Dr Ben Kotzee


School of Education

Dr Ben Kotzee

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom


Ben Kotzee is lecturer in the School of Education. He works on topics in the philosophy of education and focuses on applying insights from contemporary epistemology to questions regarding intellectual character development. He has written on the epistemic aims of education and on the nature and development of expertise; he is the editor of a special edition of the Journal of Philosophy of Education (and forthcoming book with Wiley-Blackwell) on Education and Social Epistemology. In the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, he will work on developing an account of the importance of the intellectual virtues in the professions and aims to supplement his criticisms of theories of expertise in professional education with a virtue account of expertise. In addition, he will take an active part in the centre’s empirical work on the state of character and values in the professions and will take responsibility for a project investigating new entry and mid-career lawyers’ understandings of character and values in their profession. Ben Kotzee holds a PhD in philosophy from King’s College London and was previously lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London.


PhD (Philosophy) (London)

MA (Philosophy) (Stellenbosch)

Grad Cert (Social Research) (London)

BA Hons (Philosophy) (Stellenbosch)


Ben Kotzee studied philosophy at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa before completing his PhD in the same subject at King's College London, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar.

Following his PhD he was National Research Foundation postdoctoral fellow in the department of philosophy at the University of Cape Town.

Before coming to Birmingham, Ben Kotzee was lecturer in the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London. 


  • Philosophy of Education (with Michael Hand) (2014)

Postgraduate supervision

Ben Kotzee is happy to accept PhD proposals in the fields of 

  • philosophy of education
  • virtue theory
  • ethics in education
  • professional education


Ben Kotzee researches topics in the philosophy of education, with a specific focus on two matters:

  • virtue theory (and especially the intellectual virtues) in education
  • the nature of professional expertise

Other activities

Ben Kotzee is secretary of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain.



"Introduction: Education, Social Epistemology and Virtue Epistemology", Journal of Philosophy of Education 47 (2), 157 – 67.

“Educational  Justice, Epistemic Justice and Levelling Down”, Educational Theory  (forthcoming)

“Who Should Go to University: justice in university admissions” (with C. Martin), Journal of Philosophy of Education(forthcoming)

"Expertise, fluency and social realism about professional knowledge" (published online 2012, forthcoming in print), Journal of Education and Work, DOI:10.1080/13639080.2012.738291 

"Private Practice: Schön and the missing social dimension", Studies in Continuing Education, 2012, vol. 34 (1), pp. 5 – 16

"Education and ‘Thick’ Epistemology", Educational Theory, 2011, vol. 61 (5), pp.549-64

"Seven Posers in the Constructivist Classroom", London Review of Education, 2010, vol. 8 (2), pp. 177 – 87

"Poisoning the Well and Epistemic Privilege", Argumentation, 2010, vol. 24 (3), pp. 265 - 81

"Why hobbits cannot exist" (With J.P. Smit), Think, 2009, vol. 8, pp. 29 - 36

"A Thicker Epistemology?" (with J. Wanderer), Philosophical Papers, 2008, vol. 37 (3), pp. 337 – 43

"Our Vision and Our Mission: Bullshit, Assertion and Belief", South African Journal of Philosophy, 2007, vol. 26 (2), pp. 163 – 75

"Why Metaphors Have No Meaning", South African Journal of Philosophy, 2001, vol. 20 (3-4), pp. 290-307


Edited collections

Education and the Growth of Knowledge, Special Issue of Journal of Philosophy of Education, 2013, 47 (2).

Epistemology Through Thick and Thin (with J. Wanderer), Special Issue of Philosophical Papers, 2008, 37 (3)

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