There are THREE elected posts that are vacant on the Executive Committee of the British Philosophical Association at the end of academic year 2021-22. We have TEN people who have come forward for consideration. Elected candidates will start their term of office in September 2022 and will be in post for a three year term of office, with the possibility of renewal for a further three year term. The election will run through August 2022. BPA members should receive an email from Choice Voting in order to cast their vote. In the event of any problems, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Candidates (alphabetical order)
Jennifer Corns (Glasgow)
I am seeking to serve as an executive member of the BPA because I am passionate about teaching, research, and public engagement in philosophy and recognise all three of these central activities as worthy of support and promotion. When philosophers or their departments are vulnerable, e.g. through lack of resources or political agendas, they must be protected. I firmly believe that the practice of philosophy develops our capacities to reason and act accordingly in ways beneficial to individuals and society more broadly. As a female philosopher from a working-class background, I am dedicated to widening participation across perceived boundaries of gender and class. It would be a privilege to join others in working hard to support philosophers and represent their interests within and beyond the academy.
Paul Giladi (Manchester Metropolitan)
I wish to be on the BPA’s Executive Committee, as having the opportunity to help play a central role in collaboratively shaping the present and future work of the BPA, an important cultural institution in the UK, is something that greatly motivates me. Helping protect Philosophy in the UK, and, crucially, helping advance and promote Philosophy research and Philosophy education (at all levels) in the UK deeply resonates with me and is central to my self-reflection on my academic citizenship. Though I am still relatively ‘green’ in my academic career to date, I have already established an excellent professional standing in the international academic philosophy community across a range of philosophical disciplines – from analytic post-Kantian scholarship and discourses about naturalism to matters concerning epistemic injustice and contemporary recognition theory. I wish to now build on this solid platform, push myself further, and produce positively impactful work with colleagues on the BPA Executive Committee.
Tom Grimwood (Cumbria)
As a professional philosopher for the past 15 years I have worked to promote the discipline not just within traditional philosophy departments, but across a range of applied subjects such as social work, nursing and fine art. As well as publishing extensively on philosophical problems around interpretation and meaning, particularly in relation to the care professions, I also currently lead of a commissioned research and knowledge exchange centre (HASKE), and as the current Head of Graduate School at my institution I engage first-hand with the task of raising philosophical awareness in students. As such, at a time when the discipline continues to be under threat (particularly amongst post-92 Universities) I have a strong sense of the tangible benefits that philosophy brings to both broader academic provisions, to applied professions, and to social and cultural impact. I have been an advocate for the discipline, and my career path has made me highly aware of both the challenges and the opportunities philosophers face in today’s Higher Education landscape.
Michael Hauskeller (Liverpool)
I am concerned about the growing pressure on Departments and individual researchers to demonstrate the relevance of Philosophy as a discipline by focusing on “useful” research, which does not only mean Philosophy that has some relevance to our lives and the world we live in – which it should – but research that serves, or can be made to serve, partisan political, ideological, or economic interests. I’m also concerned about complementary pressures to not discuss certain topics and questions. This is not about free speech, but about our ability to do the intellectual work that is needed to make sure that we know what we are doing and why we are doing it. I am hoping that as a member of the BPA’s Executive Committee I will be able to help shield our discipline from those pressures and maintain and develop a philosophical culture that is worth having.
As a member of the BPA, I should like to be considered for election to the BPA Committee. This is primarily because of my interest and experience in philosophy in conjunction with my experience in education and commerce. The former began with a London Masters in the Philosophy of Education and a London Doctorate in the Philosophy of Religion. This led to the publication of two books and a peer-reviewed paper in the philosophy of religion – I am also a member of the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion. The latter involved school teaching in my early career followed by the appointment as Principal of a London business school where I gained considerable internal committee experience. My commercial interest is as Chair of the Board of Directors of a development company – Fernfield Homes Ltd. Not being a ‘professional philosopher’ could be an advantage for an association that aspires to promote philosophy as intrinsically worthwhile. I would suggest that this, together with my commercial experience, would bring an advantageous perspective to the Committee should I be elected.
