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UOA 60 - Philosophy

Manchester Metropolitan University

RA5a: Research environment and esteem


Research in philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University is concentrated in the areas of phenomenology, transcendental philosophy, ethics, and the history of philosophy. In RAE 2001 Philosophy at MMU achieved a grade 3a with an entry of four category A staff. For RAE 2008 the chief aim was to increase the number of active researchers and to support them in producing outputs of international quality. The number of category A staff entered has grown to six in this submission.  Of these, two are early career researchers (Hutchinson, Sinclair) and another (Crome) joined the profession since 2001 and is entered for the first time. In 2001 only research done on the All Saints campus in central Manchester was presented. This submission additionally presents research done on the MMU Cheshire campus in Crewe.


Five of the staff entered in RA2 teach in the Department of Politics and Philosophy at All Saints. They provide, with other colleagues, single and joint honours undergraduate programmes, a taught MA in European Philosophy, and all currently supervise research students. For research purposes they are members of the European Philosophy Group (hereafter EPG), a specialist centre for research in European philosophy established in 2003 and home to the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, founded by Wolfe Mays who was Visiting Professor of Philosophy at MMU from 1997 until his death in 2004. These five staff are:


Gary Banham (Reader in Transcendental Philosophy) has a substantial record of publishing in Kant studies. He is currently editing a volume on early modern philosophy for the Edinburgh University Press history of philosophy and is pursuing research on Kant’s dynamics and on Kantian ethics. He has developed an innovative list for Palgrave Macmillan under the title ‘Renewing Philosophy’.


Martin Bell (Professor of History of Philosophy) is a specialist in Hume studies and also works on the connections between Hume and Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism. He is writing a monograph on ‘Hume, Writing, and Religion’. He is currently Chair of the British Society for History of Philosophy.


Keith Crome (Senior Lecturer in Philosophy) has developed his doctoral work into an account of Lyotard’s response to Greek sophistry. He has jointly edited a collection of Lyotard’s writings for Edinburgh University Press, and is Assistant Editor of the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology.


Joanna Hodge (Professor of Philosophy) has recently completed her study Derrida on Time (Routledge 2007) and is developing a new research programme under the title ‘Transcendental Aesthetics and Phenomenology’. She is a founder member of the Society for European Philosophy and a vice-president of the British Society for Phenomenology.


Mark Sinclair (Research Fellow) is entered as an early career researcher. He has developed his doctoral work on Aristotle and Heidegger to explore linkages between the notions of phenomenology and technology. He is currently working on a translation of Félix Ravaisson. His translation of Jean Beaufret’s conversations with Heidegger was published by Indiana University Press in 2006.


A sixth member of EPG is Ullrich Haase (Senior Lecturer in Philosophy) who has interrupted work on his main project, under the title ‘Nietzsche and Phenomenology’, to complete an introduction to Nietzsche for Continuum. Although not submitted in RA2 he contributes significantly to the research environment and is Editor of the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology.


Two other active researchers in philosophy at MMU teach in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, MMU Cheshire. Given the focus of his research, one of these (Michael Loughlin) is being submitted to UoA 12a.  The other, Phil Hutchinson (Senior Lecturer in Philosophy), is entered in this submission as an early career researcher.  His work in the area of history of philosophy is represented here by publications on Wittgenstein. His other areas of active research are political philosophy, ethics, rhetoric, and the philosophy of the emotions.


Research Environment


Research structure


After RAE 2001 the University reorganised its structure to base research in ten research institutes. All institutes are supported by a team of eleven administrative staff in the University’s Research, Enterprise and Development Office (RED). The RED Director provides strategic management for, and coordination of, all research and enterprise activity in the University.  EPG is one of six centres in the Manchester European Research Institute (hereafter, MERI). MERI is managed under its Director by a Board on which each centre is represented. It also has an Advisory Board which includes among its members Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson (Warwick) and Professor Hans-Helmuth Gander (Freiburg i.B.). Its activity is underpinned by the Faculty and Departments, as well as by RED which has provided between £30k and £70k per annum from which the Research Fellowship (Sinclair) and research studentships in philosophy have been funded.


