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About Dr Brian Ball

Dr Brian Ball is the Head of Faculty and Associate Professor in Philosophy at Northeastern University London. He received a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University with Honours in Philosophy and a Minor Concentration in Linguistics, and on graduation was awarded the Prince of Wales Medal in Mental and Moral Philosophy. He then completed the BPhil in Philosophy at the University of Oxford as a Marion Buck scholar, and stayed for a DPhil, carried out under the supervision of Dorothy Edgington and John Hawthorne, and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He was subsequently a lecturer in Philosophy at St Anne’s , and then Balliol College, University of Oxford.  He joined Northeastern University London in 2013.



DPhil in Philosophy, University of Oxford (2008)

BPhil in Philosophy, University of Oxford (2003)

BA Hons Phil, Minor Ling, McGill University (2000)


Professional Affiliations

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

Aristotelian Society





Dr Brian Ball's Research

Dr Ball’s primary research interest is in the metaphysics of intentional states and acts – which is to say that he explores the natures of such things as knowledge, belief, judgment, and assertion, all of which have the distinctive characteristic of being about something.

His doctoral thesis, Semantics, Metasemantics, and Ontology (Oxford, 2008), investigated issues at the intersection of metaphysics and the philosophy of language, arguing that the things which must exist if a speaker’s remarks are to be true are best discerned through an examination, not of what their words mean, but of why it is that they have those meanings. He has since published on topics in metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophies of mind and language in such journals as Analysis, Mind and Language, Philosophical Psychology, and Philosophical Quarterly; and he has presented his work at conferences and colloquia to both national and international audiences. His 2016 paper, ‘Knowledge, Safety, and Questions’ won the Philosophy South Essay Prize; and in 2019 he was awarded a Research and Learning Development Initiative grant in Information Ethics with Ron Sandler (Northeastern)

Dr Ball regularly attends the Philosophy Research Seminar and the Cognitive Science Research Group meetings at Northeastern University London. He co-organized the Northeastern University London conferences on Mind and Brain, and on Numbers, Minds, and Magnitudes, as well as the Northeastern University London workshops Judgment: Act and Object, and Debating Debates.


Selected Publications

‘Speech Acts, Actions, and Events’, forthcoming, Cambridge Handbook of Philosophy of Language, CUP

‘Defeating Fake News’, Moral and Political Philosophy (2020), online first, doi 10.1515/mopp 2019-0033

‘Attitudes and Ascriptions in Stalnaker Models’, Linguistics and Philosophy (2019), 42: 517-539, doi 10.1007/s10988-019-09257-8

‘Alethic Pluralism and the Role of Reference in the Metaphysics of Truth’, Southern Journal of Philosophy (2017), 55(1): 116-135, doi 10.1111/sjp.12208

‘On Representational Content and Format in Core Numerical Cognition’, Philosophical Psychology (2017), 30(1-2): 119-139, doi: 10.1080/09515089.2016.1263988

Editorial Work

‘Editorial: Computationalism Meets the Philosophy of Information’ with F. Nagle and I. Votsis, Review of Philosophy and Psychology (2020), 11(3): 507-515,

‘Introduction: Mind and Brain’ with F. Nagle and I. Votsis, Topoi (2020), 39(1): 1-3, doi 10.1007/s11245-019-09681-2

‘Introduction’, in Ball and Schuringa (eds.), The Act and Object of Judgment, Routledge (2019), pp.1-25

For access to some of Dr Ball’s publications, see here.

Dr Brian Ball's Teaching

Dr Ball has extensive teaching experience in philosophy, having taught at both undergraduate and graduate levels, at a number of institutions (McGill, Oxford, Northeastern University London), and in a variety of formats (lectures, seminars, tutorials).

He has taught a wide range of subjects within philosophy, including: aesthetics, early modern philosophy, epistemology, the history of analytic philosophy, logic (both formal and philosophical), metaphysics, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mathematics, and the philosophy of mind.


Teaching Appointments

Head of Faculty in Philosophy, Northeastern University London, London (2019-present)

Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Northeastern University London, London (2015-present)

Lecturer in Philosophy, Balliol College, Oxford (2014-2016)

Lecturer in Philosophy, Northeastern University London, London (2013-2015)

Lecturer in Philosophy, St Anne’s College, Oxford (2008-2014)

Tutor, Faculty of Philosophy and Various Colleges, Oxford (2003-2008)

Tutorial Assistant, Department of Philosophy, McGill University, Montreal (2000)


Programme Development

Dr Ball has been instrumental in developing, not only the undergraduate major, minor, and PPE/PPH programmes in philosophy, as well as the MA Philosophy programme, but also a number of interdisciplinary degrees – in particular, the BA (Hons) Philosophy and Cognitive Science, the the MA Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence, and the MSc AI with a Human Face.


Faculty Positions

Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Northeastern University London

Director of Graduate Studies in Philosophy, Northeastern University London

Personal Tutor, Northeastern University London

Academic Board, Northeastern University London

Collegium, Northeastern University London

Associate Member, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford


Languages Spoken

English and French.