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Associate Professor of Philosophy, London School of Economics and Political Science

Dr Jonathan Birch is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the LSE and Principal Investigator (PI) on the Foundations of Animal Sentience project. In addition to his interest in animal sentience, cognition and welfare, he also has a longstanding interest in the evolution of altruism and social behaviour.

He joined the LSE in 2014. Before moving to London, he was a Junior Research Fellow at Christ’s College, Cambridge. He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2013, with a dissertation entitled Kin Selection: A Philosophical Analysis.

He has published widely on various topics in the philosophy of the biological sciences, in journals such as Current Biology, The American Naturalist, Biological Reviews, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Nous, Philosophy of Science, and The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. His first book, The Philosophy of Social Evolution, was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.

In 2014, he was one of four UK philosophers honoured with a Philip Leverhulme Prize, which recognize “the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising”.


  • 2018–present
    Associate professor, London School of Economics
  • 2014–2018
    Research assistant professor, London School of Economics
  • 2012–2013
    Research fellow, University of Cambridge


  • 2013 
    University of Cambridge, PhD

Grants and Contracts

  • 2019
    Foundations of Animal Sentience
    Principal Investigator
    Funding Source:
    European Research Council