Research active staff may be either full or associate members of research institutes.  Full members are defined as researchers the quantity and quality of whose outputs already meet at least national standards of excellence. Associate members are research active but whose work is not yet at that level either quantitatively or qualitatively, and who are mentored by more experienced researchers. Crome and Sinclair progressed from associate to full members in mid-2006. Haase is an associate member. Research students are affiliated to the institute of which their supervisors are members. Active researchers who are not members of research institutes may be supported directly by RED, as is the case with Hutchinson.


MERI required and funded an external assessment of EPG’s current and planned research which was done in 2004-5. The resulting report played a significant role in further developing our research capacity.


Research strategy


The strategy for research in philosophy since 2001 has aimed to develop a pool of researchers from which submissions can be drawn for RAE 2008 and to bring in new researchers and outside resources, thereby encouraging a sustainable research effort beyond 2008.  The strategy has the following specific objectives.


O1. To support the research of individual members to produce outputs of international quality.

O2. To give the research of the group coherence and specialist focus on the stated areas of philosophy.

O3.To develop collaboration in research both within and without MMU.

O4.To enhance sustainability by career development of individual researchers and the recruitment, supervision and career development of research students.


Below we present evidence to show that we are achieving these objectives.




O1. Support for individual researchers


Individual research plans are monitored through termly formal meetings, through the University’s scheme for Professional Development and Review, and through informal discussion. We regularly read drafts of each other’s work and provide constructive criticism. Less experienced researchers are mentored by senior members. For example Banham and Hodge have assisted Crome and Sinclair complete and successfully submit their work for publication. Hutchinson has been supported directly by the RED office and was awarded a University Research Award in 2006 and a Promising Research Fellowship in 2007. Both the early career researchers (Sinclair and Hutchinson) have developed from this support.


All members of the EPG have been funded to give conference papers both nationally and internationally. Hodge and Bell were funded for research leave to match AHRC research leave awards gained in 2003-4 and 2004-5 respectively.


O2. Coherence and focus of research


The traditions of European philosophy within which we work have a quite specific focus on the genealogy and history of concepts, and on the contexts of their emergence, development and transformation. We share a concern for the textual and historical transmission of philosophy within the named areas of specialisation: phenomenology, transcendental philosophy, ethics and the history of philosophy.


Banham, a Kant specialist, also writes on Leibniz, Husserl, Derrida, and ethics. His work overlaps with some of that of Hodge who works on Husserl, Heidegger and Derrida and also writes on Benjamin, and on Nancy. Sinclair works on Heidegger and technology. Sinclair and Crome both write on the relation between 20th century European philosophers (Heidegger, Lyotard) and the origins of philosophy in classical Greek thought. Bell, a Hume specialist, shares interests in early modern philosophy with Banham and in Deleuze with the other members of EPG.


O3. Collaborative research activities



For over 25 years we have run the Human Sciences Seminar programme, an annual series of 16 seminars which attracts participants interested in philosophy from other departments and from outside the University. Most papers are given by visiting scholars. In 2007 UK speakers have visited from Sussex, Royal Holloway, Dundee, Middlesex, Lancaster, York, and Leeds, while international speakers have visited from Basel, Northwestern, Sydney, and Warsaw.


Each year we organise Day Schools exploring themes of common interest. The current theme is Rethinking Materiality. In 2006-7 there have been sessions on “Sensation” (speakers from Cambridge, University College Dublin, and MMU gave papers on Hume, Husserl and Deleuze), “New Materialisms” (speakers from Dundee, Goldsmiths College London, and MMU gave papers on Leibniz, Kant and Deleuze), and “French Perspectives” (speakers from the O.U, Staffordshire and MMU gave papers on Bachelard, Foucault, and French Materialism).  These Day Schools are sponsored by the British Society for History of Philosophy and the British Society for Phenomenology.


We regularly give papers at or organise conferences of these Societies and others of which we are active members, such as the UK Kant Society, the British Society for Aesthetics, the Hume Society, the Society for European Philosophy, the Husserl Circle, and the Friedrich Nietzsche Society. In 2002 Banham organised a conference on ‘Cosmopolitics’ at MMU and in 2007 Bell co-organised the annual conference of the British Society for History of Philosophy in Rotterdam on the theme ‘Early Modern Philosophy in Britain and The Netherlands 1500-1800’. Hutchinson is a co-organiser (along with Dave Francis (MMU), Rupert Read (UEA) and Wes Sharrock (Manchester)) of the annual seminar Mind and Society, now in its fifteenth year. Speakers have come from Finland, Boston, Cambridge, Chicago, Copenhagen, Harvard, Oxford, and Sidney, among other places.  For the past six years Mind and Society has won funding from the British Academy, the Mind Association and/or the British Society for the Philosophy of Science.



