Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Pauline Phemister

Personal Chair of History of Philosophy

Phone: 0131 651 3747

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Early modern philosophy, particularly focusing on issues in metaphysics, ethics and aesthetics; ecological philosophy

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh
Matter from Monads: a Study of the Interrelations between Monads and Bodies in the Philosophy of G. W. Leibniz

Biography

Pauline Phemister M.A. Ph.D. (Edinburgh) returned to the department in 2005, prior to which she held a British Academy Post-doctoral Fellowship at the University of Oxford and taught at the Universities of Nebraska-Lincoln and Liverpool. She is author of Leibniz and the Natural World and The Rationalists: Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz. Her most recent book - Leibniz and the Environment - develops a Leibnizian  ecological philosophy.  She has also published abridged edition of John Locke's Essay concerning Human Understanding for Oxford World's Classics. Among her other projects, she leads the local Edinburgh activities of the international Uncertain Human Future Council, was a co-investigator on an AHRC project on Ancestral Time (2013-16) and is currently the Principal Investigator on the RSE funded interdisciplinary project, Living Organisms and their Choices. 

Research Interests

Early modern philosophy, particularly Leibniz, and contemporary ecological philosophy.  Her current research interests bring seventeenth century philosophical ideas to bear on issues of the environment and deep ecology. 

Teaching

Courses taught

2019-20

The Rationalists: Spinoza and Leibniz (UG Year 4/MSc)

Philosophy and the Environment (UG Year 4/MSc)

MSc/PhD Philosophy Proseminar, 1 seminar

Dissertation in Philosophy, 2 students (UG Year 4)

2018-19

Contemporary Debates in the History of Philosophy (MSc)

Mind and Body in Early Modern Philosophy (MSc)

MSc/PhD Proseminar, 1 seminar

Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment, introductory and final lectures (UG Year 1)

Philosophy and the Environment (UG Year 4/ MSc)

Dissertation in Philosophy, 1 student (UG Year 4)

MSc Dissertation in Philosophy, 3 students (MSc)

 

Administrative Roles

College (Edinburgh)

Mentor, Post-doctoral fellow, IASH, 2013-14

Mentor, Mentoring Connections Programme, 2016-

Acting Director, IASH, 2009-10

Deputy Director, IASH, 2008-12

College Research Committee, 2009-10

Hume Tercentenary Steering Group, 2009-2011 (Chair, 2009-2010)

KE/Impact Committee, 2009-12

Edinburgh Centre for Climate Change Steering Group, 2009

School

School Academic Misconduct Officer, 2018-

 External

Chair, British Society for the History of Philosophy, 2011-14

Member, Management Committee, British Society for the History of Philosophy, 2008-to date

Associate Editor, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 2011+

Book Review Editor, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 2009-11

Member, CHCI Humanities for the Environment Steering Group, 2009-

External Examining, Phd, MSc, UG: various

Departmental  (Edinburgh)

Research Advisor:Philosophy, 2015-18

Course Organiser (Greats, sub-Hounours, 2014-19; Philosophy and Environment, 2006+; MSc, Minds and Bodies in Early Modern Philosophy, 2007+;MSc Introduction to Philosophical Method, 2007-08; History of Modern Philosophy, 2008, MSc Introduction to Advanced Philosophical Method, 2006-08.

Personal Tutor (40+ students), 2007+.

Member, Search Committee for Chair in Philosophy, 2007.

Convenor of the Board of Examiners, Philosophy, 2006 -08

Chair, Teaching Programme Review, Philosophy. 2005-06.

Qualifications

PhD, July 1985, University of Edinburgh 

John Macmurray Prize (University of Edinburgh, 1985)

Scottish Education Department, Major Studentship (1981‑84)

 

Dip. Lib., 1981, College of Librarianship Wales

 

MA (Hons.) II, i, 1980, University of Edinburgh

Bruce of Grange Hill Award (University of Edinburgh, 1980)

Websites

Highlighted research outputs

  1. Leibniz and the Environment

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  2. Malebranche and Leibniz on animal pain and divine justice

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  3. Leibnizian Pluralism and Bradleian monism: a question of relations

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. The souls of seeds

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  5. Leibniz's Monadological positive aesthetics

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  6. Monads and Machines

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

  7. Ideas

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  8. Are Mind-Body Relations Natural And Intelligible? Some Early Modern Perspectives

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  9. Relational Space and Places of Value

    Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

  10. The Rationalists: Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  11. Corporeal Substances and the "Discourse on Metaphysics"

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

View all (54) »

Research activities & awards

  1. Living Organisms and their Choices: workshop 5

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

  2. Living Organisms and their Choices

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

  3. Scottish Seminar for Early Modern Philosophy X

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

View all (131) »

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