skip to content

Faculty of Philosophy


Freedom and Equality

Clare Chambers
Oxford University Press, 2024

The essays in this collection cover a wide range of issues fundamental to liberalism, to feminism, and to their intersection. They explore the foundational philosophical concepts of choice, equality of opportunity, ideology, and the state, and they engage directly with key political controversies, including women's sport, the state recognition of gender, the regulation of cosmetic and cultural surgeries, and state action to secure equality in the family. More...


William M.R. Simpson
Cambridge University Press, 2023

This book introduces Aristotle's doctrine of hylomorphism, which provides an account of substances in terms of their 'matter' and 'form', adapting and applying it to the interface between physics and biology. It argues that, in order for composite entities to have irreducible causal powers which make a difference to how nature unfolds, they must have substantial forms which transform their matter such that the powers of their physical parts are grounded in the composite entity as a whole. More...

Should You Choose to Live Forever?: A Debate

Stephen Cave and John Martin Fischer
Routledge, 2023

In this book, Stephen Cave and John Martin Fischer debate whether or not we should choose to live forever. This ancient question is as topical as ever: while billions of people believe they will live forever in an otherworldly realm, billions of dollars are currently being poured into anti-ageing research in the hope that we will be able to radically extend our lives on earth. But are we wise to wish for immortality? What would it mean for each of us as individuals, for society, and for the planet? More...

Feminist AI: Critical Perspectives on Algorithms, Data, and Intelligent Machines

Jude Browne, Stephen Cave, Eleanor Drage, and Kerry McInerney (eds)
Oxford University Press, 2023

Recent years have seen both an explosion in AI systems and a corresponding rise in important critical analyses of these technologies. Central to these analyses has been feminist scholarship, which calls upon the AI sector to be accountable for designing and deploying AI in ways that further, rather than undermine, the pursuit of social justice. This book aims to be a touchstone text for AI researchers concerned with the social impact of their systems, as well as theorists, students and educators in the field of gender and technology. More...

Imagining AI: How the World Sees Intelligent Machines

Stephen Cave and Kanta Dihal (eds)
Oxford University Press, 2022

Imagining AI draws attention to the range and variety of visions of a future with intelligent machines and their potential significance for the research, regulation, and implementation of AI. The contributors, leading experts from academia and the arts, explore how the encounters between local narratives, digital technologies, and mainstream Western narratives create new imaginaries and insights in different contexts across the globe. More...

Not Thinking like a Liberal

Raymond Geuss
Harvard University Press, 2022

Liberalism is so amorphous and pervasive that for most people in the West it is background noise, the natural state of affairs. But there are nooks and crannies in every society where the prevailing winds don’t blow. Raymond Geuss grew up some distance from the cultural mainstream and recounts here the unusual perspective he absorbed: one in which liberal capitalism was synonymous with moral emptiness and political complacency. More...

Decision Theory and the Future of AI

Yang Liu, Stephan Hartmann, Huw Price (eds)
Springer, 2022

This book stems from the topical conference series, ‘Decision Theory and the Future of AI’ which began in 2017 as a collaboration between the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) and the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) at Cambridge, and the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP) at LMU Munich. The range of topics, and even more so the range of authors and their home disciplines and affiliations, are a tribute to the richness of the territory, both in intellectual and in community-building terms. More...  

Knowing Science

Alexander Bird
Oxford University Press, 2022

In Knowing Science, Alexander Bird presents an epistemology of science that rejects empiricism and gives a central place to the concept of knowledge. Science aims at knowledge and progresses when it adds to the stock of knowledge. That knowledge is social knowing—it is known by the scientific community as a whole. Evidence is that from which knowledge can be obtained by inference. From this, it follows that evidence is knowledge, and is not limited to perception, nor to observation. More...

Political Philosophy, Here And Now: Essays in Honour of David Miller

Sarah Fine, Daniel Butt, and Zofia Stemplowska (eds.)
Oxford University Press, 2022

Political Philosophy, Here and Now honours David Miller's remarkable contribution to political philosophy. Over the last fifty years, Miller has published an extraordinary range of work that has shaped the discipline in many different areas, including social justice, democracy, citizenship, nationality, global justice, and the history of political thought. More...

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Sex and Sexuality

Clare Chambers, Brian D. Earp, and Lori Watson (eds.)
Routledge, 2022

This Handbook covers the most urgent, controversial, and important topics in the philosophy of sex. It is both philosophically rigorous and yet accessible to specialists and non-specialists, covering ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics, the philosophy of science, and the philosophy of language, and featuring interactions with neighboring disciplines such as psychology, bioethics, sociology, and anthropology. More...