Martin O’Neill (York)
I am a professor of political philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at the University of York, where I previously worked in the Department of Politics for a number of years. I therefore have long experience of being a philosopher outside of a Philosophy department, and am especially interested in the interests of philosophers who may work in departments of Politics, Education, Law, History, or other disciplines. Other interests include the role of Philosophy in contributing to public debate and discussion (including but not limited to the broader ‘impact’ of Philosophy in the REF sense), together with the question of what we can do as a discipline to get a wider audience for philosophical ideas, and the place of philosophy in the education system outside our universities. If appointed to the BPA Executive Committee, I would look forward to working with colleagues to advance the collective interest of the discipline in these various dimensions.
Jon Pike (Open)
I’m a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University
I would like to stand for the BPA committee to ensure that it does its job. The BPA is supposed to “promote the study of Philosophy within higher and secondary education and in the wider community, and assist professional philosophers in their teaching, scholarship and research.”
But it has not done this: instead it has stood mute whilst a senior and widely respected professor, Kathleen Stock, was bullied and harassed out of her job at Sussex University. Whatever you think of Stock’s views, the moves against her were anti-philosophical, anti-academic and illiberal. It was a vicious campaign against one of our colleagues, yet the BPA was silent and irrelevant.
This must not be repeated, and I seek election to the committee to end this abject stance.
Mark Sinclair (Roehampton)
I am standing as a candidate for membership of the Executive Committee of the British Philosophical Association, as I would like to continue my work in national philosophical societies and to represent philosophy on a national level. The BPA plays a crucial role in defending and advancing philosophy, and I believe I can help it to do so.
I have recently completed ten years (two terms) as a member of the Management Committee of the British Society for the History of Philosophy. My work at the BSHP included the organisation of conferences (I organised the annual BSHP conference at the University of York in 2013), the selection of successful applications for conference and research funding, and, in the last academic year, the organisation of the graduate student essay prize.
I can bring this experience, as well as my experience of leadership of philosophy programmes at the University of Roehampton, to the BPA. I would be committed to contributing to the full range of its activities and to promoting philosophy in the UK at a time when the humanities in general, and philosophy in particular, are facing a variety of pressures.
Edgar Ter Danielyan
For as long as I can remember I had a ‘philosophical’ bent, asking difficult questions and questioning assumptions, but it was in 2011 that I decided to study philosophy formally – I went on to graduate with a first from Heythrop and did a research master’s at Buckingham while raising a family and working full time. Although I have published a couple of small papers and delivered a talk at Oxford that is not why I am putting forward my nomination. It is not an exaggeration to say that philosophy made a huge difference to the way I see the world, and without any doubt I am a richer man for having studied and engaged in philosophy. I disagree with Wittgenstein’s dictum that philosophy leaves everything as it is; it changes those who engage in philosophy, it makes them richer and dare I say changes them for better. My main occupation is and has been in computer science for 25 years, I am a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society and run a small specialist consultancy, but I also tutor A Level Philosophy and hope to pursue a PhD eventually, family and business commitments allowing. In the meantime I’d love to contribute to the task of bringing philosophy into the wider world, from classrooms, to the public square, to the business world. I believe BPA is ideally situated to do that and we should grasp the opportunity.
Heather Widdows (Birmingham; moving to Warwick Autumn 2022)
I would like to be considered for appointment to the BPA executive. I am deeply passionate about the importance of philosophy; as an academic discipline; as a distinctive voice in the most pressing debates of our time; and as a way to change what human beings can think and/or do. To quote Iris Murdoch, “I can only choose within the world I can see” and philosophy shapes the world that we can see. The value of philosophy – for those who study it, and for its wider contribution to politics, society and culture – is not well understood by the public and policy-makers. The BPA has a key role to play to ensure that philosophy flourishes across the UK, and is valued by the academic community and society more broadly. I would like to bring my experience from University leadership, from working with policy makers and funding bodies, and from serving on the Philosophy REF sub-panel in 2014 and 2021 to the BPA executive and to the discipline. Philosophy has been a core discipline for hundreds of years. At this particularly political moment we need to ensure that it will be a core discipline in a 100 years’ time.