Research course

Mind, Meaning and Rationality

Open University · Department of Philosophy

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) and (generally) an MA (or equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

The central aim of the Mind, Meaning and Rationality Research Group is to promote research in the philosophy of mind and epistemology, together with specific topics in other areas that relate closely to the themes of mind, meaning and rationality – for example, decision theory in ethics. These issues were chosen because they are important not only to philosophers, but also to people working in other disciplines, such as cognitive psychology, social psychology, economics and artificial intelligence. The group is dedicated to promoting cross-disciplinary discussion and collaboration. It sponsors major interdisciplinary projects, working groups and one-off conferences and seminars.

We welcome applications in areas that correspond with current staff research interests. We look for detailed and well thought-out proposals, which set out specific research questions and outline the originality of your topic or approach. If you would like to discuss your ideas informally before submitting an application, please contact the department.

Please consult the departmental website for details of applications for funded PhD places under the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts Southeast England (CHASE) scheme. Applications outside that scheme should be submitted early in March, with interviews held during April. Decisions will be made by 1st May.

Potential supervisors

Department specialisms

Issues concerned with rationality and reasoning, including the nature and justification of belief Practical reasoning and its relation to evaluation, motivation, emotion and action Moral psychology and moral reasoning The limits of rationality; theoretical and practical irrationality Issues concerned with meaning, including linguistic meaning, theories of mental content, intentionality and consciousness, and meaning in art

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information.

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months
distance learning
variable months


full time
15 months
part time
24 months
distance learning
variable months

Course contact details

Professor Sophie Grace Chappell
+44 (0)1908 659214