Dr. Paul Wood

Dr. Paul Wood
Emeritus Professor
Department of History
Office: Cle B227

BA (Western), MPhil (London), PhD (Leeds)

Area of expertise

European. The intellectual history of early modern Europe

Office hours


The intellectual history of early modern Europe.

Faces of UVic Research video


I took my first degree in Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario and was the Department's Gold Medalist in 1975. I then went to study at University College London, where I completed an M.Phil. in History and Philosophy of Science in 1978. I did my PhD at the University of Leeds, and was awarded my degree in 1984 for a doctoral thesis on the Scottish thinker Thomas Reid. I then taught in the History Department at Queen's University, where I was a Canada Research Fellow. I moved to the History Department here at the University of Victoria in 1991. Over the years I have published widely on the intellectual history of early modern Europe, with a special interest in the Scottish Enlightenment. I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1996.

Selected publications


  • (co-edited with Knud Haakonssen), Thomas Reid on Society and Politics: Papers and Lectures (Edinburgh, 2015).
  • (co-edited with M.A. Stewart), Education for Life: Correspondence and Writings on Religion and Practical Philosophy by George Turnbull (Indianapolis, 2014)

  • (editor) Science and Dissent in England,1688-1945 (Aldershot, UK, and Burlington, VT, 2004)
  • (co-editor with Charles W. J. Withers) Science and Medicine in the Scottish Enlightenment (East Linton, UK, 2002)
  • (editor) The Correspondence of Thomas Reid (Edinburgh and University Park, PA, 2002)
  • (editor) The Culture of the Book in the Scottish Enlightenment (Toronto, 2000)
  • (editor) The Scottish Enlightenment:Essays in Reinterpretation (Rochester, NY, 2000)
  • (editor) Thomas Reid on the Animate Creation: Papers relating to the Life Sciences (Edinburgh and University Park, PA, 1996).
  • The Aberdeen Enlightenment: The Arts Curriculum in the Eighteenth Century (Aberdeen,1993)

Articles and chapters:

  • ‘Thomas Reid and the Common Sense School’ and ‘Postscript: On Writing the History of Scottish Philosophy in the Age of Enlightenment’, in Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, Volume I: Morals, Politics, Art, Religion, eds Aaron Garrett and James A. Harris (Oxford, 2015), 404-52 and 453-67.

  • 'Science in the Scottish Enlightenment', in The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment, ed. Alexander Broadie (Cambridge, 2003), 94-116.
  • 'Jolly Jack Phosphorus in the Venice of the North: or, Who was John Anderson', in The Glasgow Enlightenment, eds Andrew Hook and Richard B. Sher (East Linton, UK, 1995), 111-32.
  • 'The Natural History of Man in the Scottish Enlightenment', History of Science, 18 (1990), 89-123.
  • 'The Hagiography of Common Sense: Dugald Stewart's Account of the Life and Writings of Thomas Reid', in Philosophy,Its History and Historiography, ed. A. J. Holland (Dordrecht, 1985),305-22.
  • 'Methodology and Apologetics: Thomas Sprat's History of the Royal Society', The British Journal for the History of Science, 13 (1980), 1-26.


HSTR 130 History of Science
HSTR 320D  Scottish History in Film, 1314 - present
HSTR 338      European Culture in Crisis, 1580 - 1696
HSTR 339A Topics in Enlightenment Thought and Culture
HSTR 339B A Social History of Enlightenment in Europe, 1680 - 1789
HSTR 356A Science and Religion in Europe from Galileo to Darwin
HSTR 443 Atheism and Unbelief in Early Modern Europe

Grad students

  • Stephen Snobelen, ‘Selling Experiment: Public Experimental Lecturing in London, 1705-1728’, MA 1995
  • John Andrew Kavcic, ‘English Deism and Natural Law: The Case of Matthew Tindal’, MA 1997
  • Camilla Berry, ‘Bulldogs, Watchdogs and Underdogs: Is Evolutionary Theory a Paradigm or a Kennel’, Interdisciplinary MA 2000
  • Denine Dudley, ‘Henrietta Louisa Jeffreys, Oxford University and the Pomfret Benefaction of 1755: Vertu Made Visible’ PhD (History in Art) 2004
  • John Sterk, ‘The Pamphlet that Woke a Nation’, MA 2005
  • Patrick Corbeil, ‘A Godless Fable: Atheism and the Philosophy of Bernard Mandeville’, MA 2011