Intact: A Defence of the Unmodified Body

Clare Chambers
Penguin / Allen Lane Books, 2022

In this mind-expanding book, Cambridge philosopher Clare Chambers argues that the unmodified body is a key political principle. While defending our right to change our bodies, she argues that the social pressures to modify undermine equality. More...

Literature and Understanding: The Value of a Close Reading of Literary Texts

Jon Phelan
Routledge, 2022

Literature and Understanding investigates the cognitive gain from literature by focussing on a reader’s close analysis of a literary text. It examines the meaning of ‘literature’, outlines the most prominent positions in the literary cognitivism debate, explores the practice of close reading from a philosophical perspective, provides a fresh account of what we mean by ‘understanding’ and in so doing opens up a new area of research in the philosophy of literature. More...

Structure and Equivalence

Neil Dewar (ed.)
Elements series, Cambridge University Press, 2022

This Element explores what it means for two theories in physics to be equivalent (or inequivalent), and what lessons can be drawn about their structure as a result. More...

One True Logic: A Monist Manifesto

Owen Griffiths and A.C. Paseau
Oxford University Press, 2022

Logical monism is the claim that there is a single correct logic, the 'one true logic' of our title. The view has evident appeal, as it reflects assumptions made in ordinary reasoning as well as in mathematics, the sciences, and the law. In all these spheres, we tend to believe that there are determinate facts about the validity of arguments. More...

What Is Philosophy Of Mind?

Tom McClelland
Wiley, 2021

In this student-friendly guide, McClelland introduces the key ideas in philosophy of mind, showing why they matter and how philosophers have tried to answer them. He covers the major historical moments in philosophy of mind, from Descartes and his troubles with immaterial souls up to today’s ‘consciousness wars’. Additionally, he examines the implications that philosophy of mind has for psychology, artificial intelligence and even particle physics. More...

Evidential Decision Theory

Arif Ahmed
Elements series, Cambridge University Press, 2021

Evidential Decision Theory is a radical theory of rational decision-making. It recommends that instead of thinking about what your decisions *cause*, you should think about what they *reveal*. This Element explains in simple terms why thinking in this way makes a big difference, and argues that doing so makes for *better* decisions. More...

Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics and the Theology of Nature

William M.R. Simpson, Robert C. Koons, James Orr (eds.)
Routledge, 2021

This book explores the relationship between a scientifically updated Aristotelian philosophy of nature and a scientifically engaged theology of nature. It features original contributions by some of the best scholars engaging with Aristotelianism in contemporary metaphysics, philosophy of science, and philosophical theology. More...

AI Narratives: A History of Imaginative Thinking about Intelligent Machines

Stephen Cave, Kanta Dihal, Sarah Dillon (eds.)
Oxford University Press, 2020

This book is the first to examine the history of imaginative thinking about intelligent machines. As real Artificial Intelligence (AI) begins to touch on all aspects of our lives, this long narrative history shapes how the technology is developed, deployed and regulated. It is therefore a crucial social and ethical issue. More...

The Rise of Analytic Philosophy, 1879-1930: From Frege to Ramsey

Michael Potter
Routledge, 2020

In this book Michael Potter offers a fresh and compelling portrait of the birth of modern analytic philosophy, viewed through the lens of a detailed study of the work of the four philosophers who contributed most to shaping it:  Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Frank Ramsey. More...

Newcomb's Problem

Arif Ahmed (ed.)
Cambridge University Press, 2018

Newcomb's problem is a controversial paradox of decision theory. It is easily explained and easily understood, and there is a strong chance that most of us have actually faced it in some form or other. And yet it has proven as thorny and intractable a puzzle as much older and better-known philosophical problems of consciousness, scepticism and fatalism. More...

Philosophy and Model Theory

Tim Button and Sean Walsh
Oxford University Press, 2018

The first aim of this book, then, is to explore the philosophical uses of model theory, focusing on the central topics of reference, realism, and doxology. Its second aim is to address important questions in the philosophy of model theory, such as: sameness of theories and structure, the boundaries of logic, and the classification of mathematical structures. More...

Front cover Chambers Against Marriage

Against Marriage: An Egalitarian Defence of the Marriage-free State

Clare Chambers
Oxford University Press, 2017

Against Marriage is a radical argument for the abolition of state-recognised marriage. Clare Chambers argues that state-recognised marriage violates both equality and liberty, even when expanded to include same-sex couples. Instead Chambers proposes the marriage-free state: an egalitarian state in which religious or secular marriages are permitted but have no legal status. More...

Front cover Breitenbach Kant

Kant and the Laws of Nature

Angela Breitenbach & Michela Massimi (eds.)
Cambridge University Press, 2017

Laws of nature play a central role in Kant's theoretical philosophy and are crucial to understanding his philosophy of science in particular. In this volume of new essays, the first systematic investigation of its kind, a distinguished team of scholars explores Kant's views on the laws of nature in the physical and life sciences. More...

