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Dr Stephen Law

Dr Stephen Law Head of the Department of Philosophy
Telephone: 020 7795 4222


Before joining Heythrop, I was previously the Junior Research Fellow in Philosophy at The Queen’s College, Oxford , where I obtained my doctorate. I first entered university as a mature student, having previously worked as a postman. 

My full academic CV can be viewed here.

Current teaching

Contemporary Philosophical Problems (half of course)
Reason and Argument (Yr 1 course)
Wittgenstein option
Philosophy of Language option
Naming, Necessity and Natural Kinds option
Philosophy of Science
Also: contribute to evening MA on Philosophy teaching.
I am tutor for admissions BA Philosophy and also run the Heythrop A Level philosophy conferences  

Research Interests

Additional Areas of Interest

  • Natural Kinds; Physicalism; The nature of necessity; The problem of evil; Naturalism


Show all Publications

Conference Papers

There are no conferences to display for this user.

Other information

Publications for REF 2021


  • The Evil God Challenge (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2019)


  • 'Wittgensteinian Accounts of Religious Belief: Non-cognitive, Juicer, and Atheist-Minus, European Journal of Philosophy (2017)
  • 'Skeptical Theism and Skepticism About The External World and Past', Philosophy Supplement on Religious Epistemology (2017)
  • 'The X-Claim Argument Against Religious Belief', Religious Studies (2017)
  • 'Natural Kinds of Substance', Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94/2 (2016)
  • 'The Pandora’s Box Objection to Skeptical Theism', International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (2015)

 Plus eight chapters in academic books.


My research formed one of the three impact case studies submitted by Heythrop for REF 2014 (see appendix to CV for details). My work found a platform in 51 online videos made by commentators, with a cumulative total of 279,408 views, 11,300 comments, and 3,580 ‘likes’. My blog posts totalled over one million views generating over 15,000 comments since 2008. Explicit discussion of my claims and arguments appeared on over 90 other blogs and websites producing over 11,000 comments. Multiple audio recordings and podcasts involving myself are accessible online, almost all relating to humanism/religion. Cumulative downloads in excess of 400,000 plus 270,000 more recent views of my 'evil god' animation. Numerous testimonials are available from teachers, students, and public on how my research has influenced them.

My book The War For Children’s Minds was Routledge’s lead title for 2006. It focuses on issues concerning moral and religious education, using philosophical tools to help clarify and assess key arguments. Phillip Pullman said it “should be read by every parent, every teacher and every politician”.
The book was based on a prize-winning essay (joint winner of the £5,000 ESRC-Prospect Millenium essay prize in 2000). The publication had considerable impact and was reviewed by e.g. The Economist and featured on Radio 4 Today programme and Radio 3 Nightwaves (where I was in discussion about the book with Prof. Anthony O’Hear). It was also focus of e.g. a two-page feature in The Guardian.
Other (introductory) books include:

  •  Very Short Introduction to Humanism (OUP, 2011)
  •  The Great Philosophers (Quercus, 2007)
  • The Philosophy Gym (Headline, 2000) – German version was winner of the E5,000 Mindleheim Philosophy Prize in 2009