Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

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The University of Cambridge was the birthplace of the 'analytical' school of philosophy in the early 20th century. The Faculty of Philosophy was founded in 1970. It is part of the School of Arts and Humanities. The Faculty achieved the best possible results from The Times 2004 and the QAA Subject Review 2001 (24/24). It is ranked first in the UK by the Guardian.[1]


The Moral Sciences Tripos (introduced in 1848)included moral philosophy, political economy, modern history, general jurisprudence and the laws of England. In 1860 Moral Sciences became a three year Undergraduate honours course in own right.[2] In the 1870s History was also excluded from the Moral Sciences Tripos leaving moral philosophy, logic, economics and psychology. At this time several brilliant men graduated with honours including J.N. Keynes and J.M. Ward in moral sciences and its reputation grew. This increase in quality and to a lesser extent, in quantity, was undoubtedly assisted by the extension of the teaching staff assisting the two Moral Sciences professors (Political Economy and Moral Philosophy). From the late 1860s a number of College lecturers in the Moral Sciences were appointed from St Johns, Trinity, Caius, and St. Catherine’s who included Henry Sidgwick, Mayor, Venn, Levin, and Alfred Marshall.[3]

Due to the efforts of Alfred Marshall, Economics was also dropped from the Moral Sciences Tripos, becoming a separate subject (1906). This left a syllabus of analytical philosophy. The first half of the twentieth century was arguably one of the greatest periods for philosophy at Cambridge, where Bertrand Russell, G.E. Moore, and Ludwig Wittgenstein were all at work. They were largely responsible for the rise of modern logic and the methods and results of analytic philosophy.

Philosophers currently at Cambridge[edit]

The list includes both [1] and also research-active philosophers who play a significant role in the faculty's intellectual life.

Past Cambridge Philosophers[edit]

Various philosophers have been Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy. The Knightbridge Chair was founded in 1683 and is one of the oldest established chairs in the university.

Philosophers who either worked or studied in Cambridge - including some Knightbridge Professors - include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/education/ng-interactive/2014/jun/03/university-guide-2015-league-table-for-philosophy
  2. ^ Palfrey, David Spike. The moral sciences tripos at Cambridge University, 1848-1860. Thesis (Ph.D) - University of Cambridge, 2003
  3. ^ Winstanley, Denys Arthur. Later Victorian Cambridge. Published: Cambridge [Eng.] University Press, 1947.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°12′04″N 0°06′35″E / 52.2011°N 0.1096°E / 52.2011; 0.1096