Professor Simon Kirchin

Professor of Philosophy
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Professor Simon Kirchin


Professor Simon Kirchin is Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, Division of Arts and Humanities. Simon was the Director of the Division of Arts & Humanities until 2021. Prior to that he was Dean of the Faculty of Humanities from July 2013.

Simon hosts two podcast series. Philosophy Gets Schooled is aimed at school students studying Philosophy and covers many topics. Philosophy Takes on the News is a weekly discussion programme discussing the ideas behind the headlines.

Simon is currently working on two topics. He is thinking about norms, reasons and values, and also about comedy and free speech. In the past few years he has completed a project on thick evaluative concepts. Thick Evaluation was published by OUP in 2017 and was the first OUP philosophy monograph to be open access. An edited collection Thick Concepts was released in 2013, also with OUP. He published a textbook, Metaethics, in 2012 with Palgrave Macmillan.

Simon is the current Director of the British Philosophical Association. From 2008 to 2014, he was President of the British Society for Ethical Theory, which is the leading society in the UK for moral philosophy. He co-edits a book series, Bloomsbury Ethics, with Thom Brooks. He also served as Associate Editor of Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 2007-13.

In 2020, Simon was the local co-organiser of the Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and Mind Association conference at Kent, and has organised many conferences and workshops.

You can learn more about Simon's research and projects on his website.

Research interests

Simon's research interests are mainly in metaethics and normative ethics, although he also has longstanding interests in aesthetics, medical ethics, metaphysics, political philosophy, and epistemology. He is currently at the beginning stages of two research projects: one on evaluation and normativity, and one on imitation. He is also interested in topics such as the philosophy of comedy and the nature of finance and money. 

Simon supervises a number of postgraduate students, many of whom have gone on to have successful careers in academia and beyond. Recent and current topics include: 

  • Transhumanism, Boredom and Optimism
  • Agreement and Disagreement
  • Moral Nonnaturalism, Error Theory and Thick Properties
  • Aesthetic Concepts
  • Human Rights and Kantianism
  • Group Agency
  • Thick Concepts and the Law
  • Ignorance, Responsibility and Blame
  • Error Theory, Biology and Care Ethics
  • Virtue Ethics and Character
  • Moral Particularism


Simon teaches across a number of philosophical areas, mainly centred on ethics, metaethics and aesthetics, and some figures in the history of philosophy.

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