Professor Simon Kirchin

Professor Simon Kirchin


I am the Director of the IDEA Centre at Leeds, which teaches ethics across many subject areas for the university.  Before joining Leeds I spent many years at the University of Kent, almost nine years of which were as Dean / Executive Dean.  I am also the Director of the British Philosophical Association, the main professional body for UK philosophers.  In this role I work extensively with school Exam Boards about philosophy and religious studies education.  I also care about philosophy in the public sphere and host two podcasts – Philosophy Takes on the News and Philosophy Gets Schooled.  

I have extensive experience of supervisiing PhD students and welcome applications.  Recent topics: agreement and disagreement; finance and philosophy of economics; thick concepts; particularism and reasoning; transhumanism and nudge theory; Kant and human rights; role ethics; virtue theory and psychology; praise, blame and ignorance. 


  • Director of IDEA
  • Deputy Head of School

Research interests

I am currently working on a range of projects: normativity; the ethics of imitation; ethical issues involved in comedy performance; leadership within universities; trust and confidence in scientific communities.

I also have interests in researching into and promoting p[hilosophy in schools as well as diversifying our curricula.

  • Applied ethics (many topics, but including):
    • heritage ethics
    • leadership ethics (esp. in higher education)
    • performance and ethics (esp. comedy and drag/imitation)
    • transhumanism
  • Metaethics (all areas)
  • Normative Ethics (esp. recent work on longtermism and altruism; 
  • Aesthetics
  • Epistemology (esp. agreement and disagreement; moral knowledge and testimony)
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

I teach ethics across many subject areas at Leeds. Currently, I am teaching (jnter alia):

  • leadership ethics
  • teamwork and fairness (in many subject areas)
  • AI ethics
  • risk
  • ethics within psychiatry and the ethics of mental health
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>