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Professor in the School of EducationED214+44 (0) 191 33 48404


Richard Smith mainly teaches courses in the theory and philosophy of social science. His research interests are in the philosophy of social science and in philosophical issues in education, particularly higher education, postmodernity, and the epistemology of educational research. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Philosophy of Education. 

Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

Richard would welcome applications from doctorate students in the following areas:

  • Ethical and philosophical issues in education.
  • The moral psychology of self-belief.
  • Critique of educational research and its 'methods'.

Research interests

  • Critique of educational research
  • The moral psychology of self-belief
  • Virtue epistemology
  • The importance of Not Knowing

Esteem Indicators

  • 2013: Chair: Philosophy of Education Society of GB (elected)
  • 2013: Commissioned by Routledge publishers: To produce Major Themes in Education: Philosophy of Education II (5-vol anthology covering 1998-2013), to be published in 2014
  • 2013: Output Assessor: Research Excellence Framework (REF) Panel 25 (Education)


Authored book

  • Smeyers, P. & Smith, R.D. (2014). Understanding Education and Educational Research. Cambridge Cambridge University Press.
  • R.D. Smith, N. Blake, P. Smeyers & P. Standish (2000). Education in An Age of Nihilism. RoutledgeFalmer.
  • R.D. Smith, N. Blake, P. Smeyers & P. Standish (1998). Thinking Again: Education After Postmodernism. Bergin & Garvey.
  • R.D. Smith, N. Blake & P. Standish (1998). The Universities We Need: Higher Education after Dearing. Kogan Page Limited.

Chapter in book

Edited book

  • Fulford, A;, Lockrobin, G; & Smith, R; (2020). Philosophy and Community: Theories, Practices and Possibilities. Bloomsbury.
  • Torill,S., Smith,R., Pirrie,A., Gregoriou,Z. & Papastephanou,M. (2017). Philosophy as Interplay and Dialogue. Reihe: Studies on Education. Münster, Vienna and Zurich: LIT Verlag.
  • Smith, R.D. (2013). Education Policy: Philosophical Critique. Wiley Blackwell.
  • Smith, R.D., Bridges, D. & Smeyers, P. (eds) (2009). Evidence-based Educational Policy: What Evidence? What Basis? Whose Policy?. Blackwell.
  • Smith, R.D. & Bridges, D. (2007). Philosophy, Methodology and Educational Research. Blackwell.
  • R.D. Smith, N. Blake, P. Smeyers & P. Standish (2002). Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Education. Oxford: Blackwell.

Journal Article

Supervision students