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Dr Alison Ainley

Associate Professor

Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Humanities and Social Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Research Supervision:

Alison’s interests include topics in aesthetics, ethics, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and feminist philosophy; and thinkers including Heidegger, Aristotle, de Beauvoir, and Freud.

[email protected]


Alison has taught at ARU since 1993. She has completed various publications and conference presentations in European philosophy, mainly focussing on feminist perspectives on art, sexual difference, and identity.

She has also undertaken research into topic such as courage, weakness of will, and autonomy in ethics.

Research interests

  • Feminist perspectives in philosophy
  • Aesthetics
  • Phenomenology
  • Ethics

Areas of research supervision

  • Feminist philosophy
  • Heidegger
  • Nietzsche
  • European philosophy
  • Phenomenology




  • Philosophy of Art
  • Ruskin Module on the Ethics of AI
  • Major Project
  • Personal Development Tutorials


University of Warwick (1982-93):

  • BA (Hons) Philosophy and Literature, 1st Class, June 1985
  • MA in Philosophy and Literature, awarded June 1986
  • PhD in Philosophy: ‘Ethics and Embodiment’, awarded September 1993

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member of the Board of Governors, Cambridge Theological Federation 2016-2021
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, awarded 2018
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to ARU 2016
  • WOW external ‘excellent student experience’ award 2014
  • External Examiner at MPhil and PhD level for Cambridge University
  • Member of the Society for Women in Philosophy since 1989

Selected recent publications

Ainley, A., 2009. Kristeva, subjectivity and culture’. Hypatia, 24(1).

Ainley, A., 2007. Grounds for Optimism. New Humanist, May.

Ainley, A., 2005. The mighty fork (Kierkegaard). Philosopher’s Magazine, 31, July.

Ainley, A., 2003. What’s it all about? Philosopher’s Magazine, 23, May.

Ainley, A., 2003. Provoking thought. Philosopher’s Magazine, 22, February.

Ainley, A., 2001. Imagination and the Maternal; Kant and Levinas. In: Chanter, T. (Ed.), 2001. Re-Reading the Cannon: Feminist Interpretations of Levinas (Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State Press).