Dr Emily Thomas
(email at email@example.com)
Term-time office hours: Tuesdays 3:15-4:15pm, and Thursdays 3-5pm.
I’ve written a lot on space and time in early modern and early twentieth century philosophy. I’m also interested in the metaphysics of substance, change, motion, idealism, process, personal identity, and philosophy of religion. I'm fascinated by the philosophy of travel. I like digging out the work of rich but under-studied figures, including women philosophers who have traditionally been neglected in the history of philosophy.
I have published two scholarly books: Absolute Time: Rifts in Early Modern British Metaphysics (2018, Oxford University Press) and Early Modern Women on Metaphysics (2018, Cambridge University Press). I have also written a popular book, The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad (2020, Oxford University Press). It explores philosophical issues around travel, from the “Age of Discovery” to the present day, including maps, climate change, and wilderness. You can read a review in The Spectator.
My earlier work has been supported by a Veni research grant from the Netherlands Research Council, a stipend from the John Templeton Foundation, and a Rising Star grant from the British Academy.
Recently I’ve begun a new research project, into early twentieth century metaphysics of time. Does the present moment move? Is the future real? Does time have a direction? At the turn of the twentieth century, why did British philosophers become so worried about these questions? This work is supported by an AHRC Leadership Fellows grant.
I am committed to getting philosophy out beyond the academy. You can listen to me talking about Bergson and time on BBC Radio 4's In Our Time; and about travel on BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week. I tweet regularly about philosophy @emilytwrites
In addition to my position at Durham, I am an Honorary Fellow at the ACU Dianoia Institute of Philosophy. Previously, I studied for my PhD at the University of Cambridge (2013), and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Groningen (2013-2016). I sit on editorial or advisory boards for the British Journal for the History of Philosophy, the International Association for the Philosophy of Time, and the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Philosophers. At Durham, I am a Senior Fellow of University "Castle" College. For my popular books I am represented by United Agents.
For further information about my research and media work, please see my personal website www.emilythomaswrites.co.uk
- Knowledge & Reality
- Modern Philosophy I
- MA Philosophical Perspectives
Administration Roles (2019-2020)
- Tutor Manager
- DELTA Co-ordinator
- Director, History of Philosophy Research Cluster
- Space and time
- Early modern metaphysics
- Nineteenth & twentieth century metaphysics
- Women in the history of philosophy
- Philosophy of travel
- Pictures in the history of philosophy
- Thomas, Emily (2020). The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad. Oxford University Press.
- Thomas, Emily (2018). Absolute Time: Rifts in Early Modern British Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
Chapter in book
- Thomas, Emily (Accepted). Cavendish, Conway, and Cockburn on Matter. In The Routledge Handbook of Women and Early Modern European Philosophy. Detlefsen, Karen & Shapiro, Lisa Routledge.
- Thomas, Emily (Accepted). Locke, Newton, and Edmund Law. In The Lockean Mind. Gordon-Roth, Jessica & Weinberg, Shelley Routledge.
- Thomas, Emily & Janiak, Andrew (Accepted). Space and its Relationship to God. In Cambridge History of the Scientific Revolution. Miller, David & Jalobeanu, Dana Cambridge Cambridge University of Press.
- Thomas, Emily (Accepted). The History of Philosophy and its Disappeared Women. In Philosophy by Women: 23 Philosophers Reflect on Philosophy and Its Values. Vintiadis, Elly Routledge.
- Thomas, Emily (2018). Anne Conway on the Identity of Creatures over Time. In Early Modern Women on Metaphysics. Thomas, Emily Cambridge Cambridge University Press.
- Thomas, Emily (2017). Creation, Divine Freedom, and Catharine Cockburn: An Intellectualist on Possible Worlds and Contingent Laws. In Women and Liberty, 1600-1800. Oxford Oxford University Press.
- Thomas, Emily (2016). Samuel Alexander’s Spacetime God: A Naturalist Rival to Current Emergentist Theologies. In Alternative Concepts of God. Buckareff, Andrei A. & Nagasawa, Yujin Oxford: Oxford University Press. 255-273.
- Thomas, Emily (2018). Early Modern Women on Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press.
- (Accepted). “Time and Subtle Pictures in the History of Philosophy”. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
- Thomas, Emily (2020). Anne Conway as a Priority Monist: A Reply to Gordon-Roth. Journal of the American Philosophical Association
- Thomas, Emily (2019). The Idealism and Pantheism of May Sinclair. Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5(2): 137-157.
- Thomas, Emily (2019). The Roots of C. D. Broad’s Growing Block Theory of Time. Mind 128(510): 527-549.
- Thomas, Emily (2017). Time, Space, and Process in Anne Conway. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25(5): 990-1010.
- Thomas, Emily (2016). On the “Evolution” of Locke’s Space and Time Metaphysics. History of Philosophy Quarterly 33(4): 305-325.
- Thomas, Emily (2015). British Idealist Monadologies and the Reality of Time: Hilda Oakeley Against McTaggart, Leibniz, and Others. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23(6): 1150-1168.
- Thomas, Emily (2015). Catharine Cockburn on Unthinking Immaterial Substance: Souls, Space, and Related Matters. Philosophy Compass 10(4): 255-263.
- Thomas, Emily (2015). Henry More and the development of absolute time. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54: 11-19.
- Thomas, Emily (2015). Hilda Oakeley on Idealism, History and the Real Past. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23(5): 933-953.
- Thomas, Emily (2015). In Defense of Real Cartesian Motion. Journal of the History of Philosophy 53(4): 747-762.
- Thomas, Emily & Leech, Jessica (2013). Baking with Kant and Bradley. British Idealism and Collingwood Studies 19(1): 75-94.
- Thomas, Emily (2013). Catharine Cockburn on Substantival Space. History of Philosophy Quarterly 30(3): 195-214.
- Thomas, Emily (2013). Space, Time, and Samuel Alexander. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21(3): 549-569.