Kevin Matthew Jones


I am a PhD student based in the Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science, and my research focuses on the human sciences, in particular, psychology and psychiatry. 


  • The Development of Psychiatric Classification 1840 – 1950: The Table of Forms of Insanity of the British Medico-Psychological Association’ at ISHPSSB, Oslo, July 2019

  • 'HPS at the Boundaries: Philosophical Issues within the Practice of Conceptual History in the Human Sciences' at the Seventh International Conference on Integrated History and Philosophy of Science: The Evolution of Knowledge, in Hanover, July 2018.

  • The Language of the Psychiatric Clinic in 1950s Anglophone Cinema' at Madness in Popular Culture, University of Edinburgh, April 2018.

  • ‘Mental Illness on the Home Front: The Role of the Mental Health Emergency Committee and Social Services During World War Two' at the Annual Conference of the British Society for the History of Science (BSHS), the University of York, July 2017

  • (co-organiser) The Past, the Present and the Future of Integrated History and Philosophy of Science, Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds, Jan 2017

  • 'Making Sense of Simulated Illness: Conceptual Change and Malingering'  at History of Science, Technology, & Medicine (HSTM) Network of Ireland, Dublin City University, November 2016

  • 'Conceptual Change in the Human Sciences - the Case of Mental Disorder: 1800 - 1930' at Conceptual Change in History Conference, University of Helsinki, September 2016.


  • (Author) 'The disappearance of "Medical Psychology" and the controversy over the Medical Section of the BPS' in History & Philosophy of Psychology (Section of the British Journal of Psychology) Vol 19, No 1, 2018.

  • (Forthcoming) ‘Mental Illness on the Home Front: The Role of the Mental Health Emergency Committee and Psychiatric Social Services During World War Two’, December 2019.

  • (Review: Forthcoming) Nicole C. Nelson, Model Behaviour: Animal Experiments, Complexity, and the Genetic of Psychiatric Disorders, (Chicago University Press, 2019) for the British Journal for the History of Science.

  • (Co-editor) The Past, The Present, The Future of Integrated History and Philosophy of Science, (Routledge, 2019). (

  • (Non-academic) 'Talking About Noise: the Limits of Language' in Fight your Own War: Power Electronics and Noise Culture, ed. Jennifer Wallis, (Headpress: 2017). 

Public Engagement

  • 'Religion and Science: Society and Culture' at Pint of Science Festival, Leeds, May 2018.  


I have received grants and funding from the following bodies during my research:

  • Centre for History and Philosophy of Science (University of Leeds PhD Studentship)

  • British Society for the History of Science (Conference organisation funding)

  • British Society for the Philosophy of Science (Conference organisation funding)

  • Max Planck Institute (Research presentation funding)

  • ISPSSB (Research presentation funding)


I believe that teaching is a key component of my development as an academic, and as such I have sought to teach on modules that reflect how my research interests lie at the intersection of philosophical inquiry and historical investigation. As such, I have experience of teaching on a range of modules offered by the school. These have included topics in the wider history of science, those from the more narrow history of the mental sciences, and modules in epistemology, metaphysics and the history of ideas.

During my time at Leeds then, I have taught on the following undergraduate modules:

  • Existentialism and Phenomenology (level 3)

  • History of Psychiatry (level 2)

  • Political Philosophy (level 2)

  • Darwin, Germs and the Bomb (level 1)

  • History of Psychology (level 1)

  • Knowledge, Self and Reality (level 1)

  • Magic, Science and Religion (level 1)

  • Great Philosophical Thinkers (level 1)

Research interests

My research looks at attempts to unify the many classifications of mental disorder that were produced by British psychiatrists during the latter half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th. It focuses on various bodies, principally the Medico-Psychological Association, who tried to produce a standardised and authoritative psychiatric nosology that would inform research and treatment across the country. It looks at how standardisation committees drew upon ideas of classification that were popular in the United Kingdom: those that were home-grown, or those that had been developed in France, Germany and the United States. The research seeks to contribute to philosophical debates that currently revolve around the various incarnations of the DSM by providing an integrated historical and philosophical analysis of diagnostic concepts through these attempts at standardisation.  It also seeks to highlight the often overlooked contribution of ideas in British psychiatry to the development of the concepts included in the 1951 'Mental Health Section' of the International Classifications of Diseases, the first global psychiatric nosology.

The research has led me to the archives of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, The British Psychological Society, documents from the Medical Research Council, various asylums across the country, certain charitable bodies in charge of the voluntary treatment of mental disorders, and the Ministries of Health and War that are located in the National Archives.

In addition, I am interested in general issues surrounding the integration of history and philosophy, especially in their application to the history of the mental sciences, methodological and philosophical issues surrounding conceptual histories, and the representation of psychiatric concepts in the media.  


  • MA in European and Analytic Philosophy, Cardiff University
  • BA in Philosophy, Cardiff University
  • BA in English and American Literature, University of Manchester