Biography:Dorothy Emmet

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Short description: British philosopher

Dorothy Mary Emmet (/ˈɛmɪt/; 29 September 1904, Kensington, London – 20 September 2000, Cambridge) was a British philosopher and head of Manchester University's philosophy department for over twenty years. With Margaret Masterman and Richard Braithwaite she was a founder member of the Epiphany Philosophers. She was the doctoral advisor of Alasdair MacIntyre and Robert Austin Markus.

Positions held

  • Commonwealth Fellowship at Radcliffe College
  • Tutor at Somerville College, Oxford
  • Lecturer in philosophy at Armstrong College, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (now Newcastle University) in 1932
  • She joined Manchester University as a lecturer in the philosophy of religion in 1938. She was named reader in philosophy in 1945 and was appointed Sir Samuel Hall professor of philosophy in 1946.
  • President of the Aristotelian Society in 1953–54.


  • Whitehead's Philosophy of Organism (1932)
  • The Nature of Metaphysical Thinking (1945)
  • Annual philosophical lecture to the British Academy (1949)
  • The Stanton lectures in Cambridge (1950–53)
  • Function, Purpose and Powers (1958)
  • Rules, Roles and Relations (1966)
  • Sociological Theory and Philosophical Analysis (1970; co-edited with Alasdair MacIntyre).
  • The Moral Prism (1979)
  • The Effectiveness of Causes (1986)
  • The Passage of Nature (1992)
  • The Role of the Unrealisable (1994)
  • Philosophers and Friends: Reminiscences of 70 Years in Philosophy (1996)