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Professorial Fellow: Stephen Priest

Stephen Priest is Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Oxford, and a member of Hughes Hall at the University of Cambridge. He has been a Visiting Professor in universities in France, Germany, Japan, Macedonia, the Netherlands, and the United States.

Stephen is the author of The British Empiricists (Penguin, Routledge), Theories of the Mind (Penguin, Houghton Mifflin), Merleau-Ponty (Routledge), The Subject in Question (Routledge) and editor of Hegel’s Critique of Kant, (Oxford University Press), Jean-Paul Sartre: Basic Writings (Routledge) and A Dictionary of Philosophy (ed. with Antony Flew) (Macmillan).

His work has been translated into Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, Russian and Spanish. His current research interests include the relations between science and spirituality and the existence and nature of consciousness. He lectures in metaphysics, the history of philosophy, and the philosophy of history at the University of Oxford.


Senior Research Fellow: Charles Taylor

Professor Charles Taylor was awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize in 2007 and the Kyoto Prize for Thought and Ethics in 2008. He is Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec. Professor Taylor was for many years a Fellow of All Souls College, University of Oxford where he was Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory from 1976 to 1981. He was also Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at McGill University where he is now Professor Emeritus.

Professor Taylor is a well-known critic of naturalism, which he defines as a family of theories that share the ambition to model the study of man on the natural sciences. This is reflected in his earliest monograph, The Explanation of Behaviour, and has been a central theme throughout his career. Professor Taylor has published numerous highly influential works in political philosophy where he is associated with the communitarian critique of liberalism. These include a number of reflections on the meaning and significance of modernity, such as his widely cited Sources of the Self. In recent years Professor Taylor has written extensively on the philosophy and sociology of religion, including his 2007 book, A Secular Age, described by the renowned sociologist Robert Bellah as ‘one of the most important books to be written in my lifetime.’


Senior Research Fellow: Paul Lodge

Paul Lodge is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford and a Tutorial Fellow in Philosophy at Mansfield College. He has a BA in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Oxford, an MA in Philosophy of Mind from the University of Leeds, and a PhD in Philosophy from Rutgers University. Before returning to Oxford in 2003, he taught for five years at Tulane University in New Orleans. His research has been particularly focused on the philosophy of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. His publications include The Leibniz-De Volder Correspondence — a critical edition and translation from manuscript sources with an extended introduction (Yale, 2013); Locke and Leibniz on Substance ed. (with Tom Stoneham) (Routledge, 2015); Leibniz and His Correspondents ed. (CUP, 2004); and numerous scholarly articles about Leibniz. He is currently working on Leibniz’s philosophical theology and ethics, with a particular focus on the foundational role that religious experience plays in these writings and in Leibniz’s philosophy as a whole.


Research Fellow: Ralph Weir

Ralph Weir is a Visiting Lecturer in philosophy at The University of Buckingham, and lectures in aesthetics at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford. He has also taught  epistemology, ancient philosophy, and ancient Greek language, and has contributed to conferences and workshops in the UK, USA, and Europe. These include plenary talks for the ‘Science and Personal Action’ conference, MIT, 2015, and the First International Philosophical Dialogue,  «EAST-WEST», Skopje, 2015. He holds a BPhil in Philosophy and an MSt in Ancient Philosophy from the University of Oxford and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Reading. His doctoral research at the University of Cambridge concerns the philosophy of mind and is funded by an AHRC scholarship. In addition to his work for the Dalai Lama Centre, he is co-founder of the Humane Philosophy Project, a collaboration between the Universities of Oxford and Warsaw organising high profile conferences, seminars, and accredited philosophy courses.


Research Fellow: Connie Svob

Connie Svob received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Alberta. During the tenure of her graduate studies, she was also a Visiting Student at the University of Oxford. At present, Dr. Svob is a Visiting Researcher at the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame, as well as a postdoctoral researcher in their Department of Psychology. Dr. Svob’s doctoral work focused on the intergenerational transmission of history and social attitudes (i.e., xenophobia) in children whose parent’s lived through war. Her present research examines the ways people remember historical events, life transitions, dreams, and religious experiences, and investigates how such memories relate to the cultivation of empathy. Dr. Svob also holds a diploma in Spiritual Direction through the Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre in Niagara Falls, Canada, and teaches courses at St. Joseph’s College on the psychology of faith.


Research Fellow: Mikołaj Sławkowski-Rode

Mikołaj Sławkowski-Rode is a Junior Research Fellow in philosophy at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, and Assistant Professor at the Department of Philosophy of Culture, Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw. His Ph.D. thesis ‘The Experience of Finitude: Death and Otherness’ received a distinction and was nominated for the Ministerial Prize for the best doctorate in 2016. In 2013 Mikolaj co-founded the Humane Philosophy Project, an international collaboration between the Universities of Oxford and Warsaw. The Project hosts ongoing research seminars at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Warsaw as well as conferences workshops and an annual international summer school. Mikołaj’s research interests include the relation of the individual to her community and the importance of moral emotions for understanding others. He is also interested in theories of the self in their broader cultural context, especially with respect to the importance of emotional integrity.


Research Fellow: Benedikt Paul Göcke

Benedikt Paul Goecke is a Research Fellow at the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion and a Member of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oxford.  He is also a Member of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford.

Goecke is the author of  ‘A Theory of the Absolute’  (Macmillan, 2014),  ‘Alles in Gott?’ (Friedrich Pustet, 2012) and editor of ‘After Physicalism’ (Nore Dame, 2012).


Research Fellow: Samuel Hughes

Samuel Hughes is a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he is pursuing research on ethics and the philosophy of emotion.  From 2013-15 he was a Lord Crewe Scholar at Lincoln College, Oxford.  He holds a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and a B.Phil. in Philosophy from the University of Oxford; his BA thesis on Schiller’s theory of tragedy was awarded the Elizabeth Anscombe Prize for the best philosophy thesis in 2013, and has subsequently been accepted for publication in the British Journal of Aesthetics.     Hughes is a peer reviewer for a number of leading academic journals, including the British Journal of Aesthetics and Mortality, an organizer of the Humane Philosophy Project and the Aesthetics Editor of Politics and Poetics.  In the coming year, he will be teaching at the Universities of Skopje, Warsaw and Buckingham, and working as a visiting researcher at the University of Tokyo.


Research Fellow: Tenzin Dechen Rochard

Tenzin Dechen Rochard has a B.A. (Hons) in Philosophy (University of London) and a Ph.D. in Buddhist philosophy (University of Cambridge). She also completed a traditional 10-year study programme in Buddhist Philosophy at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics (Dharamsala, India). Dechen translated and edited Geshe Sopa Rinpoche’s oral commentary on the Insight section of Tsongkhapa’s Lamrim Chenmo (Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Vol. 5, forthcoming, Wisdom Publications). She has been teaching Buddhism, Philosophy, and meditation in the UK and abroad for several years, and is involved with inter-faith dialogue. She is currently working for The Dalai Lama Trust, translating a recently composed compendium of teachings by ancient Indian Buddhist masters of the Nalanda tradition, historically the source of all Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

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