Edward Harcourt’s research lies in ethics, in particular in moral psychology, and on the boundaries between ethics and the philosophy of mind. His special interests include neo-Aristotelianism and child development, ethical dimensions of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, the moral emotions, love and the virtues, and Nietzsche's ethics; the philosophy of mental health and mental illness; literature and philosophy; and Wittgenstein. A Fellow of Keble since 2005, he has been a Mind Association Research Fellow, Visiting Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, and Wittgenstein Professor at the University of Innsbruck. 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 was Principal Investigator of the Wellcome ISSF project ‘Therapeutic Conflicts: Co-Producing Meaning in Mental Health’ and of the AHRC International Research Network ‘The Development of Character: Attachment Theory and the Moral Psychology of Vice and Virtue’, and remains a director of the biennial Oxford Summer Schools in Philosophy and Psychiatry. He recently completed a four-year secondment to the UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council as Director of Research, Strategy and Innovation. In addition to his role in the Philosophy Faculty, he is Professor of Philosophy in Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry where he leads on Patient and Public Involvement for the Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre, and Academic Director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy.
Selected Recent Articles
- ‘Two Routes from Secure Attachment to Virtue’, in E. Harcourt (ed.), Attachment and Character: Attachment Theory, Ethics and the Developmental Psychology of Vice and Virtue, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.
- Introduction to E. Harcourt (ed.), Attachment and Character: Attachment Theory, Ethics and the Developmental Psychology of Vice and Virtue, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.
- ‘Wittgenstein: Disciple of Freud?’, in A. Govrin and T. Caspi (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalysis and Philosophy, London: Routledge, forthcoming.
- ‘Epistemic Injustice, Children and Mental Illness’, Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (2021), pp. 729-735, doi:10.1136/medethics-2021-107329.
- ‘Human Excellence and Psychic Health in Psychoanalysis’, in R. Gipps and M. Lacewing (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychoanalysis, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019, pp. 617-636. DOI:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198789703.013.37.
- 'Demandingness and Boundaries Between Persons’, in Sacrifice and Moral Philosophy, ed. Marcel van Ackeren and Alfred Archer, International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26:3 (2018), pp. 437-55.
- ‘Madness, Badness and Immaturity: Some Conceptual Issues in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy’, Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology 25:2 (2018), pp. 123-136.
- ‘Formal Excellences and Familiar Excellences’, in M. Dennis and S. Werkhoven (eds.), Ethics and Self-Cultivation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, pp. 162-73, London: Routledge, 2018.
- ‘Containment and “Rational Health”: Moran and Psychoanalysis’, European Journal of Philosophy 2017, pp. 1-16. DOI: 10.1111/ejop.12316
- ‘Ethics in Freudian and Post-Freudian Psychoanalysis’ in S. Golob and J. Timmermann (eds.), The Cambridge History of Moral Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017, pp. 577-90.
- ‘Wittgenstein and Psychoanalysis’, in H.-J. Glock and J. Hyman (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Wittgenstein, Oxford: Wiley, 2017, pp. 651-666.
- ‘Attachment, Autonomy and the Evaluative Variety of Love’, in E. Kroeker and K. Schaubroeck (eds.), Love, Reason and Morality, London: Routledge, 2017, pp. 39-56.
- ‘Moral Emotions, Autonomy and the “Extended Mind”’, Phenomenology and Mind 11 (2016), pp. 100-112.
- ‘“Mental Health” and Human Excellence’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supp. Vol. 90 (1), 2016, pp. 217-235, doi: 10.1093/arisup/akw005.
- ‘Internalization, Joint Attention and the Moral Education of the Child’, in L. Gormally, D.A. Jones and R. Teichmann (eds.), The Moral Philosophy of Elizabeth Anscombe, St. Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Affairs, Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2016, pp. 243-262.
- ‘Literature, Moral Thinking and Moral Philosophy’, in S.-G. Chappell (ed.), Intuition, Theory and Anti-Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 201-227.
- ‘Nietzsche and the Virtues’, in M. Slote and L. Besser-Jones (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Virtue Ethics, London: Routledge, 2015, pp. 165-180.
- "The Place of Psychoanalysis in the History of Ethics", Journal of Moral Philosophy, 2013.
- 'Attachment Theory, Character and Naturalism', in Julia Peters (ed.), Aristotelian Ethics in Contemporary Perspective, London: Routledge, 2012.
- 'Thick Concepts, Analysis and Reductionism' (with Alan Thomas), in Simon Kirchin (ed.), Thick Concepts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
- '"Happenings Outside One's Moral Self": Reflections on Utilitarianism and Moral Emotion', Philosophical Papers 42:2 (2013), pp. 239-258.
- '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.
- ‘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.
- ‘Self-Love and Practical Rationality’, in Carla Bagnoli (ed.), Morality and the Emotions, Oxford: OUP, 2011.
Selected Shorter Pieces
- '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.
- ‘Wittgenstein, Ludwig’, in H. LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.
- ‘Truth and the “work” of literary fiction’, British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (2010), pp. 93-7.
- ‘Action Explanation and the Unconscious’, in T. O’Connor and C. Sandis (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Action, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
- ‘Velleman on Love and Ideals of Rational Humanity’, Philosophical Quarterly 59:235 (2009), pp. 349-56.
- Attachment and Character: Attachment Theory, Ethics and the Developmental Psychology of Vice and Virtue, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.
- Morality, Reflection, and Ideology, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
His research lies in ethics, in particular in moral psychology, and on the boundaries between ethics and the philosophy of mind. His interests include neo-Aristotelianism and child development, ethical dimensions of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, the moral emotions, love and the virtues, and Nietzsche's ethics; the philosophy of mental health and mental illness; literature and philosophy; and Wittgenstein.
Read Edward Harcourt’s 3:AM MAGAZINE interview