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 Education and Social Epistemology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013). In the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, he works on virtue ethics in the professions and leads a project investigating medical students’ and doctors’ 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.



Kotzee, B. (Ed.) (2013) Education and the Growth of Knowledge: perspectives from social and virtue epistemology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Special Issues of Journals and Symposia

Curren, R. and Kotzee, B. (forthcoming 2014) Symposium on the Measurement of Virtue and Moral Education In: Theory and Research in Education vol. 12 (3)

Kotzee, B. (Ed.) (2013) Education and the Growth of Knowledge: perspectives from social and virtue epistemology, Special Issue of Journal of Philosophy of Education vol. 47 (2) (re-published by Wiley-Blackwell, see above)

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

Papers in journals

Curren, R. and Kotzee, B. (2014) “Can Virtue Be Measured?”, Theory and Research in Education 12 (3)

Kotzee, B. (2014)  “Language Learning in Wittgenstein and Davidson”, Studies in Philosophy of Education  33 (4), 413 – 31.

Kotzee, B. (2013)  “Educational  Justice, Epistemic Justice and Levelling Down”, Educational Theory 63 (4), pp. 331-49. *

Kotzee, B. and Martin, C. (2013)  “Who Should Go to University: justice in university admissions” Journal of Philosophy of Education 47 (4), pp. 623 – 41 *

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

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

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

Kotzee, B. and Johnston, R. 2011. “ ‘Can’t String a Sentence Together’? UK employers’ views of graduates’ writing skills”, Industry and Higher Education, vol. 25 (1), pp. 45 – 52

Walsh, A. and Kotzee, B. 2011. “Reconciling Graduateness and Work-Based Learning” (second author to A. Walsh), Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, vol. 4 (1), pp. 36 - 50

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

Kotzee, B. (2010)  "Poisoning the Well and Epistemic Privilege", Argumentation, vol. 24 (3), pp. 265 – 81 *

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

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

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

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


Carter, J.A. and Kotzee, B. (forthcoming) “Epistemology of Education” in Oxford Bibliographies Online: Philosophy.

Kotzee, B. (forthcoming) “Problems of Assessment in Educating for Intellectual Virtue”. In: Baehr, J. (ed.) Educating for Intellectual Virtues: Applying Virtue Epistemology to Educational Theory and Practice.

Kotzee, B. (2014) “Differentiating Forms of Professional Expertise”. In: Young, M. and Muller, J. (eds.) Knowledge, Expertise and the Professions. London: Routledge. 

Book Reviews

Kotzee, B. (forthcoming) “Book Review: Blind Obedience: paradox and learning in the later Wittgenstein by Meredith Williams and The Formation of Reason by David Bakhurst”, British Journal of Educational Studies

Kotzee, B. (2010) “Book Review: Beyond Reflective Practice: new approaches to professional lifelong learning, by Helen Bradbury, Nick Frost, Sue Kilminster and Miriam Zukas”, Vocations and Learning, vol. 3 (2), pp. 181 – 3

Kotzee, B., “Book Review: Personal Epistemology in the Classroom, by Lisa Bendixen and Florian Feucht”, Teachers College Record, http://www.tcrecord.org, 16217

Kotzee, B. (2009) “Book Review: Improving Working as Learning, by Alan Felstead, Alison Fuller, Nick Jewson and Lorna Unwin”, Journal of Education and Work, vol. 22 (4), pp.337 – 9.

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