Edinburgh’s Department of Philosophy has a rich history, dating back to the establishment of the University of Edinburgh in 1583. Edinburgh’s philosophical research is these days represented by the Eidyn research centre. Established in 2012, Eidyn is devoted to showcasing the world-class research that Edinburgh hosts in philosophy and cognate fields, and to developing the impact of this research beyond academia. Eidyn hosts a range of projects, most of them funded by external research grants, with a particular focus on large collaborative projects that are both international and interdisciplinary. Unusually, some of these projects are exclusively devoted to developing impact, and nearly of all of Eidyn projects have some impact/outreach dimension.
Eidyn hosts a regular programme of research activities, such as conferences, workshop, colloquia, research seminars, and so on. These activities span all the major areas of philosophy, with a particular focus on those areas where Edinburgh has distinctive research strengths:
- History of Philosophy (especially Ancient and Early Modern)
- Philosophy of Language and Logic
- Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
- Philosophy of Science
Eidyn is also at the forefront of innovations in digital education and online learning, which we take to be central to its outreach/impact mission. It hosts two high-profile MOOCs (= Massive Open Online Courses), with several more in the pipeline, and a highly successful research-led online MSc in ‘Epistemology, Ethics and Mind’, with a further online MSc in ‘Philosophy, Science and Religion’ (co-taught with the School of Divinity) planned for the near future.
Edinburgh has a thriving community of philosophy postgraduate students - one of the largest in the world (which reflects the size of our philosophy faculty, which is also one of the largest in the world) - with graduate students representing all of our key research areas. We have an outstanding PhD placement record, with many of our doctoral students going on to secure prestigious academic positions.
In the most recent UK-wide evaluation of academic research (REF2014), Philosophy at Edinburgh was rated the best philosophy department in Scotland, and the 2nd best in the UK, based on the volume of world-leading and internationally excellent research that we produce. Our research environment was also rated as 100% conducive to producing world-leading or internationally excellent research, with Eidyn identified by the evaluators as key to our success in this regard.
See also the excellent research facilities provided by the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, which hosts Eidyn.