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Durham University

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Professor Sophie Gibb, BA, MA, PhD

Professor (On Research Leave) in the Department of Philosophy

Contact Professor Sophie Gibb (email at


Sophie Gibb is Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Durham. Her research interests lie within contemporary metaphysics (in particular, ontology) and the philosophy of mind (in particular, the mental causation debate). Her current central research topics are concerned with the ontology of the mental causation debate, dualist accounts of psychophysical causation, the powers theory of causation and the trope/ universal debate. She is Associate Editor for the Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

Research Grants and Awards

  • Principal investigator in an AHRC-funded two-year project (£165,000) on 'The New Ontology of the Mental Causation Debate' (co-investigator Professor E. J. Lowe, Durham University), 2008-10.
  • Investigator (and leader of the philosophy of mind work group) in a John Templeton Foundation funded three-year project (£1.6 million approx.) on emergence (project leader Professor Robin Hendry, Durham University), 2013-16.
  • Principal Investigator for an AHRC Network Grant, 'Emergence: Where is the Evidence?' (co-investigator Professor Robin Hendry, Durham University), Dec. 2014-16.

Administrative Duties

Research Groups

Department of Philosophy

Research Interests

  • Metaphysics, in particular, the categories of being, causation, laws and powers.
  • The philosophy of mind, in particular, the mental causation debate.


Edited book

  • Gibb, S. C., Hendry, R. F. & Lancaster, T. (2019). The Routledge Handbook of Emergence. Routledge.
  • Carruth, A. D., Gibb, S. C. & Heil, J. (2018). Ontology, Modality, Mind: Themes from the Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe. Oxford University Press.
  • Gibb, S. C., Lowe, E. J. & Ingthorsson, R. D. (2013). Mental Causation and Ontology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Edited Journal

  • Guta, M. P. & Gibb, S. C. (2014). Insights into the First-Person Perspective and the Self: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Special Issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, Imprint Academic.

Chapter in book

  • (2019). Causal Closure Principles. In The Routledge Handbook of Emergence. London: Routledge.
  • Gibb, S. C. (2017). The Mental Causation Debate and Qua Problems. In Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Downward Causation. Paoletti, M. P. & Orilia, F. New York: Routledge. 265-277.
  • Carruth, A. D. & Gibb, S. C. (2017). The Ontology of E. J. Lowe's Substance Dualism. In Ontology, Modality, Mind: Themes from the Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe. Carruth, A. D., Gibb, S. C. & Heil, J. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Gibb, S.C. (2015). Tropes and the Generality of Laws. In The Problem of Universals in Contemporary Philosophy. Galluzzo, G. & Loux, M. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 156-172.
  • Gibb, S. C. (2013). Introduction. In Mental Causation and Ontology. Gibb, S. C., Lowe, E. J. & Ingthorsson, R. D. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1-17.
  • Gibb, S.C. (2013). Mental Causation and Double Prevention. In Mental Causation and Ontology. Gibb, S.C., Lowe, E.J. & Ingthorsson, R.D. Oxford Oxford University Press. 193-214.

Journal Article

  • Gibb, S. C. (2015). Physical Determinability. Humana.Mente: Journal of Philosophical Studies 29: 69-90.
  • Gibb, S. C. (2015). The Causal Closure Principle. Philosophical Quarterly 65(261): 626-647.
  • Gibb, S. C. (2015). VIII—Defending Dualism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115(2pt2): 131–146.
  • Gibb, S. C. (2014). Mental Causation. Analysis 74(2): 327-338.
  • Gibb, S. C. (2014). The Causal Criterion of Property Identity and the Substraction of Powers. Erkenntnis 79(1): 127-146.
  • Gibb, S. C. (2014). The Entailment Problem and the Subset Account of Property Realization. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92(3): 551-566.
  • Gibb, S. C. (2012). Non-reductive physicalism and the problem of strong closure. American Philosophical Quarterly 49(1): 29-42.
  • Gibb, S.C. (2010). Causal Closure Principles and the Laws of Conservation of Energy and Momentum. Dialectica 64(3): 363-384.
  • Gibb, S.C. (2009). Explanatory Exclusion and Causal Exclusion. Erkenntnis 71(2): 205-221.
  • Gibb, S.C. (2007). Is the Partial Identity Account of Property Resemblance Logically Incoherent? Dialectica 61(4): 539-558 (Awarded the Dialectica Annual Essay Prize).
  • Gibb, S.C. (2006). Space, Supervenience and Entailment. Philosophical Papers 35(2): 173-186.
  • Gibb, S.C. (2006). Why Davidson is not a Property Epiphenomenalist. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14(3): 407-422.
  • Gibb, S.C. (2004). The Problem of Mental Causation and the Nature of Properties. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82(3): 464-476.

Book review

  • Gibb, S. C. (2012). 'Tropes: Objects, Properties and Mental Causation' by D. Ehring. Analysis 72(4): 850-851.
  • Gibb, S.C. (2009). 'Physical Realization' by Sydney Shoemaker. Mind 118(469): 207-211.
  • Gibb, S. C. (2009). 'The Mind in Nature' by C. B. Martin. Analysis 69(2): 386-388.
  • Gibb, S. C. (2005). 'Externalism: Putting Mind and World Back Together Again' by M. Rowlands. Philosophical Books 46(3): 282-284.