and Worlds, organised by the outgoing Academic Director Julian Baggini.

Dr Baggini, who has been with the Royal Institute since 2019, says the series will examine new directions in the philosophy of language, with topics including hate speech, prejudicial speech, misunderstanding, responsibility for speech, Chinese philosophy of language, how speech represents, and the nature of narratives. Tickets for the 2022 talks are now available.