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Dr Edward Harcourt

University Lecturer (CUF) in Philosophy
Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, Keble College

Keble College
Oxford OX1 3PG

Personal webpage

Research Interests

Ethics, in particular moral psychology, neo-Aristotelianism and child development, ethical dimensions of psychoanalysis, meta-ethics, the moral emotions, Nietzsche's ethics, love and the virtues; the philosophy of mental health and mental illness; literature and philosophy; Wittgenstein.

Edward Harcourt

Career & Education

Edward Harcourt has been a Fellow of Keble since 2005. From 1998 to 2005 he was Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Kent, and from 1993 to 1998 Domus Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. He has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, a Visiting Lecturer at the Institut für Philosophie, University of Leipzig, and a Mind Association Research Fellow. Before taking the BPhil and DPhil in Oxford he was an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read Philosophy (Part I) and History (Part II). He is currently Principal Investigator of the Wellcome ISSF project ‘Therapeutic Conflicts: Co-Producing Meaning in Mental Health’, a director of the biennial Oxford Summer Schools in Philosophy and Psychiatry, a convener of the seminar series Meaning and Mindedness: Encounters between Philosophy and Psychoanalysis at the Tavistock Clinic (London), and Chair of the Board of the Faculty of Philosophy.


Selected Articles

  1. ‘The Dangers of Fiction: Lord Jim and Moral Perfectionism’, in Julian Dodd (ed.), Art, Mind and Narrative: Themes from the Work of Peter Goldie, Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming

  2. ‘Madness, Badness and Immaturity: Some Conceptual Issues in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy’, Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, forthcoming.

  3. ‘Wittgenstein and Psychoanalysis’, in H.-J. Glock and J. Hyman (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Wittgenstein, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming.

  4. ‘Nietzsche and the Virtues’, in M. Slote and L. Besser-Jones (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Virtue Ethics, London: Routledge, forthcoming.

  5. ‘Literature, Moral Thinking and Moral Philosophy’, in S.-G. Chappell (ed.), Intuition, Theory and Anti-Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

  6. "The Place of Psychoanalysis in the History of Ethics", Journal of Moral Philosophy, 2013

  7. 'Attachment Theory, Character and Naturalism', in Julia Peters (ed.), Aristotelian Ethics in Contemporary Perspective, London: Routledge, 2012

  8. 'Thick Concepts, Analysis and Reductionism' (with Alan Thomas), in Simon Kirchin (ed.), Thick Concepts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)

  9. '"Happenings Outside One's Moral Self": Reflections on Utilitarianism and Moral Emotion', Philosophical Papers 42:2 (2013), pp. 239-258

  10. 'Wittgenstein, Ethics and Therapy', in C. Jäger and W. Löffler (eds.), Epistemology: Contexts, Values, Disagreement, Proceedings of the 34th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Frankfurt: Ontos, 2012

  11. Nietzsche and the “aesthetics of character”’, in S. May (ed.), On the Genealogy of Morality: A Critical Guide, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011

  12. Self-Knowledge, Knowledge of Others, and “the thing called love”’, in Self-Evaluation - Affective and Social Grounds of Intentionality, Anita Konzelmann Ziv, Keith Lehrer & H. B. Schmid (eds.), Frankfurt: Ontos, 2011

  13. Self-Love and Practical Rationality’, in Carla Bagnoli (ed.), Morality and the Emotions, Oxford: OUP, 2011

  14. Wittgenstein and Bodily Self-Knowledge’, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 77:2 (2008)

  15. Nietzsche and Eudaemonism’, in Gudrun von Tevenar (ed.), Nietzsche and Ethics, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007

  16. ‘Guilt, Shame, and the “Psychology of Love”’, in Louise Braddock and Michael Lacewing (eds.), The Academic Face of Psychoanalysis, London: Routledge, 2007

  17. ‘Quasi-Realism and Ethical Appearances’, Mind 114 (2005), pp. 249-275

  18. ‘Instrumental Desires, Instrumental Rationality’, in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supp. Vol. 1xxvii (2004), pp. 111-130

  19. ‘Wittgenstein and “the Whereabouts of Pain”’, in S. Schroeder (ed.), Wittgenstein and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001, pp. 194-209  

Selected Shorter Pieces

  1. 'Aristotle, Plato and the Anti-Psychiatrists: Comment on Irwin', in KWM Fulford et al. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 47-52

  2. 'Situationism, Attachment and Public Policy', The Jubilee Centre for Character and Values, University of Birmingham, Dec 2012
  3. ‘Wittgenstein, Ludwig’, in H. LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012

  4. Truth and the “work” of literary fiction’, British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (2010), pp. 93-7 

  5. Action Explanation and the Unconscious’, in T. O’Connor and C. Sandis (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Action, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010

  6. Velleman on Love and Ideals of Rational Humanity’, Philosophical Quarterly 59:235 (2009a), pp. 349-56 

  7. ‘Crisp’s “Ethics Without Reasons?”: A Note on Invariance’, Journal of Moral Philosophy, 4:1 (2007)

  8. ‘Psychoanalysis’, in A.C. Grayling et al. (eds.), Encyclopedia of British Philosophy, Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum, 2006

Podcasts, Blog pieces, etc.

  1. ‘Beyond Right and Wrong’, discussion with Grant Bartley and Richard Rowland, Resonance FM, 8 June 2014

  2. 'On Guilt', Forum for European Philosophy, LSE, 8 May 2012

  3. 'Philosophy and Literature', Resonance FM, 27 March 2012

  4. ‘Love’, Resonance FM, 22 Nov. 2011

  5. ‘Civilization and Its Discontents’, Resonance FM, 11 Oct. 2011

  6. ‘Questions of Character’, Prospect, 12 May 2011

  7. ‘Defending the Humanities’, Prospect, 8 Nov. 2010

  8. ‘Philippa Foot: Trolleys and Natural Goodness’, Prospect, 7 Oct. 2010

  9. ‘Why Medical Policy-makers should beware Aristotle’, Prospect, 21 Sept. 2010

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