Dr Sophie Allen

Supernumerary Fellow

Sophie Allen (MA Hons Glasgow and PhD London) has been a philosophy lecturer in Oxford since 2002 and at Harris Manchester College since 2009.


Sophie teaches PPE, Philosophy and Psychology, and Philosophy and Theology students at Harris Manchester College. Among the courses she teaches are: Introduction to Logic and General Philosophy for Prelims; Knowledge and Reality, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Language and Logic, and Philosophy of Mind for Finals.


Sophie’s research primarily concerns Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science, especially the fundamental nature of the world, the relation between what science tells us and what there is, and whether the way in which we classify the world reflects the way in which it is naturally divided (if the world is naturally divided at all). She is intrigued by what determines possibility and necessity, and is also interested in questions about how philosophy is done, especially concerning the aims and methods of metaphysics, and what makes a metaphysical theory a good one.

In addition to her work in Metaphysics and Science, Sophie has also published papers in the Philosophy of Language and the Philosophy of Mind. 

 Selected Publications

 2016. A Critical Introduction to Properties.  Bloomsbury.

2015.  Curiosity kills the categories: A dilemma about categories and modality. Metaphysica 16.

2012.  What matters in (naturalized) metaphysics? Essays in Philosophy 13.

2010.  Can Theoretical Underdetermination Support the Indeterminacy of Translation? Revisiting Quine’s Real Ground. Philosophy 85.

2009. The Definition of Consciousness: Is triviality or falsehood inevitable? Journal of Consciousness Studies 16.

2007.  What’s the point in Scientific Realism if we don’t know what’s really there? Philosophy of Science, Anthony O’Hear (ed.), (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

2006.  A Space Oddity: McGinn on Consciousness and Space. Journal of Consciousness Studies 13.

2004. Disorder at the Border: Realism, Science and the Defense of Naturalism. Philo 7.

2002. Deepening the Controversy over Metaphysical Realism.’ Philosophy 77.