Dr. Paul Wood

Dr. Paul Wood

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

Office: Cle B227

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