Benjamin Bâcle

Benjamin Bacle

Current occupation
I am currently a Teaching Fellow in French at University College London.

Brief outline of PhD research
My PhD is a comparison between the ideas of the French philosopher Maine de Biran (1766-1824) and his British contemporary Samuel Taylor Coleridge ((1772-1834). More particularly, it is a comparison between their conceptions of the faculty of willing, which was at the centre of an important debate at the time, in epistemological, philosophical and even socio-political terms.

Why did you choose to study for your PhD in the School of Languages and Social Sciences?
I had been working in the School as a Teaching Assistant for two years, and already felt very much at home there. A prior discussion with Professor Michael Sutton and the choice of Dr Hélène Stafford as my supervisor did the rest: I knew I would get the best possible support, in both academic and human terms. 

What did you find most useful about the PhD programme?
Without a doubt, my supervisor’s constant help and support, in all aspects of my research. But also the support and inputs of other senior colleagues, such as Professor Sutton, Professor Gaffney or Dr Larrivée, to name but a few. I have to say the support staff proved very kind and understanding all along as well! The weekly seminars provided to the PhD students were very helpful too, as well as the opportunity to keep teaching, which helped me keep a foot in the ‘real’ world.

How has your PhD helped you in your current occupation?
It has helped me, and continues to help me, a great deal. My research has provided me with a solid core knowledge of the period I have specialized in, but also made me more confident in the way I approach problems more or less directly related to any of the aspects of my thesis. I draw on it continuously.