The Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford was founded in 2001. It is part of Oxford's Humanities Division.[1] The faculty is located next to Somerville College on Woodstock Road. As of 2020, it is ranked 1st in the UK and 2nd in the English-speaking world by the Philosophical Gourmet Report, as well as 2nd in the world by the QS World University Rankings.[2][3] It is additionally ranked first in the UK by the Complete University Guide, the Guardian, the Times, and the Independent.[4][5][6][7]

History of the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford

John Locke

The present-day Faculty was formerly a sub-faculty of the Faculty of Literae Humaniores (founded in 1913), though the teaching of philosophy at Oxford dates back to medieval times. The Faculty boasts over 50 full-time philosophers in permanent posts, with at least another 50 fixed-term, emeritus and associate members.[8] Today, it is housed within Oxford's Humanities Division.[citation needed]

Some of the world's greatest philosophers have studied (and taught) at Oxford, including Duns Scotus, Thomas Bradwardine, William of Ockham, John Wycliffe, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, John Norris, Jeremy Bentham, Henry Longueville Mansel, Thomas Hill Green, F. H. Bradley, Edward Caird and in more recent times Peter Strawson, A.J. Ayer, Mary Midgley, Iris Murdoch, Thomas Nagel, Gilbert Ryle, Genevieve Lloyd, Isaiah Berlin, J. L. Austin, Celia Green, Bernard Williams, Philippa Foot, Michael A. Smith, Onora O'Neill, Michael Dummett, Derek Parfit, and Elizabeth Anscombe.

A number of eminent philosophers have also taught at Oxford, including Robert Grosseteste, Amartya Sen, and still others, including Noam Chomsky, Saul Kripke and Hilary Putnam have come to Oxford to deliver the John Locke Lectures,[9] the Gareth Evans Memorial Lectures and other established lectures and lecture series.

The Faculty has the following statutory professorships in philosophy:

Henry Wilde Prize

The Henry Wilde Prize in Philosophy is awarded annually annually for an outstanding performance in Philosophy.[11]

Research centres

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2021)

Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics

The Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics was founded in 2003 by Eiji Uehiro, with the intention to "encourage and support debate and deeper rational reflection" on practical ethics. Annually, it hosts the Uehiro Lectures in Practical Ethics, a series of three lectures.[12] The centre works to raise public awareness and engagement with ethical issues, through public lecturing and engagement, commenting and consulting in the media, in the United Kingdom and internationally.[13] It is affiliated with the charities 80,000 Hours and Giving What We Can.[14] The director of the centre is Julian Savulescu.[15]

Future of Humanity Institute

Main article: Future of Humanity Institute

The Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) was founded in 2005 to "assess how dangerous AI and other potential threats might be to the human species".[16]

Global Priorities Institute

The Global Priorities Institute was founded in 2018, to investigate the question of "how to do the most good".[17]

Notable current members

A. C. Grayling
Janet Radcliffe Richards

Notable past members

Isaiah Berlin
Ronald Dworkin


  1. ^ "Faculties and units".
  2. ^ "The Philosophical Gourmet Report 2006 - 2008: Overall Rankings". 15 November 2006. Archived from the original on 15 November 2006.
  3. ^ "Philosophy". Top Universities. 25 February 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Top UK University League Tables and Rankings 2018". Complete University Guide. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  5. ^ "University guide 2011: Philosophy | Education". 8 June 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  6. ^ "The Times & The Sunday Times". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  7. ^ "UK and Worldwide News". The Independent. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  8. ^ "History of Philosophy at Oxford - Faculty of Philosophy". Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  9. ^ "Past Lectures - Faculty of Philosophy". Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  10. ^ The History of the University Of Oxford, Volume IV : The Seventeenth Century, ed. N.Tyacke,Oxford, 1997, p.10)
  11. ^ "The Henry Wilde Prize in Philosophy".
  12. ^ "Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics". War and Peace at Oxford. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics". Aeon. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  14. ^ "About Us". Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Julian Savulescu". Infected Blood Inquiry. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  16. ^ Shead, Sam (25 May 2020). "How Britain's oldest universities are trying to protect humanity from risky A.I." CNBC. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  17. ^ "New Global Priorities Institute opens". Development Office. 5 April 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2021.