We welcome visiting research fellows, who are provided with research facilities and take part in the Human Sciences Seminar and Day School programmes.  Visitors have included Dr Agatha Bielik Robson (Polish Academy of Sciences), 2003-06, researching phenomenology and literature; Dr Gabrielle Hiltmann (Zurich), 2004-06, researching the ontology of action; and Dr Linnell Secomb (Sydney), 2006-7, researching philosophy and gender. Our current visiting research fellow is Dr Patrick O’Connor (Galway) researching phenomenology and community. Dr Secomb and Dr O’Connor contributed to a panel on ‘Derrida and Politics’ at the Political Theory Workshop at MMU in 2007. These visitors have all secured research funding to work at MMU from their own institutions and, in the case of Dr O’Connor, from the Royal Irish Academy. (Further details at )


Since 1998 the British Academy and the Polish Academy have funded an exchange programme of symposia between MMU and the Polish Academy of Sciences. This was initiated by Hodge, and is now coordinated by Haase. The title of the current programme is “Phenomenology versus Deconstruction”. In May 2004 a conference on the topic was held at Wroclaw. Banham, Crome and Hodge took part together with one of our doctoral students (Siles-Borras) and two other academics from MMU, and there were five main participants from Poland, together with three from the University of Buffalo, USA. In autumn 2004 Professor Pawel Dybel, a regular visitor since 1998, and Dr Szymon Wrobel (both Warsaw) each spent two weeks in Manchester continuing the collaboration. In May 2005 the next symposium in the series was held over four days in Manchester, and included contributions from academics from Warsaw, Wroclaw, MMU, Edinburgh and Buffalo, and by two others of our doctoral students (Hems and Hunt). The symposium in the series in July 2006 was in Krakow, and was followed by visits from Polish academics to Manchester in December 2006 and early 2007.


In 2005-06 EPG organised a series of seminars, ‘Forum North-west’, with funding from the Forum for European Philosophy in order to extend the activities of the Forum outside London. The speakers were Simon Glendinning (LSE), David Archard (Lancaster), Claire Colebrook (Edinburgh), Catherine Audard (LSE), Michael Dillon (Lancaster) and Stephen Clark (Liverpool).



O4. Sustainability and career development


A consistent and important feature of our strategy has been emphasis on sustainability of research through new appointments and career development. Banham, formerly a research fellow at MMU, was appointed to a permanent full-time post in 2003, and promoted to Reader in 2005. Crome and Sinclair both had university research studentships at MMU. Crome (PhD 2002) then had temporary teaching contracts, during which he was mentored and supported in his research by senior staff. Following the external assessment of our research he was appointed to a full-time permanent post in May 2006. Sinclair (PhD 2004) was enabled via his supervisor’s contacts to do some of his doctoral research at the Sorbonne. Following further support in developing his research profile and on the recommendation of the external assessor, he was appointed to a newly created full-time research fellowship in 2006. Hutchinson was appointed to a lectureship in 2004 and promoted to senior lecturer in 2007. A further example of the achievement of this objective is another doctoral student, Roxana Baiasu (PhD 2004) who was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in 2006.




Research Students


We place a strong emphasis on research training. AHRC recognition for PhD supervision was obtained in 2005. Our taught MA in European Philosophy contains a compulsory research methods module, and we usually recruit some research students from that programme (at present 2 of our 5 Ph D students). Research students are required to attend appropriate elements of the University’s Research Student Development programme, and present their research at postgraduate seminars.


We accept research student applications only in areas tightly connected to the research expertise of academic staff. Current PhD students are working with Hodge and Banham on Husserl; with Banham and Hodge on Kant; with Haase, Crome and Sinclair on Heidegger and Hölderlin; and with Bell and Crome on Deleuze. A further PhD student is working on Derrida jointly with Hodge and a member of the English Department.


Funds are provided by the University to support research students with awards equivalent to AHRC studentships. These are allocated by a competitive annual bidding process to which supervisory panels and the students jointly apply. We have been successful in the competition for all our current PhD students.


