Current PhD researchers

A list of PhD students currently researching in the Department of Philosophy.

Name Research description
Wassim Abdelmasseh

Wassim is researching the topic of forgiveness and how it relates to retributive justice. 


Pascal Ally

Pascal is interested primarily in metaethics and the related areas of philosophy of action and moral psychology. His doctoral research is about agency and the foundations of normativity. In particular, it investigates the question of whether the norms of morality and their authority arise from the nature of action. Pascal also has a strong interest in the philosophy of literature, especially in such topics as the ethical criticism of literary works and the nature of our emotional engagement with fiction. 


Edward 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.


Giulia Casini

Giulia works in Philosophy of Language and Logic. Her main interests are Conditionals and her project concerns the Possible Worlds' account for Counterfactuals. She is also generally interested in Feminism and Philosophy of Science.


Kayleigh Doherty

Kayleigh’s main research interests are on blame, trust, and epistemic injustice. Her thesis works on how to sustain blaming practices under conditions of social inequality while arguing that trust is basic standpoint that we hold towards others in our communities that aids the practice of blame in being successful. She is also part of a research project with the University of Groningen titled “Towards Professional Epistemic Justice: Medicine/Finance” funded by the Dutch Research Council.


Can Du

Can is interested in philosophy of mind. Her research currently focuses on studying consciousness and physicalism.


James Dustan Contact:
Tom Fawcett

Tom's research interests lie with Nietzsche and the pre-Socratics.


Carlos Felippe

Carlos is interested in Virtue Ethics and Egoism.


Rachael Fielding Contact:
Yuhan Fu

Yuhan is interested in emotion and moral psychology. She is also interested in emotion in cinematic experience.


Richard Hassall

Richard is a former clinical psychologist. He is interested in philosophy of psychiatry, and his research is focussed on the effects of psychiatric diagnoses with little explanatory value on the people who receive them. He argues that such diagnoses can change the recipient’s self-narrative in important ways and may lead to epistemic injustice in some cases.


Jack Herbert

Jack works in the epistemology of testimony. His research focuses on the question of how we discriminate between bits of testimony and what explains the manner in which we do this. He is also interested in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of language.


Roderick Howlett

Roderick's main research interest involves understanding the relationship between the philosophies of Søren Kierkegaard's and Theodor W. Adorno. Beyond this, he is interested in the broad areas of political philosophy, the Frankfurt School (particularly its engagement with theology), and phenomenology.


Ume Hussain Contact:
Tareeq Jollah Contact:
Ben Jenkins Contact:
Brendan Kelters

Brendan works on the ethics of moral change; the rights, wrongs, goods and bads of influencing people’s moral dispositions. By critically integrating material from literatures on the ethics of advertising and moral bioenhancement as well as metaethics, Brendan attempts to articulate and defend a novel and comprehensive framework for evaluating influences on morals. In his thesis Brendan argues that, alongside consequential concerns of various sorts, morals ought to be shaped by perceptual contact with reasons relevant to their content, though this shaping needn’t be effected via changes in beliefs. Along the way Brendan analyses relevant concepts such as ‘brainwashing’ and contextualises his position in relation to traditional conceptions of the value of freedom.


Viktoriia Kononova

Viktoriia has a background in clinical psychology and philosophy. She works mainly work on interoception, or perception of the state of the body. Her thesis focuses on the conditions where interoception is thought to be disrupted (e.g. chronic pain). She aims to clarify the cognitive mechanisms of these (various) disruptions and use them as case studies to construct a philosophical theory of interoception. She also has broad interests in philosophy of psychology and feminism.


Nadia Medhi

Nadia's research attempts to account for the wrongness of cultural appropriation and also extends to the ethics of other instances in which cultural material crosses borders, real or imagined, drawing on postcolonial theory and critical philosophies of race to do so. She also has interests in feminist philosophy and the philosophy of food.


Yifan Mei Contact:
Soohwan Park Contact:

Sebastian Pineda Herrera

Sebastián’s research is on the philosophy of law and ethics, and specifically on the question of what justifies the punishment of wrongdoers. The kind of theory of punishment that he envisions is one that can successfully take into consideration several desirable aims of punishment (such as restoration, rehabilitation or crime reduction) without giving in to the problems that forward-looking justifications of punishment typically have to face, such as justifying the punishment of the innocent. In trying to develop one such theory, he has also started to work on problems related to philosophical methodology, with a particular focus on the philosophical relevance of transcendental arguments in ethics.
Sebastián is also interested in the Classical Natural Law Tradition, and especially in the works of Thomas Aquinas.


