David Levy

Senior Teaching Fellow

  • Philosophy
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Room 5.10, Dugald Stewart Building

3 Charles Street, Edinburgh
Post code


  • Office hour: Tuesday 3-4pm


David Levy joined the department in 2004. Prior to that I taught in London. I have previous professional experience with topics in computer science.

I am interested in the nature of understanding, particularly of morals, ethics and people. I am developing an account of moral understanding that is oriented around experiences of morality and the good.

Almost all of the history of philosophy interests me. Recent philosophers whose work I admire include Simone Weil, Stanley Cavell and Peter Winch.

Selected Publications

  • 2016 "Wittgenstein and Wittgensteinians" in The Cambridge History of Moral Philosophy, Cambridge UP.
  • 2015 “Assimilating Supererogation” in Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, 77, 227-242.
  • 2015 “Autobiographical Acts” in The Philosophy of Autobiography, University of Chicago Press, 156-178.
  • 2014 “The Content of a Lecture on Ethics” in Wittgenstein: Lecture on Ethics, Wiley Blackwell, 1-41.
  • 2012 “Autonomy: Presumptively Precluding Consequentialism in Medical Ethics” in Reconceiving Medical Ethics, Continuum, 115-132.
  • 2010, “Moral Authority and Wrongdoing” in Philosophical Topics, 38:1, 107-122.
  • 2009 "Morality without Agency" in Wittgenstein's Enduring Arguments, Zamuner and Levy (eds.), Routledge 2009.
  • 2007 "Introduction to Wittgenstein's Early Writings on Ethics" and "Interpreting the Lecture on Ethics," in L. Wittgenstein, Lecture on Ethics: Introduction, Interpretation and Complete Text, DiLascio, Levy and Zamuner (eds.), Florence: Quodlibet.
  • 2003 "Concepts, language, and privacy: An argument 'vaguely Viennese in provenance'", Language and Cognitive Processes 18 (2003), 693-723. Reprinted in Conceptual Representation, J. Hampton and H. Moss (eds.), London: Psychology Press, 2003.

Undergraduate teaching

Wittgenstein; Nature of Moral Understanding; Simone Weil; Freedom, Consent and Political Obligation

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Moral Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Modern Philosophy, Plato, Kant, Wittgenstein, Simone Weil, Phenomenology, Applied Ethics, Meaning.

Teaching is the most satisfying work I do.  I particularly enjoy and value close supervision of postgraduate and undergraduate work. I encourage potential research students to contact me with proposals.

Office hours:

Tuesday 3pm - 4pm

Current PhD students supervised

Martin Kelly (School of Law)

Research summary

Moral Philosophy, Wittgenstein, Understanding, Plato, Meaning, Simone Weil