Research students are expected to take part in the Human Sciences seminar and in Day Schools and are encouraged to take part in all the activities of EPG. Funds are available from MERI to enable research students to attend or give papers at research conferences.


Future Plans


Gary Banham will continue research on the nature of transcendental philosophy, assessing its sources, prospects and limits. This will include inquiries into the structure of Kant’s transcendental dialectic, the nature of Husserl’s transcendental logic and the relationship of both to the Leibnizian view of logic. He will be editing a volume on early modern philosophy and the enlightenment for Edinburgh University Press’s history of philosophy.


Martin Bell will continue his research on Hume’s styles of writing philosophy, on his critical account of religion, and on the relations between these two themes. Bell will retire in the spring of 2009, but will continue research and publication and will co-organise the 2011 Hume Society conference in Edinburgh celebrating the tercentenary of Hume’s birth.


Keith Crome is currently preparing a second book on Lyotard and Greek thought, examining Lyotard’s treatment of Aristotle. In addition, he is researching a study of Michel Foucault’s development of an account of technologies of the self, and will include an analysis of Foucault’s concern with life and death. He is giving a paper on the latter at the University of Dundee in February 2008, and he has been invited to submit an article on Foucault’s notion of bio-politics to the journal Parrhesia for publication in 2008.


Ullrich Haase is in the process of finishing an introduction on Nietzsche for Continuum Press. Following that he will develop his research into Nietzsche’s thought in relation to phenomenology and is planning another work on Heidegger and the question of technology. He will continue as Editor of the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology until 2011 and co-edit a collection of papers from the Polish exchange programme.


Joanna Hodge has a major and a minor research proposal in for national funding competitions: Phenomenology and Transcendental Aesthetics for the Leverhulme Major Awards and The French Reception of Husserl’s Phenomenology for the British Academy Research Development Awards. Her first priority is a contribution to the forthcoming Blackwell Companion to reading Heidegger’s Being and Time. She is developing research links with the visiting fellows Drs. Secomb and O’Connor, and will be on a research visit to SE Australia in July 2008.


Phil Hutchinson’s monograph Shame and Philosophy will appear in 2008 (with Palgrave) as will a paper in an edited collection on the philosophy of emotions, and a book co-authored with Wes Sharrock and Rupert Read on Peter Winch and the Philosophy of Social Science. He and Rupert Read plan to bring together their writings on Wittgenstein and philosophical method in a collection A Radically Therapeutic Vision of Philosophy. He will continue as co-organiser of the Annual Mind and Society series of seminars.


Mark Sinclair is developing his work on the history of metaphysics by studying 19th century French philosophy, specifically how the 19th century French ‘spiritualism’ advanced in the work of Félix Ravaisson, a philosopher neglected in the Anglophone world, is important for the development of ontology and phenomenology in the 20th century. A critical edition of Ravaisson’s De l’habitude (1838) published by Continuum is the first published element of this research. Sinclair is also working on the philosophy of technology, evaluating the forms in which technology becomes a philosophical question within 20th century European thought.



Esteem Indicators


Editorships and editorial board memberships

Banham: Editor, Palgrave Macmillan series Renewing Philosophy from 1999. Editor of special editions of Angelaki: Journal for theoretical humanities on aesthetics and the ends of art (2002), and Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology on Derrida’s interpretation of Husserl (2005).

Bell: Editorial board of Hume Studies from 2005. Editorial board of Clinamen Press, Manchester.

Crome: Assistant Editor of the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, and editor of a special edition on Nietzsche and phenomenology (2007).

Hodge: Editorial boards of Angelaki: Journal for theoretical humanities: Journal for theoretical humanities and Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology. Editorial boards of New French Philosophy series for Palgrave Macmillan, and of Clinamen Press, Manchester.

Hutchinson: Editorial board of International Journal of Green Economics



Papers given by Invitation to Conferences and Symposia


Banham: Oxford (2002), American University of Paris (2003), Goldsmiths College (2004), University of Patras (2004), European University Institute, Florence (2004), Goldsmiths College, Dundee (2006).

Bell: Cambridge (2003), Oxford (2004), Edinburgh (2006).

Crome: Leeds (2003), Wroclaw (2004), Glasgow (2005).

