Philosophical Logic, Language, and Metaphysics Research Cluster

The Philosophical Logic, Language, and Metaphysics researches the underlying nature of reality and how it connects with the way in which we talk about the world. It brings together philosophers working both within traditional areas of analytic philosophy as well as more recent, innovative, areas with an interdisciplinary remit. 


We have expertise in philosophical logic, ranging from its application in purely theoretical contexts, such as higher order metaphysics, to its deployment in, and relevance to, industry.

Our expertise in metaphysics covers topics in ontology, as well as the metaphysics of physics, time, biology, and religion. And, playing on synergies between clusters, it also deals with the metaphysics of mind and perception. 

In the philosophy of language we investigate the foundations of semantics, contextualist semantics and pragmatics, the role of mereology within linguistics, semantic externalism, and the nature of vagueness. 

Postgraduate study

For postgraduates interested in studying programmes or modules in this area of philosophy we offer the Philosophy MA. Our combined research and taught Philosophy MRes programme also includes modules in metaphysics, and those wishing to conduct pure research in the field may register for the Philosophy PhD programme.

We have a number of postgraduate researchers interested in metaphysics at Birmingham (for more information about their research projects, see our PG research page). All of our postgraduate students benefit from the academic strengths of our research clusters and are often co-supervised by our Distinguished Research Professors and members of staff from associated clusters across the College of Arts and Law, so that they have access to different perspectives on their research topic. If you are interested in doing postgraduate research in metaphysics at Birmingham, please feel free to contact our Director of Research Admissions, Professor Scott Sturgeon ( .

Supervisors in philosophical logic, language and metaphysics

Dr Darragh Byrne

Dr Darragh Byrne

Lecturer in Philosophy

  • Reference
  • Consciousness (especially semantic and epistemic issues)
  • First-person knowledge
  • A priori knowledge
  • Objectivity, realism and anti-realism
  • Rule-following and the normativity of meaning

Professor Nikk Effingham

Professor Nikk Effingham

Professor of Philosophy
Head of Research

  • Metaontology
  • Ontology
  • The philosophy of time
  • The philosophy of mind.
  • Metaphysics
  • Certain areas of philosophy of religion 

Dr Michael Rush

Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

  • the metaphysics of processes
  • theories of persistence
  • the concept of gratitude 

Dr Alex Silk

Associate Professor in Philosophy

  • Philosophy of language
  • Ethics
  • Metaethics

Dr Henry Taylor

Dr Henry Taylor

Associate Professor

  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Philosophy of psychology