Charlie Potter

Charlie's research is on the meaning of life as a possible moral motivation. This touches on many areas but his main areas of interest are the meaning of life, value theory, philosophical methodology, metaethics, practical ethics, rationality and metaphysics. Within practical ethics he is particularly concerned with the global poor, farmed animals and euthanasia.

Charlie completed both Masters and Research Masters at Birkbeck College, where his research ranged from philosophy of language and philosophy of science on my MA, to the philosophy of logic, value theory, metaethics and the meaning of life on my research masters. He also has a background in art, and will still argue about it when he gets the chance.

Thomas Prosser Contact:
Michael Regier

Michael works on Kierkegaard, Ricoeur, and Social Ethics.


Barney Riggs

Barney works on Søren Kierkegaard. He is interested in exploring a political account of the religious author’s writings. Specifically, he is concerned with developing an account of Kierkegaard’s concept of busyness – and the ways in which Kierkegaard’s concept, and critique of busyness might be viewed as a personal, social, political, religious, and economic issue.


Henry Roe 

Henry is interested in why groups of people often do very bad things (which philosophers might call structural injustice or institutional wrongdoing) and how systems of knowledge and/or ignorance support these. His thesis explores how epistemic arrogance is sustained in large social groups like communities, cultures, or societies. More broadly, he is interested in social and political philosophy, social epistemology, and their application in real world contexts. When he isn't doing philosophy, Henry enjoys cooking, cycling, and pottering about on his allotment.


Tahmina Yesmin Shova

Tahmina 's main research interests are on social and political philosophy, and applied philosophy. She is particularly now working on the issues of cultural conflicts among the majority and minority cultural groups and active citizenship idea of liberal democratic countries in Asia.


Carien Smith

Carien works on the epistemology and morality of belief, specifically conspiracy theory beliefs in climate change. Her other research interests include climate change ethics, meaning in life, and the apocalypse. She is also interested in how catastrophe is portrayed in fictional works and what impact this has on our responses to catastrophes we face now, such as climate change. These research questions and topics are very closely related to her own fictional work.


George Surtees Contact:
James Turner

James is currently researching moods in an attempt to provide a representational account for them. More generally, he is interested in the Philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and evolutionary psychology.


Pinelopi Voutsina Contact:
Sabrina 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, analysing psychiatry's place in the social world as an institution, and the contemporary mad movement.  


Leonard Weiss

Leonard Weiss works on German idealism, especially on the ontology of individuals in Hegel and Schelling. While the metaphysical problem of individuality is interesting in itself, it also provides an opportunity for better understanding a long standing objection against Hegel, namely that he overemphasises the universal and fails to give individual existents their proper due. Further to his area of focus, Leonard finds contemporary metaphysics and Aristotle equally helpful for his research. He also thinks that philosophy is not for the few but rather represents a deep felt concern of the many which is why he started the philosophy podcast "The Rabbit Hole of Ideas". 

Contact: and find out more on Leonard's Academia page.

Marlene Wilkinson Contact:

Victor Wolemonwu

Victor's research explores the problem the expoitation in Biomedical research from a Kantian Ethical Model.


Elliott Woodhouse

Elliott works with the Leverhulme Trust Centre for Climate Change Mitigation (LC3M) studying the global justice and environmental ethics of climate geoengineering – in particular Enhanced Weathering. He is particularly interested in the human/nature dichotomy and its influence on the geoengineering discourse. He is also interested in critical animal studies and the philosophy of social ecology.


Peter Worley


Renee (Zhiyi) Ye

Renee is interested in the nature of mind and consciousness, both biological and artificial. Renee has endeavoured to establish an interdisciplinary dimension to her research, her primary research interests are in philosophy of science (especially cognitive science, philosophy of psychology and artificial intelligence) and philosophy of mind. Renee also has research interests in metaphysics, epistemology, and aesthetics in general. She is passionate about interpreting and introducing Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism into the analytic discussion.


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