Skip to main content

Dr. Clare Mac Cumhaill

Associate Professor

BA Hons (TCD, Dublin), MA (SOAS, London), PhD (Edinburgh)

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy  
Member of the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture  



Office hours: 

2022-2023: Drop in, 3-5pm Mondays in my office (Room 09 in Old Elvet 48) or Wednesday on zoom (room link). You can also email me to make an appointment.

I have broad interests in philosophy, though most of my writing circles around space-perception, the nature of human action, and form in art. I'm also interested in causation.

My approach tends to be fairly historical and I enjoy collaboration. Since 2015 I have been working closely with Rachael Wiseman on the Women In Parenthesis project, one of the fruits of which is our co-authored book Metaphysical Animals. We've also run a number of spin-off activities, including Notes from a Biscuit Tin and Philosophy by Postcard. You can join the Mapping the Quartet network (for researchers working on one or all of Iris Murdoch, Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot or Mary Midgley) here.

This year I am working on two papers: one concerns the metaphysics of mind found in certain ethical theories, particularly consequentialism. I am also trying to contexualise Anscombe's philosophy of action in a mid-century (and earlier) interest in the paranormal. And I am always thinking about empty space (the topic of my 2012 PhD and hopefully one day a book).

With Rachael Wiseman, I continue to work on further Quartet-inspired themes and schemes.

I am originally from Dublin and my name Mac Cumhaill is pronounced Mac 'Cool' (a gaelified version of the anglicized Mc Cool, which was the name of this mythical person)

Administrative Role

Director of Postgraduate Research (DPGR) - with Peter Vickers

Research interests

  • Philosophy of Action
  • Metaphysics and Ontology of Mind
  • History of Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Perception


Authored book

  • Mac Cumhaill, C & Wiseman, C (Published). Metaphysical Animals: How Four Women Brought Philosophy Back to Life. Chatto and Windus (UK), Doubleday (US).

Chapter in book

Edited book

  • Mac Cumhaill, Clare & Crowther, Thomas (2018). Perceptual Ephemera. Oxford Oxford University Press.

Edited Journal

  • Mac Cumhaill, C & Wiseman, R (2022). Mary Midgley: A Celebration. Philosophy, Cambridge University Press.

Journal Article