Students Staff

Classical German philosophy

AHRC funding

PhD student in library

Apply for a PhD studentship for your doctoral study funded by the Consortium for Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Classical German philosophy is a major area of research and teaching at Essex. Many of our academic staff are experts on Kant and the post-Kantian tradition including Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, as well as later nineteenth-century philosophers, such as Kierkegaard, Marx and Nietzsche.

  • Professor Peter Dews is an expert on Kant and post-Kantian German idealism. He has also published on Fichte, Hegel, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.
  • Professor Béatrice Han-Pile has written extensively on Nietzsche.
  • Dr Fiona Hughes is the author of Kant’s Aesthetic Epistemology (Edinburgh University Press, 2007) and has published widely on Kant.
  • Professor Wayne Martin has published Idealism and Objectivity: Understanding Fichte’s Jena Project (Stanford University Press, 1997) and numerous articles on Fichte.
  • Dr David McNeill is an expert on Nietzsche and has published several articles on his work.
  • Dr Dan Watts has written and published extensively on Kierkegaard.

Postgraduate teaching and research

MA modules on Kant and Hegel are usually among our postgraduate offering, in addition to modules on other eighteenth- and nineteenth-century philosophical topics.

Many PhD theses currently being carried out at Essex are concerned with key thinkers such as Kant, Kierkegaard, Marx and Nietzsche, as well as German idealism and other aspects of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century philosophical tradition.

Postgraduate study

Postgraduate study

We are internationally recognised as a leading centre of postgraduate study in philosophy, both at Masters and PhD level.

PhD study

Postgraduate research study

By undertaking PhD study at Essex, you will become a member of an exciting and active research community, and benefit from the expert supervision of our internationally recognised staff.


Image by Carlos Martins, Natureza morta 2 (1977), copyright the artist, image courtesy of ESCALA

Phenomenology is a central concern in our School. Each year we offer at least one MA module in phenomenology and many current PhD students are exploring phenomenological approaches to subjects such as perception and ethics.

Critical theory

Critical theory

We are the largest centre of research on Frankfurt School critical theory in the UK with many of our staff and students actively researching philosophers such as Adorno, Habermas and Honneth.