Front cover Calma neoplatonism

Neoplatonism in the Middle Ages

Dragos Calma (ed.)
Brepols, 2016

One of the most important texts in the history of medieval philosophy, the Book of Causes was composed in Baghdad in the 9th century mainly from the Arabic translations of Proclus' Elements of Theology. In the 12th century, it was translated from Arabic into Latin, but its importance in the Latin tradition was not properly studied until now. More...

Front cover Marenbon Pagans and philosophers

Pagans and Philosophers: The Problem of Paganism from Augustine to Leibniz

John Marenbon
Princeton University Press, 2015

Pagans and Philosophers explores how writers—philosophers and theologians, but also poets such as Dante, Chaucer, and Langland, and travelers such as Las Casas and Ricci—tackled the Problem of Paganism. More...

Front cover Ahmed evidence decision and Causality

Evidence, Decision and Causality

Arif Ahmed
Cambridge University Press, 2014

Most philosophers agree that causal knowledge is essential to decision-making: agents should choose from the available options those that probably cause the outcomes that they want. This book argues against this theory and in favour of evidential or Bayesian decision theory, which emphasises the symptomatic value of options over their causal role. More...

Front cover Crane Aspects of Psychologism

Aspects of Psychologism

Tim Crane
Harvard University Press, 2014

Tim Crane takes a penetrating look into fundamental philosophical questions of consciousness, perception, and the experience we have of our mental lives. Psychologism presents the mind as a single subject-matter to be investigated not only empirically and conceptually but also phenomenologically: through the systematic examination of consciousness and thought from the subject’s point of view. More...

Front cover Button Limits of Realism

The Limits of Realism

Tim Button
Oxford University Press, 2013

Tim Button explores the relationship between words and world; between semantics and scepticism.
A certain kind of philosopher—the external realist—worries that appearances might be radically deceptive; we might all, for example, be brains in vats, stimulated by an infernal machine. But anyone who entertains the possibility of radical deception must also entertain a further worry: that all of our thoughts are totally contentless. That worry is just incoherent. More...

Front cover Crane Objects of thought

The Objects of Thought

Tim Crane
Oxford University Press, 2013

Tim Crane addresses the ancient question of how it is possible to think about what does not exist. He  argues that the representation of the non-existent is a pervasive feature of our thought about the world, and that we will not adequately understand thought's representational power ('intentionality') unless we have understood the representation of the non-existent. More...

Front cover Marenbon Abelard in four dimensions

Abelard in Four Dimensions

John Marenbon
University of Notre Dame Press, 2013

For readers new to Abelard, this book provides an introduction to his life and works along with discussion of his central ideas in semantics, ethics, metaphysics, and philosophy of religion. For specialists, the book contains new arguments about the authenticity and chronology of his logical work, fresh evidence about Abelard’s relations with Anselm and Hugh of St. Victor, a new understanding of how he combines the necessity of divine action with human freedom. More...

Front cover Alex Oliver & Timothy Smiley Plural logic

Plural Logic

Alex Oliver & Timothy Smiley
Oxford University Press, 2013; Revised second edition, 2016.

Plural logic deals with plural terms ('Whitehead and Russell', 'Henry VIII's wives', 'the real numbers', 'the square roots of -1', 'they'), plural predicates ('surrounded the fort', 'are prime', 'are consistent', 'imply'), and plural quantification ('some things', 'any things'). Current logic is singularist: its terms stand for at most one thing. By contrast, the foundational thesis of this book is that a particular term may legitimately stand for several things at once; in other words, there is such a thing as genuinely plural denotation. More...

Front cover Potter Wittgenstein's tractatus

Wittgenstein's Tractatus: History and Interpretation

Michael Potter & Peter Sullivan (eds.)
Oxford University Press, 2013

This volume of newly written chapters on the history and interpretation of Wittgenstein's Tractatus represents a significant step beyond the polemical debate between broad interpretive approaches that has recently characterized the field... The volume makes a strong case that close investigation, both biographical and textual, into the composition of the Tractatus, and into the various influences on it, still has much to yield in revealing the complexity and fertility of Wittgenstein's early thought. More...

Front cover Price Expressivism

Expressivism, Pragmatism and Representationalism

Huw Price
Cambridge University Press, 2013

Pragmatists have traditionally been enemies of representationalism but friends of naturalism, when naturalism is understood to pertain to human subjects, in the sense of Hume and Nietzsche. In this volume Huw Price presents his distinctive version of this traditional combination, as delivered in his René Descartes Lectures at Tilburg University in 2008. Price contrasts his view with other contemporary forms of philosophical naturalism... More...