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Thomas Uebel


Personal profile


Before coming to Manchester, Thomas Uebel held teaching and/or research positions at Northwestern University, University of Pittsburgh, Technical University of Berlin, University of Vienna and London School of Economics. He is a member and past president of the International Society for the History of the Philosophy of Science. At Manchester he served as Convenor of the Centre for Philosophy from 2002 to 2005, as Director of Undergraduate Studies of the School of Social Science from 2005 to 2009 and as Head of Discipline Area Philosophy from 2011 to 2014. He became Emeritus in 2020.

Research interests

Specific research interests:

Thomas Uebel pursues research interests in Epistemology , General Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Social Science and in History of Analytic Philosophy and History of Philosophy of Science.

In Epistemology, he is interested to investigate the nature and structure of justification (internalism/externalism, anti-foundationalism and contextualism), the presuppositions of scepticism and the nature of a priori knowledge as well as issues in naturalistic epistemology (normativity) and social epistemology (testimony).

In Philosophy of Science, he is interested in deflationist approaches to the realism debate and methodological questions arising out of the "historical" and "social turn" of the discipline; in Philosophy of Social Science, his interests concern aspects of methodological individualism, value neutrality and issues of reflexivity.

In History of Analytical Philosophy, he is interested in early logical empiricism (especially Neurath, Carnap, Frank and Hahn), pragmatism (Dewey, Quine) and Austrian philosophy (Bolzano, Brentano); in History of Philosophy of Science, his interests concern the precursors of logical empiricism (Mach, Poincare, Duhem, Rey) and the methodological and/or foundational disputes in the emerging social sciences at the beginning of the 20th century and in 19th century German historiography.

Current research projects:

Uebel's current projects include a book (to be co-written with John O'Neill) on Otto Neurath's philosophy of social science viewed in critical confrontation with the Frankfurt School (Horkheimer, Adorno, Habermas) and Austrian Economics (Mises, Hayek) and related essays.  Another historical project concerns the legacy of logical empiricism for the philosophy of science as a whole considered from the vantage point of the sustained re-assessment the former has received in the last few decades (in which he participated).  In systematic philosophy of social science broadly conceived Uebel is interested to explore the potential of narrative in support of the causal paradigm in action explanations and the epistemological consequences of narrativity in historical explanations. 

Further information


He supervised research in the areas of his research interests (see above).

Phd Students:

Dan Fitzpatrick (2001), Charles Robinson (2007), John Guelke (2009), Thomas Connor (2011), Leo Tarasov (2014), Maeve MacPherson (2018), Joseph Bentley (2021), Dennis Graemer (2022).


Current teaching:

Thomas Uebel taught Epistemology, Philosophy of Science and Social Science, and History of Analytical Philosophy, both at undergraduate and graduate level.

Additional information:

Thomas Uebel possesses media experience as a radio presenter and producer (WMBR Cambridge, Mass.). He is available for consultation and interviews (English, German).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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