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. Emmet was educated at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford, where she took first-class honours in 1927.

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.
  • Fellow, Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge in 1966


  • 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)