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Helen Beebee

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Name  Helen Beebee

Role  Philosopher
Helen Beebee personalpagesmanchesteracukstaffhelenbeebee
Institutions  Australian National University University of Manchester University of Birmingham
Main interests  Metaphysics, causation, free will
Areas of interest  Free will, Causality, Metaphysics
Alma mater  University of Warwick, University of Liverpool, King's College London
Institution  Australian National University, University of Manchester, University of Birmingham
Books  Hume on Causation, Metaphysics: The Key Concepts, Free Will: An Introduction

Free will phenomenology methodology helen beebee

Helen Beebee is the Samuel Hall Professor of Philosophy at the University of Manchester.


Helen Beebee Prof Helen Beebee The University of Manchester

Beebee's work has been influential across a wide variety of fields, including causation, free will, and natural kinds. Eric Schliesser, writing on NewApps, described Beebee as 'one of the most prominent metaphysicists of our time.' Beebee has a significant interest in the problem of underrepresentation of women in the field of philosophy, and has spoken about the problems that face women philosophers in a modern academic context, such as in her paper Women and Deviance in Philosophy‘.

Cogtalk march 2014 free will with jan schnupp helen beebee

Education and career

Beebee received her bachelor's from the University of Warwick, her master's from the University of Liverpool, and her doctorate from King's College London.

Beebee is currently the Samuel Hall Professor of Philosophy at the University of Manchester, a position she has held since 2012. Before her current position, Beebee held full-time appointments at the University of Manchester, and the University of Birmingham. During her time at Birmingham, she served as Head of Department, and later as Head of School. Besides for her permanent appointments, Beebee has also held temporary appointments at the University of Edinburgh, University of St. Andrews, and the University College, London, and has also held a postdoctoral position at Australian National University.

Research areas

A majority of Beebee's research could be broadly classed as dealing with Humeanism and related issues. She has written on a wide variety of topics related to Humeanism, including attempting to tackle the question of whether or not the laws of nature govern what happens, whether inductive scepticism follows necessary from a Humeanistic approach, and whether or not it is possible to observe causal relations in a meaningful way. She has also written on Hume himself. Beebee also has a secondary interest in free will, particularly in bringing Humean approaches to the problem of compatibilitism.


Beebee is on the editorial boards of Hume Studies as well as the Australasian Journal of Philosophy. She's also an associate editor of the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. She has co-authored two textbooks, written two books and numerous book chapters, and published a number of peer-reviewed papers in journals of philosophy.


In August, 2011, the Times Higher Education supplement reported on an email sent by Beebee, then Head of School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion at Birmingham University, to staff in the School. The email urged staff to be "VERY generous" when assessing postgraduate applications, warning that they "simply cannot afford to be very choosy". Malcolm McCrae, chair of the UK Council for Graduate Education, in voicing his opinion of the email and practice at Birmingham said, "It is well known that students whose capabilities are not on a par with the demands of the programme they are following always turn out to be much more work, accentuating the pressure to compromise academic standards in an effort to get already recruited students through to...completion," and added that when such students started jobs, it would "quickly become apparent that they aren't up to the quality their qualification says they should be".


Helen Beebee Wikipedia

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