Professor Ben Kotzee

Dr Ben Kotzee

School of Education
Professor of Philosophy of Education

Contact details

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

Ben Kotzee is a Professor of Philosophy of Education at the University of Birmingham. He works on topics in the philosophy of education and focuses on applying insights from contemporary epistemology to questions regarding intellectual development. He also has research interests in professional ethics and in professional education. Ben Kotzee is the editor of the journal Theory and Research in Education (SAGE). He 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. 


  • BA Education, Year 1: Philosophy of Education
  • MA: Introduction to the Philosophy of Social Science

Postgraduate supervision

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

  • philosophy of education
  • the epistemology of education
  • the intellectual virtues and critical thinking
  • ethics in education
  • professional education


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

  • the epistemology of education
  • the nature of professional expertise

He holds the following grants:

As co-investigator: Phronesis and the Medical Community, Arts and Humanities Research Council (principal investigator Mervyn Conroy, HSMC)

As principal investigator: Moral Virtue, Intellectual Virtue and Education, The Spencer Foundation

Other activities

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



Matthews, A. and Kotzee, B. (forthcoming) UK University Part-Time Higher Education: a corpus-assisted discourse analysis of higher education prospectuses. Higher Education Research and Development 


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

Papers in journals

Matthews, A. and Kotzee, B. (2019) 'The Rhetoric of the UK Higher Education Teaching Excellence Framework: a corpus-assisted discourse analysis of TEF2 provider statements' Educational Review

Kotzee, B., Carter, J.A. and Siegel, H. (2019) 'Educating for Intellectual Virtue: a critique from action guidance' Episteme: Journal of Individual and Social Epistemology.

Kotze, B. 2018. 'The Epistemic Goods of Higher Education' Philosophical Inquiry in Education 25 (2)

Kotzee, B. (2018). Dewey as Virtue Epistemologist: open-mindedness and the training of thought in Democracy and Education, Journal of Philosophy of Education

Kotzee, B. (2018). Intellectual Perfectionism About Schooling, Journal of Applied Philosophy

Kotzee, B. and Smit, J.P. (2017). Two Social Dimensions of Expertise Journal of Philosophy of Education 51 (3), 640 – 54.

Kotzee, B., Ignatowicz, I. and Thomas, H. (2017) Virtue in Medical Practice: an exploratory study Health Care Ethics Committee Forum 29, 1. 

Kotzee, B., Paton, A. and Conroy, M. (2016). Towards an empirically informed account of phronesis in medicine, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 59, 3. DOI:10.1353/pbm.2016.0029

Kotzee, B. (2016). Learning How, Journal of Philosophy of Education 50 (2), 218 – 232. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9752.12202

Kotzee, B. and Ignatowicz, A. (2015). Measuring ‘Virtue’ in Medicine, Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy, 19, 149-61 DOI: 10.1007/s11019-015-9653-6

Curren, R. and Kotzee, B. (2014). Can Virtue Be Measured?, Theory and Research in Education 12 (3) DOI: 10.1177/1477878514545205                                   

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

Kotzee, B. (2014). Expertise, fluency and social realism about professional knowledge, Journal of Education and Work, 27(2), 161-78 DOI:10.1080/13639080.2012.738291 

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. (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

Chapters in books

Kotzee, B. ‘Bullshit Assertion’ (2019) In: Goldberg, S. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. OUP

Kotzee, B. (2018) ‘Virtue Epistemology and Clinical Medical Judgement’ In: Battaly, H. (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Virtue Epistemology

Kotzee, B. (2018) ‘Applied Epistemology of Education’ In: Coady, D. and Chase, J. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Applied Epistemology 

Kotzee, B. 2018. ‘Cyborgs, Knowledge, and Credit for Learning’ In: Carter, J.A. et al. (eds.) Extended Epistemology. Oxford: OUP.

Kotzee, B. (2017). 'Education and Epistemic Injustice' In: Kidd, J., Medina, J. and Pohlhaus, G. The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Injustice. London: Routledge

Carter, J.A. and Kotzee, B. (2015) Epistemology of Education in Oxford Bibliographies Online: Philosophy.

Kotzee, B. (2015) “Problems of Assessment in Educating for Intellectual Virtue”. In: Baehr, J. (ed.) Intellectual Virtues and Education: Essays in Applied Virtue Epistemology. London: Routledge

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

Special Issues of Journals and Symposia

Curren, R. and Kotzee, B. (2014) Symposium on the Measurement of Virtue and Moral Education In: Theory and Research in Education vol. 12 (3) DOI: 10.1177/1477878514545205

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)

Book Reviews

Kotzee, B. (2014) “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, 62(1), 86-9.

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,, 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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