Position Papers


The BPA have produced a statement about the role of metrics (citation-counts, journal-rankings etc.) in making judgements about the quality of philosophical work. This was in response to HEFCE’s call for evidence about metrics, as part of their ongoing review. You can read the statement here.

Open Access

The BPA responded to HEFCE’s consultation process and produced its own position paper on the issue. The latter provided information about the Government’s proposals, stated the BPA’s views on and criticisms of various aspects of the policy, and suggested ways in which philosophers might respond so as to protect and promote philosophy publishing.

Women in Philosophy

You can read the 2011 report, ‘Women in Philosophy in the UK’, produced by the Joint BPA/SWIP Committee for Women in Philosophy, here. In 2021 the BPA and SWIP published a new report on the underrepresentation of women in philosophy in the UK is available here. It presents data on and assesses the progress made since we produced our first report in 2011, and provides an overview of the many resources and initiatives that have appeared since the first report. Further resources, including pages related to the new BPA/SWIP Good Practice Guidelines, are available here.

REF Impact

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the latest exercise for assessing research quality in the UK. Information about the REF, including assessment criteria, level definitions, and panel membership lists, can be found here.

There was a discussion of the REF at the BPA Heads of Department meeting in September 2012. Notes from this meeting can be accessed here.

The BPA’s position paper (November 2009) on the assessment of impact in the REF is here. Our July 2010 letter to David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, is here, and his reply is here. We also wrote to the British Academy (June 2010); click here.

Additional resources

  • Results of the HEFCE Impact Pilot Exercise. This website includes feedback from the pilot panels and the institutions taking part, as well as the case studies submitted (the information on English Language and Literature is probably the most relevant to Philosophy).
  • BPA Heads of Department meeting (November 2010): This included a presentation from HEFCE representatives and a discussion. The HEFCE presentation is here, and the notes from the meeting are here (see pp.2-3).

BPA 2014 statement on the future of Philosophy A-level

For a statement from the BPA relating to recent proposed changes to the Philosophy A-level in the UK, please click on the following link: BPA statement.

Professor Gillian Howie

We are very sorry to report the death of Gillian Howie, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Liverpool. Gill died on 26th March 2013 in Woolton, Liverpool, after a long struggle with illness.

Gill published widely, with particular research interests in feminist philosophy, and was co-ordinator of the interdisciplinary ‘New Thinking on Living with Dying Network’ at Liverpool. A recording of her lecture ‘How to Think about Death: Living with Dying’ can be found here.

Gill was a member of the BPA Executive Committee from 2009-2012, and of the BPA Women in Philosophy Committee. Her contributions to both were extremely valuable, and her conscientious work for the BPA much appreciated.

Gill’s funeral is on Wednesday 10th April at 1.30pm, at Springwood Crematorium Allerton, Springwood Ave, Garston, Liverpool L25 7UN.

BPA paper on GTA pay and conditions

A 2013 BPA paper with information and advice on Graduate Teaching Assistant pay and conditions can be found here.

Position Paper on Open Access

The 2013 BPA response to the Government’s proposals for open access publishing can be found here.

Professor David Hamlyn

The BPA is saddened to announce the death of Professor David Hamlyn, who was Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck Colege 1964-1988, and who served on the British Philosophical Association’s predecessor organisation the National Committee for Philosophy from 1986-1993. Professor Hamlyn sadly passed away on Sunday 15th July 2012 after a period of illness. He was aged 87.

Professor Hamlyn’s family are asking for donations in his name to the Mind Association (Registered Charity No. 269707), which supports and promotes research excellence in philosophy. Professor Hamlyn was Editor of the Mind Association’s quarterly journal Mind from 1972-1984.

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