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Experimental Philosophy Research Group at the University of Waikato

The University of Waikato's Experimental Philosophy Research Group ("XΦRG") is an active scholarly community with a group of academic researchers who seek to integrate empirical methods and results of the natural, physical, and social sciences into the largely a priori enterprise of philosophical analysis.


We, in association with other universities in Australasia, host an annual conference (here).

Members of XΦRG

Research Associates

  • Justine Kingsbury, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

  • Joseph Ulatowski, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy (Director)

  • Dan Weijers, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

  • Jeremy Wyatt, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

Australasian Associate Members

  • Mark Alfano, Macquarie University

  • John Matthewson, Massey University (New Albany)

  • Vanessa Schouten, Massey University

  • Justin Sytsma, Victoria University of Wellington

International Associate Members

  • Filippo Ferrari, Universität Bonn (Germany)

  • Sebastiano Moruzzi, University of Bologna (Italy)

  • Nikolaj J.L.L. Pedersen, Yonsei University (South Korea)

  • Jennifer Nado, Lingnan University (Hong Kong)

  • Jonathan Weinberg, University of Arizona (USA)

  • Cory D. Wright, California State University, Long Beach (USA)


2016 - Australasian Experimental Philosophy Conference I [VUW]

2017 - Australasian Experimental Philosophy Conference II [Waikato]

2017 - Virtue, Narrative & Agency Workshop [Waikato]

2018 - Australasian Experimental Philosophy Conference III [VUW]

2019 - Australasian Experimental Philosophy Conference IV [Waikato]

2020 - 2021 - COVID pandemic

2022 - Australasian Experimental Philosophy Conference V [Ruapehu]

2023 - Australasian Experimental Philosophy Workshop [Blue Mtns, Australia]


XΦRG has four objectives:

  • To facilitate a collegial environment in which members share novel ideas about their own and others’ research projects;

  • To yield high-quality and effective research outputs, through interdisciplinary, national, and international collaborations;

  • To host events, public forums, conferences, specialised workshops inviting experts, academic scholars, and students from other universities; and

  • To secure financial support through internal and external funding streams, such as public or private foundations including the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund.

XΦRG's goals are in consonance with the university’s long-term and short-term strategic goals established by Vice-Chancellor Neil Quigley. XΦRG gathers together skilled and experienced interdisciplinary scholars to help its members deliver high quality research outputs.

Novelty of the Research Group

When we survey the composition of the Philosophy profession elsewhere in the region, we find that the University of Waikato has the highest concentration of academic staff with expertise in experimental philosophy. Comparing ourselves worldwide, we are one among twenty-one experimental philosophy research labs or Research Groups.

XΦRG has built mutually beneficial scholarly connections with other members of the international community. For example, XΦRG and the Veritas Research Centre of Underwood International College of Yonsei University in South Korea have an agreement to facilitate collaboration between us and other member institutions of the Veritas Research Centre's Global Relativisms Network.

XΦRG not only spearhead a team of academic researchers in the area of experimental philosophy but also cultivate new entrants through the development of a strong undergraduate and postgraduate course of study.

XΦRG and Postgraduate Research

XΦRG maintains a strong and supportive research environment in which academic staff, postgraduate students, and visitors to the University of Waikato may work individually and in collaboration with one another on philosophy projects. 

We welcome proposals from research postgraduate students along two axes. Philosophy postgraduate students at the University of Waikato working on experimental philosophy have unfettered access to academic staff with an array of research specialities covering all of philosophy’s major subdisciplines, including metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and logic. 

Equally appealing to postgraduates is the benefit of regular and frequent short-term and long-term visits to the University of Waikato by renowned overseas scholars. 

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