Philosophy and religious studies

In ERA 2015, research in philosophy and religious studies received a rating of 4 out of 5 – ‘performance above world standard’ – for the discipline overall as well as for the sub-disciplines of philosophy and applied ethics.

The philosophy program at Macquarie reflects a commitment to philosophical pluralism, with long-standing strengths in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, ethics, social philosophy and European philosophy. More recent developments include specialisations in applied ethics, bioethics and moral cognition, philosophy of biology, and philosophy of cognitive science.

University strengths

Philosophers at Macquarie undertake both traditional philosophical and cross-disciplinary research, guided by productive engagement with related fields of empirical enquiry. Our cross-disciplinary research is facilitated by Macquarie’s Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics (CAVE), comprising researchers from philosophy, cognitive science, law, media, medicine, and psychology, with strong links to national and international partners. Philosophy researchers also contribute significantly to other research centres located at Macquarie, notably the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD).


Accolades include:

  • four ARC Future Fellows
  • three fellows of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
  • two recent presidents of the Australasian Association of Philosophy
  • a Mercator Gastprofessur (DFG/German Research Council)
  • a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (Dr Paul Formosa)
  • and chair of the committee leading the revision of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.

Peer review

Additionally, researchers sit on editorial or advisory boards of leading journals including the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Bioethics, European Journal of Philosophy, Public Health Ethics, Philosophical Explorations and Philosophical Psychology. 

Macquarie staff also serve as referees for most of the major journals and book publishers in the discipline as well as for national research councils in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Europe, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, UK and the USA.

National research centres

ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) 

  • Distinguished Professor Stephen Crain (Director)

Macquarie University Research Centres

Centre For Agency, Values And Ethics (CAVE) 

  • Professor Catriona Mackenzie (Director)
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