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Dr Nick Unwin


Nick Unwin

Lancaster University

County South



Tel: +44 1524 593581

Office Hours:

Thursday 12.00 - 2.00

Research overview

My research has spanned several areas of philosophy. In metaphysics, I have written and am writing on the identity conditions for events, properties, and for physical objects that persist and change through time. In the theory of knowledge, I have written and am writing on the underdetermination of theories by data. In the philosophy of language, I have written and am writing on the nature of truth and its importance. In ethical theory, I have written on technical issues concerning how ethical judgements fit together (the ‘Frege-Geach problem’). In the philosophy of mind, I have written on the nature of colour. I am also interested in early modern philosophy, especially Locke and Kant.

PhD supervision

Philosophy of mind, especially perception; ethical theory, especially expressivism; metaphysics, especially the nature of events and causation; theory of knowledge and philosophy of science, especially underdetermination, scepticism and the nature of belief; philosophy of language, especially the nature of truth; early modern philosophy, especially Locke and Kant.


Career Details

1977-8. Tutorial teaching at University of Oxford

1978-80. Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Essex

1980-2007. Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Bolton

Affiliation and Outside Duties

Member of Management Committee, British Society for the History of Philosophy (1999-2008), (Treasurer and Membership Secretary, 1999-2006)

Member, British Society for Ethical Theory

External Examiner, University of Birmingham, 2005-8.

Research Interests

I am currently working on the following papers:

'Expressivism and the Metaphysics of Consciousness'

which addresses the current debate about the possibility of philosophical 'zombies';

A related paper on panpsychism:

'Nagel, Panpsychism and Realism'

a paper on truth:

'Truthmakers, Events and Supervenience'


'Properties, Concepts and Empirical Identity'

which examines the connection between properties and concepts. I am also working on

'Underdetermination and Scepticism', a paper on the theory of knowledge.

Ditto, a paper on substance, ' Continuants, Essentialism and Identity'.

Ditto, a paper on ethical theory, 'Semantics for Expressivism: A Language Game Approach'

Current Teaching

I teach PPR.305 (Logic and Language) and the Critical Thinking component of PHIL100 in the Michaelmas term. In the Lent term, I teach PPR.204 (Knowledge and Reality). Teaching interests also include: philosophy of mind, theory of knowledge, philosophy of science, ethical theory, and early modern philosophy (especially Locke and Kant). I am also the course convenor of the postgraduate module PPR.452: Doing Contemporary Philosophy.

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