The Centre for Philosophy and the Visual Arts (CPVA) is a major multi-disciplinary initiative based at King’s College London. Its aim is to bring together academics, artists, curators and gallerists to explore the connections between philosophy, theory and the visual arts. The current Directors of the Centre are Harald den Breejen and Dr. Sacha Golob.
CPVA works primarily with galleries, from major public institutions to smaller specialist venues, and with curators and individual artists interested in philosophy and theory. For information on events, including artists' residencies, or to discuss a possible collaboration, please see our main website or email us.
The King’s Philosophy in Schools program, run in partnership between the department and The Philosophy Foundation, trains 10-12 KCL undergraduate and postgraduate students to provide intensive philosophy seminars to primary and secondary school students in underserved communities.
The program reaches over 250 students per year in schools with above average numbers on the pupil premium, offering them 5 hours of discussion-based seminars with a King’s philosopher. Early exposure to philosophy has been shown to improve both reading and critical thinking skills. In addition, we hope that this program will help to introduce a greater swath of the public to the field of philosophy.
Since 2016, the Department of Philosophy has delivered philosophy courses for prisoners at HMP Belmarsh. The courses introduce students to core philosophical topics and encourages participants to critically reflect on and develop their own points of view. It is discussion based and designed to be accessible to students with little formal education.
In feedback, participants have expressed how much they enjoy the course: it offers a stimulating educational environment in which to discuss challenging and complex ideas. Participants also reported that they valued being part of structured and open-ended group discussions, in which they can both listen and be listened to. Some experienced a positive impact upon their mood, sense of self, and social lives.
The project is managed by Mike Coxhead (Visiting Research Fellow) with the support of Professors Bill Brewer and MM McCabe. The courses are developed and delivered with Andrea Fassolas (The Guild of Psychotherapists) and Andy West (The Philosophy Foundation).