Professor David Webb

Job Title and Responsibilities

Professor of Philosophy

Member of the University Research Degrees Sub-Committee
Chair of the Faculty Research Degrees Committee (Arts and Creative Technologies)
Award Leader for all Philosophy awards
Chair of Faculty Research Ethics Committee


PhD (Philosophy): University of Warwick
MA in Continental Philosophy: University of Essex
BSc (Physics and Philosophy): University of Warwick

Professional Memberships and Activities

Secretary of The British Society for Phenomenology (2004-2010)
Member of the Executive Committee of The British Society for Phenomenology
Member of the Editorial Board of Metodo.


Modern European Philosophy, especially phenomenology, and French epistemology and philosophy of science (Heidegger, Levinas, Foucault, Serres, Bachelard, Cavaillès).

Enterprise and Commercial Activities

HEIF4 project in partnership with Burslem Town Regeneration.

Research and Interests

My research is centred on recent and contemporary European philosophy, and I have a particular interest in French epistemology and philosophy of science. I recently published an analysis of Foucault's archaeological method that placed it in relation to developments in the philosophy of mathematics and the philosophy of science earlier in the 20th Century. I am interested in drawing on the work of Michel Foucault to reformulate the concept of character in a way that resists some of the destructive tendencies found in contemporary political economy. This involves an examination of Foucault’s conception of critique. I am also working on Michel Serres.

More generally, I am interested in most areas of recent continental philosophy, and especially in ways that theoretical work intersects with concrete ethical and political concerns. PhD enquires are welcome from anyone wanting to work topics relevant to recent European philosophy, and in particular to Michel Foucault, Michel Serres, and Gaston Bachelard. 

Selected Publications

Foucault’s Archaeology: Science and Transformation (Edinburgh University Press, 2012).
Heidegger, Ethics and the Practice of Ontology (Continuum Press, 2009).

Journal Articles
‘Praxis and the Time of Ethical Life in Aristotle’, in Époche, spring 2010.
‘Arte pubblica e spazio relazionale’ in Estetica, 1/2008.
‘Ontological Difference and the Question of Politics’, a dialogue co-authored with Fabio Ciaramelli, The European Journal of Political Theory on ‘Heidegger and Political Philosophy’ (Vol 3.1 2007), 53-66; trans. Italian, L’Acropoli, November, 2007.
‘Michel Serres on Lucretius: atomism, science and ethics’, Angelaki (Vol. 11, No.2, 2006).

Book Chapters
‘Heidegger’ entry  for The Cambridge Foucault Lexicon, ed. Leonard Lawlor & John Nale (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
‘Michel Serres: from the History of Mathematics to Critical History’ in Time and History in Deleuze and Serres, ed Bernd Herzogenrath (Continuum Press, London, 2011).
‘Penser le multiple sans le concept: vers un intellect démocratique’ in  Cahier Michel Serres , ed. F L’Yvonnet (Herne, 2010).
 ‘Gianni Vattimo: Hermeneutics as a Practice of Freedom’, in Between Nihilism and Politics: The Hermeneutics of Gianni Vattimo, ed. S Benso and B Schroeder (SUNY Press, 2010).
Heidegger: l’etica e la pratica dell’ontologia’ in Heidegger, 30 anni dopo, ed. C Gentili (Edizioni Pendragon, Bologna, 2009).
 ‘Cavaillès and the Historical a priori in Foucault’ in Virtual Mathematics: the Logic of Difference, ed. S Duffy (Clinamen Press, Manchester, 2005).

Current Teaching

My teaching includes the following modules: 
Phenomenology and Ontology
Epistemology and Philosophy of Science
Knowledge and Politics

In addition, I teach a series of text based modules. Recent and forthcoming examples include modules on:
Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe (De rerum natura)
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Plato, Republic
Kant, Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View
Levinas, Totality and Infinity
Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics


David Webb
t: +44 (0)1782 294769