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Professor Simon P. James

Professor/DEC Chair

BSc, MA, PhD

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Professor/DEC Chair in the Department of Philosophy  
Professor of Philosophy in Durham CELLS (Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences)  


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.

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 our two daughters, Emily and Charlotte) walking in wild (or wildish) places.

Office Hours

During term time, 10am to 1pm on Mondays. My office is Room 201, upstairs in 50-51 Old Elvet, the main building of the Philosophy Department.

Undergraduate Teaching

Research interests

  • Environmental philosophy
  • Existential phenomenology
  • Buddhist philosophy

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • General issues: I work in the field of environmental philosophy, which means I try to identify and address the philosophical questions raised by environmental issues.


Authored book

Chapter in book

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

  • James, S. P. (2015). The New Greenspeak. Earth Island Journal 30(1).

Other (Print)