Hodge: University of New South Wales (2001), Warwick, Wroclaw, Poland, and Sussex (2003), Jyvaskyla, Finland, Montreal, Canada, Royal Holloway & Bedford, and Sussex (2004), Ghent, and  Warwick (2005), Edinburgh, Basel, Krakow, Portsmouth, and  Leuven (2006), Greenwich (2007).

Hutchinson: Reading (2005) Abo, Finland (2005 and 2006), Stockholm, Lampeter, Lancaster, Uppsala (2006).

Sinclair: Warwick (2001), Nice (2002), Krakow (2006), Galway (2007).


International Conferences Refereed Papers


Banham: Society for European Philosophy Cork, International Association of Philosophy and Literature Rotterdam (2002), Husserl Circle, Washington DC (2004), Society for European Philosophy Dundee (2007)

Bell: Hume Society conferences at Helsinki (2002), Toronto (2005), Boston MA (2007).

Crome: Society for European Philosophy Cork (2002), International Association of Philosophy and Literature Freiburg iB (2006).

Hodge: Society for European Philosophy Cork,  International Association of Philosophy and Literature paper and Panel Rotterdam (2002), Society for European Philosophy paper and Panel Essex (2003), Husserl Circle, Washington DC (2004), Husserl Circle, Boston MA (2006), Society for European Philosophy/Forum for European Philosophy paper and Panel Sussex (2007).

Hutchinson: International Wittgenstein Symposium, Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria (2001), Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference on Philosophy and Emotions, Manchester (2001), British Society for the Philosophy of Science, Glasgow (2002), Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference on Narrative and Understanding, University of Hertfordshire (2005).


Learned Societies Committee Membership


Banham: Executive Committee of the UK Kant Society; member of the Advisory Board of the UK Modern Fiction Network.

Bell: Executive Committee of the Aristotelian Society 2000-2003; Executive Committee of the British Society for History of Philosophy since 2000, and Chair of the Society 2004-2008.

Crome: Executive Committee of British Society for Phenomenology.

Hodge: Chair of Society for European Philosophy 1998-2002; Executive Committee of British Society for Phenomenology.


Research Proposal Refereeing


Bell: AHRC, British Academy, Netherlands Research Council

Hodge: Canada Research Council


Journal and Book Refereeing


Collectively since 2001we have refereed submissions for:

Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, Hume Studies, Journal of the History of Philosophy, European Journal of Political Theory, International Journal of Green Economics, British Journal for History of Philosophy, The Philosophical Quarterly, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Political Review, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Kantian Review, The Journal of Nietzsche Studies, Angelaki: Journal for theoretical humanities;  for Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Edinburgh University Press, Taylor & Francis, Palgrave Macmillan, Manchester University Press, Polity Press.


Invited Contributions to Edited Volumes


R. Lane, Beckett and Philosophy (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002); P. Goodchild, Rethinking Philosophy of Religion: Approaches From Continental Philosophy (Fordham: Fordham University Press, 2002); P. Rothfield, Kant after Derrida (Manchester: Clinamen Press, 2003); J.J. Joughin & S. Malpas, The New Aestheticism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003); A. Benjamin: Walter Benjamin and Romanticism (London: Continuum, 2005); G. Banham, Husserl and the Logic of Experience (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005);  J. Protevi, The Edinburgh Dictionary of Continental Philosophy (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005); K.Crome & J.Williams, The Lyotard Reader and Guide (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006); E. Ronchetti & E. Mazza, New Essays on David Hume (Milano: Franco Angeli, 2007); S.M. Wortham & A. Weiner, Encountering Derrida: Legacies and Futures of Deconstruction (London: Continuum, 2007); I.Macdonald & K.Ziarek, Questions for Adorno and Heidegger (Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 2007); M.McQuillan, The Politics of Deconstruction (London: Pluto Press, 2007); K.Goudeli, P.Kontos & I.Patellis (eds.) Kant: Making Reason Intuitive (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); D.Morgan & G.Banham (eds.) Cosmopolitics and the Emergence of A Future (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007);  E. Radcliffe, The Blackwell Companion to Hume (Oxford: Blackwell  2008); P. Hogan, The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the Language Sciences (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008); D. Whiting, Wittgenstein on Meaning (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); K.D.Jolley, Wittgenstein: Key Concepts (Stocksfield: Acumen, 2008); C. Kronkvist, Y. Gustafsson & M. MacEachrane, Wittgenstein and Contemporary Philosophy of the Emotions (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).