Simon Thornton

Department of Philosophy

Teaching Associate

Staff - simon thornton
Monday, 2pm until 4pm

Full contact details

Simon Thornton
Department of Philosophy
45 Victoria Street
S3 7QB

Simon joined the department of philosophy in 2021, having previously worked in the Center for Humanities and Social Change at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Simon wrote his PhD on the ethics of K.E. Løgstrup at the University of Essex, after completing his MA in political theory at the University of Sheffield. 

Before turning to philosophy, Simon worked for an NGO in Armenia, and has a background in the politics and culture of the post-Soviet region. 

Research interests
  • Phenomenology and existentialism (especially Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Levinas).
  • Aesthetics (especially the philosophy of tragedy and comedy, and the philosophy of film)
  • Ethics (especially the ethics of K.E. Løgstrup).
  • Psychoanalysis and philosophy (especially the work of Jonathan Lear).
  • The philosophy Stanley Cavell.

Journal articles


  • Thornton S & Lewis J (2023) Levinas and 'Finite Freedom' In Saunders J (Ed.), Freedom After Kant From German Idealism to Ethics and the Self RIS download Bibtex download
  • Thornton S (2022) ‘Guilty?’/‘Not Guilty?’ Kierkegaardian Reflections on Carbon Ideologies In Kowalewski J (Ed.), The Environmental Apocalypse Interdisciplinary Reflections on the Climate Crisis Routledge RIS download Bibtex download
  • Thornton S & Eagan A (2020) Herzog's Post-tragic Aesthetic: A Kierkegaardian Perspective In Wilson MB & Turner C (Ed.), The Philosophy of Werner Herzog (pp. 215-215). Philosophy of Popular Culture RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching interests

My courses typically involve looking at challenging philosophical texts within a historical context. Emphasis is placed on how these texts express or articulate complex and difficult ideas and trying to understand or interpret them. In this way, my modules develop students’ philosophical imagination, along with the capacity for philosophical argumentation.

Teaching activities

I teach on the following modules:

  • PHI158 Philosophy of Sex
  • PHI325 PHI6600 Phenomenology
  • PHI355 Philosophical Project 1: Nietzsche
  • PHI212 Philosophy and the Arts
  • Philosophical Project 2: Aesthetic Experience