Philosophy and the History of Ideas (PHI)

The Philosophy and the History of Ideas (PHI) Affiliated Research Team is one of the largest centres of its kind in Victoria.


Our members

PHI members draw on key works and figures in ancient, modern and contemporary philosophy in order to critically examine a number of concepts central to contemporary thinking about ourselves, our world, and how we ought to live.

We explore how various philosophical ideas have shaped wider cultures in different periods and, in turn, how they've been shaped by wider institutional, economic, political, and social forces.

We host a fortnightly research seminar, as well as several focused workshops throughout the year.

Areas we engage in

We aim to facilitate dialogue between researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds. Our goal is to develop new connections between the history of philosophical thought, abstract thinking about concepts, theoretical reasoning about the world and its contents, and practical reasoning about individual and collective activity.

Our areas of engagement include the following:

  • Personal identity
  • Subjectivity
  • Action and agency
  • Practical reason
  • Intersubjectivity
  • Political and legal authority
  • Politics and aesthetics
  • Philosophy as a way of life
  • Happiness and human flourishing
  • Spiritual practices
  • Time and change
  • Language and meaning
  • The literary
  • Psychoanalysis

Past events

2016 Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy Conference

7 – 9 December 2016
Melbourne Burwood Campus

Featuring a number of curated streams, including ‘Philosophies of Self-Formation’, ‘Continental Philosophy and Other Traditions’, ‘Phenomenologies of Oppression’, ‘Law and Continental Philosophy’, ‘Philosophy and Creative Practice’ and ‘Politics and Technology’.

Learn more about this event

Key thinkers

The following are thinkers whose works are key references for PHI members.

  • Arendt
  • Aristotle
  • Badiou
  • Camus
  • de Beauvoir
  • Deleuze
  • Derrida
  • Dogen
  • Foucault
  • Freud
  • Hadot
  • Heidegger
  • Hegel
  • Husserl
  • Lacan
  • Kant
  • Kierkegaard
  • Merleau-Ponty
  • Nagarjuna
  • Nietzsche
  • Peirce
  • Plato
  • Sartre
  • Shankara
  • the Frankfurt School
  • the Stoics
  • Žižek