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Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Dr Emily Thomas

Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy

(email at

Office Hours

By appointment. 


I’ve written a lot on space and time in early modern and early twentieth century philosophy. I’m also interested in lots of other metaphysical issues, including substance, change, motion, idealism, process, personal identity, and philosophy of religion. 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.

In 2018 I published two books: Absolute Time: Rifts in Early Modern British Metaphysics (Oxford University Press) and Early Modern Women on Metaphysics (Cambridge University Press). My work has been supported by a Veni research grant from the Netherlands Research Council and a Rising Star grant from the British Academy.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about philosophical issues in travel. What is travel? What are maps? How has philosophy affected travel, and how has travel affected philosophy? I’m writing a book on this, for which I am represented by United Agents

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 am an editor for the British Journal for the History of Philosophy, and I sit on the Board of Advisors for the International Association for the Philosophy of Time. At Durham, I am a Senior Fellow of University "Castle" College.

For further information about my research and media work, see my personal website

You can also follow me on twitter @emilytwrites

Teaching (2018-2019)

  • Knowledge & Reality 
  • Modern Philosophy I
  • MA Philosophical Perspectives

Administration Roles (2018-2019)

  • Tutor Manager
  • DELTA Co-ordinator
  • CHSS Co-ordinator 

Research Interests

  • Space and time
  • Early modern metaphysics
  • Early twentieth century metaphysics
  • Women in the history of philosophy
  • Philosophy of travel


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article