The New Enlightenment Lecture with Helen Beebee


The EWPG New Enlightenment Lecture took place on the 5th of Decmber 2017. Helen Beebee  discussed the  commonly asked question, “What’s the Point of Philosophy?” Bebee discussed how it might not be be knowledge at all. In line with David Lewis, she proposed that the point of philosophy might be coherent, stable, comprehensive bodies of philosophical opinion. The talk was attended by a number of philosophy faculty members and postgraduate students of the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences of the University of Edinburgh.

Before the talk, some memebers of the philosophy faculty and many PPLS postgraduates gathered at a round table  with Helen Beebee to dsicuss participation of women in philosophy and the possible ways to improve the status quo.

Later, PPLS postgraduates and faculty members joined Helen Beebee for dinner, and carried on with their discussion on minorities in philosophy and the purpose of philosophy.




Diversity Reading List

A big thank to Simon Folk  and various section editors for putting together this great Diversity Reading List!

In the Diversity Reading List website, you can find a collection of high quality texts in philosophy written from
under-represented groups.

But there’s more! For each entry you can find a brief summary of the text, specifying its difficulty as well as its possible use, e.g., whether you could use it as introductory reading, or as a specialised reading.

So, next time you are working on a syllabus, you should check this out!

2016 Spring Workshop on The Objectification of Women – Announcement & Call for Respondents

The Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group is proud to announce its 6th Spring Workshop on The Objectification of Women on Friday 22nd April 2016 at University of Edinburgh.

This year we will be focusing on the general theme of objectification of the women, and how it relates to, for instance, pornography and motherhood. Each talk will be followed by a response from a postgraduate student.

Confirmed speakers are:
Katharine Jenkins (Sheffield, Cambridge, Nottingham)
Kathleen Stock (Sussex)
Fiona Woollard (Southampton)
Aidan McGlynn (Edinburgh)

We invite postgraduate students to submit expressions of interest to respond to the speakers’ talks. To express your interest, simply submit a short statement (max. 300 words) detailing your motivation to do so to the following address:

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The deadline for submission is: 1st April 2016

Access Information:
The event will take place in the Appleton Tower, room LT3. This room is fully weelchair accessible. For further information on the venue you can see:
If you have any specific requirements, please email and we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs.

Details will be online soon!

2015 New Enlightenment Lecture

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The 2015 New Enlightenment Lecture will be delivered by Professor Alison Wylie (University of Washington/Durham University) on 14th December 2015.

After a roundtable discussion on issues surrounding underrepresentation in philosophy, Professor Alison Wylie will give a lecture on “What Knowers Know Well: Why feminism matters, for archeology for example”.

*Everyone* is welcome (and encouraged) to attend!!


15:00 – 15:50 Roundtable Discussion
Panel: Prof. Alison Wylie, Prof. Emily Brady, Prof. Susan Brison, Dr. Aidan McGlynn, Dr Suilin Lavelle.
16:00 – 17:30 New Enlightenment Lecture given by Professor Alison Wylie
18:00 Dinner at Hotel Du Vin (for those who have registered online)

Organisers: Anna Ortin Nadal, Giada Fratantonio, Prof. Michela Massimi

The 2015 New Enlightenment Lecture is made possible by the generous financial support of the Scots Philosophical Association, and the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences and the Department of Philosophy.

We need to talk about race. (And sex, and ability, and class and gender, and …)

This post has been corrected. It initially (and mistakenly) stated that there are only 2 (racialised-as-) black philosophers employed in philosophy departments in the UK. It turns out that there are at least 4 who are employed as lecturers or research associates (Dr Mahlet Zimeta, Dr Patrice HaynesDr James Wilson, and Dr Nathaniel Coleman). Of course this doesn’t undermine the point that philosophy has far to go before it can really be considered an inclusive discipline – more stats to support this point here. Thanks to Jules Holroyd for pointing out this mistake, and my apologies to anyone who I inadvertently overlooked.

How many black philosophers were you taught by? How many have you read? Chances are, the answer to both of these questions is ‘none’. Clearly our profession has problems with the underrepresentation of groups other than women. The good news is that the issue of underrepresentation of all minorities – both in philosophy, and in academia more widely – is starting to gain traction in the UK.

Complete equality in philosophy won’t happen overnight, but the efforts of groups like SWIP UK and Feminist Philosophers have shown that a large impact can be made in just a few years. (Take the Gendered Conference Campaign, which has pushed the issue of gender representation to the top of the list of priorities of most conference organisers). Now is the time for all of us to to think about all minorities in philosophy. Think of any undergraduates you know who aren’t white, male, able-bodied, middle-class native speakers… If we start to make changes to redress the balance in our profession now, then by the time they are ready to go on the job market they could be assessed completely fairly, on the basis of their philosophical ability, rather than partially (and implicity, but unfairly) on whether they fit an outdated stereotype of what a philosopher looks like. That would make philosophy better for everyone.

With this in mind, we have two exciting pieces of news for you – one is about the EWPG, and one is about PPLS and the University more widely.

First up, we are very pleased to announce that the EWPG has had our application to become a MAP Chapter accepted. If you haven’t heard of MAP then check out – in short, they (we?!) are a group of students who aim to “examine and address issues of minority participation in academic philosophy”. The EWPG are now one of the very first MAP chapters in the UK (scroll down to the bottom of this page to see us alongside Glasgow and KCL). I have no doubt that there will be plenty more joining us, and the dozens of US Chapters, soon.

Historically (and for good reasons) the EWPG has focused mainly on women in philosophy, but as we’ve recently been making an effort to expand our focus to include all underrepresented groups, this partnership with MAP is a great thing.

The second piece of news is that the University of Edinburgh is one of the first universities to apply for the Equality Challenge Unit’s new Race Equality Charter Mark. To earn this award the University will need to identify the barriers to equality that it contains, and to create an action plan to address them. If, or when, an award is made, the University will be required to regularly review and update this action plan. This, too, is a great thing, and should eventually mean greater inclusivity and diversity throughout the University. But it can only make a difference if the University is properly informed about what barriers to equality exist. In order to understand this they need your help, so please do the following three things:

  • Fill out the Race Equality Survey. There are only a few days left to do this, and it just takes ten minutes. Do it now!
  • Keep an eye out for emails inviting you to the PPLS lunchtime workshops on Equality and Diversity. This series is open to all staff and students in PPLS (including faculty, support staff, UGs and PGs), and will address each of the nine Protected Characteristics identified by the Equality Act 2010. The first workshop addressed the characteristic Race, and participants had the opportunity to discuss different “Race Labels”. You can contact Billy Lee for further information.
  • Share this post with your colleagues and (fellow) students, and encourage as many people as possible to fill out the survey and attend the lunchtime workshops.

The EWPG still has a lot to learn, and we hope that by being involved with MAP, and with initiatives that the University run for the Race Equality Charter Mark, we can get better at representing all different groups within philosophy. We need your help to do this as well though. Please talk about what we’re doing with other students and staff, and, as always, if you would like to get involved with the EWPG or the blog in any way, or if you have any suggestions for us, then please feel free to get in touch. We would love to hear from you.