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Durham University

The Department of Philosophy


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

Research Interests

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


Book review

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.

Edited book

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.

Journal Article

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