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Department of Philosophy


Dr Sophie Gibb, BA, MA, PhD

Head of Department in the Department of Philosophy

Contact Dr Sophie Gibb (email at


Sophie Gibb is Reader 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-present.
  • Principal Investigator for an AHRC Network Grant, 'Emergence: Where is the Evidence?' (co-investigator Professor Robin Hendry, Durham University), Dec. 2014-present.

Research Interests

Sophie Gibb's research is primarily concerned with the following areas of contemporary metaphysics and the philosophy of mind and she would welcome enquiries from students wishing to pursue PhDs in any of them:

  • The categories of being, in particular, the nature of properties
  • Causation, laws and powers
  • The mental causation debate, in particular, the ontology of the mental causation debate.


Administrative Duties

  • Head of Department
  • Director of the Mind, Language and Metaphysics Research Group

Research Groups

  • Mind, Language and Metaphysics


Books: edited

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

Books: reviews

Edited works: journals

  • Guta, M. P. & Gibb, S. C. (2015). Insights into the First-Person Perspective and the Self: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Special Issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, Imprint Academic.

Essays in edited volumes

  • Gibb, S.C. (Forthcoming). Trope Simplicity. In Substance: New Essays. Garcia, Robert K. Philosophia Verlag.
  • 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 papers: academic

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