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Department of Philosophy


The Aesthetics research cluster meets regularly to discuss the work of its staff and current PhD students. The latter especially is an excellent opportunity for students to receive feedback on their research and keep up to date with each others' work. 

The research cluster is also a focal point for the development of conferences and research projects. Most recently, Elisabeth Schellekens has been awarded an AHRC Research Network grant for a project centred on "The Aesthetics and Ethics of Archaeology" (2013-14). Other recent activities include the conference organized by Andy Hamilton (with Nick Zangwill) on Roger Scruton's philosophical aesthetics, which will result in a collection of essays to be published shortly with (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Also, Andy Hamilton and Elisabeth Schellekens were awarded a Beacon Fellowship in 2009-10 called "Art Matters" which examined the reception of contemporary arts in the general public. Elisabeth Schellekens is the Editor (with John Hyman, Oxford) of the British Journal of Aesthetics

The fact that there are three memebrs of staff with Aesthetics as one of their primary areas of research shows the strength and depth of the Department's expertise in this area and ability to supervise graduate students working across as broad as possible a spectrum in this field. We welcome new PhD students in any area of Aesthetics and the Philosophy of art.


picture of stairwell in philosophy dept.

Stairwell in the Philosophy Dept.

Members of the Aesthetics Group:


Dr. Andy Hamilton - Adorno, autonomy of art, Wittgenstein's aesthetics, Modernism, aesthetics of improvisation, jazz.

Dr Clare Mac Cumhaill - Aesthetics and perception, especially the nature of visual representation, aesthetic emotion and metacognitive feeling.

Dr. Elisabeth Schellekens (co-ordinator) - Kantian and Humean aesthetics, art and the emotions, art and morality, conceptual art, aesthetics and cognition.


Emeritus Professor

Prof. David Cooper - Existentialism, Heidegger, aesthetics


PhD Students

Mr. Alan Bowden - Aesthetic experience of art and the everyday, Kant.

Mr. Jack Carter - Environmental aesthetics, definitions of art, conceptual art, comics and video art.

Ms. Laura Dearlove - Aesthetics; the consequences of contemporary technology on popular art.

Mr. James Woodward - Post-Kantian Idealism, Schelling, Goethe, Romanticism.