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Kate Kirkpatrick took a double first in Philosophy and Theology at the University of Oxford. She then worked in book publishing for five years before returning to Oxford to do her MSt and DPhil, focusing on the concept of nothingness in the early philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre.

Before joining King’s College London in 2018 Dr Kirkpatrick was Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire and Stipendiary Lecturer in Theology at St Peter's College, Oxford. She also taught the philosophy and feminism of Simone de Beauvoir for Oxford’s MSt in Women’s Studies.

Dr Kirkpatrick is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Treasurer of the UK Sartre Society, and Managing Editor of Simone de Beauvoir Studies.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • French existentialisms (especially Beauvoir and Sartre)
  • Philosophy and literature
  • Ethical formation
  • Twentieth-century feminisms
  • Conceptions of sin and love
  • Methodology in the philosophy of religion
  • Biography

Dr Kirkpatrick is interested in the intersection of philosophy, religion, and culture in twentieth- and twenty-first century thought—especially in existentialism and feminism. She is interested in philosophical and religious ethics and in literature as a medium through which questions about ethics and the meaning of life are explored.


Dr Kirkpatrick teaches modules on Philosophy, Ethics, and Literature, the Philosophy of Religion, and the relation between Faith and Enlightenment.

Expertise and public engagement

Dr Kirkpatrick regularly writes and speaks on existentialism, feminism, and other topics in the areas of philosophy, religion, and ethics.