Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Dr Simon Paul James, BSc, MA, PhD

Personal web page

Associate Professor/Deputy Director DEC in the Department of Philosophy

(email at s.p.james@durham.ac.uk)


I came to philosophy by a roundabout route, taking a BSc in Biological Sciences, followed by an MA in the History and Philosophy of Science, before obtaining a PhD for a thesis on environmental ethics in 2001. I am currently an Associate Professor (Reader) in the Department of Philosophy.

My work engages with a wide range of issues in environmental philosophy, from Buddhist approaches to wildlife conservation to our moral relations with rock formations, and from the (so-called) problem of animal minds to the virtue ethical question of whether a good life must be a green life.

In my spare time, I enjoy playing guitar and (with Helen and my daughter Emily) walking in wild (or wildish) places.

Office hours

During term time, 13:30 to 16:30 on Thursdays

Undergraduate Teaching

Research Groups

  • Applied Phenomenology

Research Interests

  • Environmental philosophy
  • Existential phenomenology
  • Buddhist philosophy

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • James, Simon P. (2016). Phenomenology and the Charge of Anthropocentrism. In Nature and Experience: Phenomenology and the Environment. Bannon, Bryan Rowmann & Littlefield. 43-52.
  • James, Simon P. (2014). Green Managerialism and the Erosion of Meaning. In Old World and New World Perspectives on Environmental Philosophy: Transatlantic Conversations. Drenthen, M. & Keulartz, J. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 139-150.
  • James, Simon P. (2013). Buddhism and Environmental Ethics. In A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. Emmanuel, Steven M. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. 601-612.
  • James, Simon P. (2012). Conserving Nature's Meanings. In Embodied Values and the Environment. Brady, E. & Phemister, P. Springer.
  • James, Simon P. (2008). Asian Philosophy. In Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy. Gale.

Edited Journal

  • James, Simon P. & Cooper, David E. (2008). Buddhism and the Environment. Contemporary Buddhism, 8 (2): Taylor and Francis.

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Other (Print)

  • James, Simon P. (2017). Conflict and Resolution (editorial for Environmental Values). 26(5): 535-538.

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Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Education & awareness: Environmental ethics
  • Ethics: Environmental ethics
  • Philosophy: Environmental ethics
  • Religion: Environmental ethics