Dr Matt Farr

Dr Matt Farr


  • Position Governing Body Fellows
  • School Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Personal website mattfarr.co.uk
  • Department History and Philosophy of Science
  • Twitter @philosofarr

Matt is a philosopher of science specialising in the nature of time and causality. He lectures in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. 

Dr Matt Farr

Matt completed his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Bristol, with a thesis on the arrow of time, before taking up postdoctoral research fellowships at the University of Sydney’s Centre for Time (2013-2014) and the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry and Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems at the University of Queensland (2014-2017). Since 2017 he has been a Research and Teaching Associate in the Department for History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge.

Within the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Matt lectures on a variety of topics within the philosophy of science, including the philosophy of physics, philosophy of psychiatry, and scientific explanation.

Matt’s research explores the role played by basic metaphysical concepts like time and causation in scientific theories. For example, what properties of time need to be assumed in order to make sense of the world, and what questions about time and causation can be answered through experiment?

Much of Matt’s work has focussed on the directionality of time: e.g. in what sense do things in the world ‘go’ from earlier to later, and what role does this play in our understanding and experience of the world? He is currently writing a book defending his ‘C-theory’ of time, the idea that time is fundamentally directionless, and why this picture of time fits best with scientific theory.

Matt’s wider research covers the role of causality and explanation in science, primarily within physics and cognitive science. For instance, what are we to make of quantum correlations that don’t fit classical ideas of cause and effect? And in what sense are phenomenological features of the world, features of our first-personal experience of the world, to be explained by scientific theories?

What's on

Inger Mewburn

Kicking the can down the road: How to create research impact in seven (not so easy) steps

06/06/2023 at 17.30

We hear terms like ‘research impact’ and ‘engagement’ all the time, but what does ‘impact’ and ‘engagement’ actually look like in practice?

selection of books written by Professor Inger Mewburn

Productivity workshops for researchers with Prof. Inger Mewburn aka The Thesis Whisperer

10/06/2023 at 10.00

Join Professor Inger Mewburn, also known online as the Thesis Whisperer, for one or both workshops to help increase your productivity: Getting sh!t done and Building a second brain (for writing)

'You' by Gavin Fry

Art Exhibition: 'Things Put Differently'

10/06/2023 at 10.00

Visit Wolfson's latest exhibition 'Things Put Differently' featuring Gavin Fry and works by Anthony Green and Mary Cozens-Walker.

Photo of artist Gurpran Rau holding a piece of her artwork

Art Exhibition: 'Patterns of Renewal'

10/06/2023 at 10.00

We're delighted to be the first to display Gurpran Rau's latest exhibition 'Patterns of Renewal', featuring a series of paintings created during lockdown inspired by her walks in the woods of Cambridgeshire.