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Dr Simon Kirchin

Reader in Philosophy

Dean of the Faculty of Humanities

Office: Marlowe Building Room 5


Simon Kirchin'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 finishing a project on thick evaluative concepts. An edited collection Thick Concepts came out with OUP in 2013, and he is currently drafting an accompanying monograph. He published a textbook, Metaethics, in 2012 with Palgrave Macmillan. He is currently interested in a number of topics: moral phenomenology and metaethics, reasons and rationality, and the relation between normativity and evaluation. His main focus is a joint project with Steve Pethick in Kent's Law School on the relation between agreement and disagreement, and the concept-conception distinction.

Simon is a founding member of SoNG (the Southern Normativity Group), a member of Kent’s Aesthetics Research Centre, and a current member of the Executive Committee 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. For an interview with Simon on Metaethics, please click here.

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Kirchin, S. (2012). Metaethics. Palgrave Macmillan.
Edited book
Kirchin, S. (2013). Thick Concepts. [Online]. Kirchin, S. T. ed. USA: Oxford University Press. Available at:
Joyce, R. and Kirchin, S.T. eds. (2010). A World without Values: Essays on J. L. Mackie's Moral Error Theory. Dordrecht: Springer.
Kirchin, S.T. and Fisher, A. eds. (2006). Arguing About Metaethics. Oxford: Routledge.
Kirchin, S. (2013). II—Simon Kirchin: Evaluation, Normativity and Grounding. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume [Online] 87:179-198. Available at:
Kirchin, S. (2010). The Shapelessness Hypothesis. Philosophers' Imprint [Online] 10:1-28. Available at:
Kirchin, S. (2007). Particularism and Default Valency. Journal of Moral Philosophy [Online] 4:16-32. Available at:
Kirchin, S. (2007). Moral Particularism: An Introduction. Journal of Moral Philosophy [Online] 4:8-15. Available at:
Kirchin, S. and Joyce, R. (2007). Introduction. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice [Online] 10:421-425. Available at:
Kirchin, S. (2005). What is Intuitionism and Why be an Intuitionist? Social Theory and Practice 31:581-606.
Kirchin, S., Edwards, S. and Huxtable, R. (2004). Research Ethics Committees and Paternalism. Journal of Medical Ethics [Online] 30:88-91. Available at:
Kirchin, S., Edwards, S. and Ashcroft, R. (2004). Research Ethics Committees: Differences and Moral Judgement. Bioethics 18:408-427.
Kirchin, S. (2003). Particularism, Generalism and the Counting Argument. European Journal of Philosophy 11:54-71.
Kirchin, S. (2003). Ethical Phenomenology and Metaethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6:241-264.
Kirchin, S. and Edwards, S. (2002). Rationing, Randomising and Researching in Health Care Ethics. Journal of Medical Ethics 28:20-23.
Book section
Kirchin, S. (2015). Self-evidence, Theory and Anti-theory. in: Chappell, S. -G. ed. Intuition, Theory, and Anti-Theory in Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 167-185.
Kirchin, S. (2013). Introduction: Thick and Thin Concepts. in: Thick Concepts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kirchin, S. (2013). Thick Concepts and Thick Descriptions. in: Thick Concepts. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 60-77.
Kirchin, S. (2010). A Tension in the Moral Error Theory. in: Joyce, R. and Kirchin, S. T. eds. A World without Values: Essays on J L Mackie's Moral Error Theory. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 167-182.
Joyce, R. and Kirchin, S. (2010). Introduction. in: Joyce, R. and Kirchin, S. T. eds. A world without Values: Essays on J. L. Mackie's Moral Error Theory. Dordrecht: Springer, p. ix-xxiv.
Kirchin, S. (2008). Review of 'Beyond Moral Judgment' by Alice Crary. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews [Online]:1-6. Available at:
Total publications in KAR: 21 [See all in KAR]
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Simon Kirchin teaches modules on ethics and metaethics.

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Philosophy, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 827159 or email Philosophy

Last Updated: 19/05/2016