Welcome to the Royal Institute of Philosophy. We are devoted to creating, sharing and enabling philosophical thinking. We empower the curious of every age and background to think more deeply about fundamental questions. We encourage a better understanding of our world and our place in it, for personal good and for the good of the society we live in.
The Royal Institute of Philosophy was established in 1924 to explore “matters which constitute the deepest and most permanent interests of the human spirit”. We continue to do so today.
We imagine a future where everyone is inspired to think critically and fundamentally about life and the world we inhabit. We can’t do this without your support. Discover how you can get involved.
Baroness Onora O’Neill
A crossbench member of the House of Lords, Baroness O’Neill is a former Principal of Newnham College Cambridge, Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, and President of the British Academy.
Professor Lucy O’Brien
Professor O’Brien is Professor of Philosophy at University College London and the co-editor of Mind. She is the author of Self-Knowing Agents and co-editor of Mental Actions.
Professor Sarah Sawyer
Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sussex, Professor Sawyer is author of articles on philosophy of mind, language, metaphysics and epistemology. She is editor of New Waves in Philosophy of Language.
Melanie Nightingale joined The Royal Institute of Philosophy as Managing Director in July 2022, with over 20 years experience at both CEO level and as an organisational consultant.
Professor Edward Harcourt
Professor Harcourt is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Keble College. His research lies in moral psychology, and on the boundaries between ethics and the philosophy of mind. From 2018-22 he was Director of Research, Strategy and Innovation at the UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Tony Philip FCA
A Chartered Accountant with a lengthy career in the commercial oil and charity sector, Tony has served the Royal Institute of Philosophy for 20 years, and volunteers in the charity sector.
Professor Maria Alvarez
Professor Alvarez is Professor of Philosophy at King’s College London and author of Kinds of Reasons; an Essay in the Philosophy of Action. She works mainly on philosophy of action, reasons and normativity.
Professor Bill Brewer
Susan Stebbing Professor of Philosophy at King’s College London, Professor Brewer is author of Perception and Reason and Perception and Its Objects. He works on Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics, and Epistemology and has an abiding interest in the objectivity of perceptual experience.
Members of the Executive Committee
Our Executive Committee members are trustees of the charity and serve on the editorial board of the Institute’s journals, Philosophy and Think.
Professor Arif Ahmed
Professor Maria Rosa Antognazza
Professor Ben Colburn
Professor Fiona Ellis
Professor John Haldane
Professor Beth Lord
Professor Lucy O'Brien
Dr Leah Salje
Professor Constantine Sandis
Professor Sarah Sawyer
Dr Rachael Wiseman
Members of the Council
Our large Council appoints the Executive Committee, and helps to determine the policies that we adopt as an educational charity and as a company limited by guarantee.
Policies and governance
Our charitable purpose is to advance the education of the public in the subject of philosophy. Our main governing document was originally drafted in 1925 when the Institute was founded and revised in 2009.
Information for council
If you’re a member of the Council or Executive Committee, you can keep up to date with the latest discussions and information from our meetings here.