Professor Simon P. James
BSc, MA, PhD
|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.
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.
- Environmental philosophy
- Existential phenomenology
- Buddhist philosophy
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.
- James, Simon P. (2022). How Nature Matters: Culture, Identity, and Environmental Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- James, Simon P. (2015). Environmental Philosophy: An Introduction. Cambridge: Polity Press.
- James, Simon. (2009). The Presence of Nature: A Study in Phenomenology and Environmental Philosophy. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Cooper, David E. & James, Simon P. (2005). Buddhism, Virtue and Environment. Aldershot: Ashgate.
- James, Simon P. (2004). Zen Buddhism and Environmental Ethics. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Chapter in book
- James, Simon P. (2016). Phenomenology and the Charge of Anthropocentrism. In Nature and Experience: Phenomenology and the Environment. Bannon, Bryan Rowman & 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.
- James, Simon P. (2005). Environmental and Ecological Philosophy. In The Oxford Companion to Philosophy 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- James, Simon P. (2001). Martin Heidegger. In 50 Environmental Thinkers. London: Routledge. 189-94.
- James, Simon P. & Cooper, David E. (2008). Buddhism and the Environment. Contemporary Buddhism, 8 (2): Taylor and Francis.
- James, Simon P. (2022). Against Relational Value. The Harvard Review of Philosophy 29: 45-54.
- James, Simon P. (2020). Climate Justice: Some Challenges for Buddhist Ethics. Journal of Buddhist Ethics 27.
- James, Simon P. (2020). Legal Rights and Nature's Contributions to People: Is There a Connection? Biological Conservation 241: 108325.
- James, Simon P. (2019). Suffering and the Primacy of Virtue. Analysis 79(4): 605-613.
- James, Simon P. (2019). Natural Meanings and Cultural Values. Environmental Ethics 41(1): 3-16.
- James, Simon P. (2019). Madhyamaka, Metaphysical Realism and the Possibility of an Ancestral World. Philosophy East and West 68(4): 1116-1133.
- James, Simon P. (2019). Nature's Indifference. Environmental Ethics 41(2): 115-128.
- James, Simon P. (2018). Merleau-Ponty and Metaphysical Realism. European Journal of Philosophy 26(4): 1312-1323.
- James, Simon P. (2016). The Trouble with Environmental Values. Environmental Values 25(2): 131-144.
- James, Simon P. (2016). Ecosystem Services and the Value of Places. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19(1): 101-113.
- James, Simon P. (2016). Protecting Nature for the Sake of Human Beings. Ratio 29(2): 213-227.
- James, Simon P. (2015). Cultural Ecosystem Services: A Critical Assessment. Ethics, Policy & Environment 18(3): 338-350.
- James, Simon P. (2015). Why Old Things Matter. Journal of Moral Philosophy 12(3): 313-329.
- James, Simon P. (2014). “Nothing Truly Wild is Unclean” Muir, Misanthropy, and the Aesthetics of Dirt. Environmental Ethics 36(3): 357-363.
- James, Simon P. (2013). Finding - and Failing to Find - Meaning in Nature. Environmental Values 22(5): 609-625.
- James, Simon P. (2013). Philistinism and the Preservation of Nature. Philosophy 88(01): 101-114.
- James, Simon P. (2013). Cherished Places and Ecosystem Services. Ethics, Policy & Environment 16(3): 264-266.
- James, Simon P. (2011). For the Sake of a Stone? Inanimate Things and the Demands of Morality. Inquiry 54(4): 384-397.
- James, Simon P. (2009). Phenomenology and the Problem of Animal Minds. Environmental Values 18(1): 33-49.
- James, Simon P. (2008). How Green is Buddhism? SHAP: World Religions in Education 2008-9: 12-13.
- James, Simon P. (2007). Against Holism: Rethinking Buddhist Environmental Ethics. Environmental Values 16.
- James, Simon P. (2007). Merleau-Ponty, Metaphysical Realism and the Natural World.*. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 15(4): 501-519.
- James, Simon P. (2006). Human Virtues and Natural Values. Environmental Ethics 28(4): 339-354.
- James Simon P. (2006). ‘Buddhism and the Ethics of Species Conservation’. Environmental Values 15(1): 85-97.
- James, Simon P. (2005). Awakening to Language in Heidegger and Zen. International Journal of Field Being 2(2).
- James, Simon P. (2004). The Possibility of an Environmental Virtue Ethic. Proceedings of the 2004 Durham-Bergen Postgraduate Philosophy Seminar 2: 97-102.
- James, Simon P. (2003). Zen Buddhism and the Intrinsic Value of Nature. Contemporary Buddhism 4(2): 143-157.
- James, Simon P. (2002). Heidegger and the Role of the Body in Environmental Virtue. Trumpeter 18(1).
- James, S. P. (2015). The New Greenspeak. Earth Island Journal 30(1).
- James, Simon P. (2017). Conflict and Resolution (editorial for Environmental Values). 26(5): 535-538.
- James, Simon P. (2016). Letting Nature take its Course (editorial for Environmental Values). Environmental Values 25(4): i-iv.