Dr Matt Farr

Dr Matt Farr


  • Position Governing Body Fellow
  • School Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Personal website mattfarr.co.uk
  • Department History and Philosophy of Science
  • X @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). In 2017 he joined the Department for History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge as a Research and Teaching Associate, and since 2023 he has been an Associate Teaching Professor in the department.

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

A dark brown vase with orange symbol on in front of a blurred background of more pottery on shelves.

Art Exhibition: Ceramics in the Bernard Leach Tradition

18/05/2024 at 10.00

A display of works from the Bradshaw-Bubier studio pottery collection.

Cover of "Red Rag" magazine featuring a stylized red and black illustration of a woman with flowing hair, alongside text and a headline about women’s liberation.

Varieties of Togetherness: Some Approaches to Feminist Art History

21/05/2024 at 17.30

How might methods of feminist political organising offer transformative methods for art history? 

Two sets of hands making a pot on a pottery wheel

Show me your bowl and I’ll tell you who you are

28/05/2024 at 17.30

How can material culture be used to reconstruct ancient human stories?

Abstract marble sculpture with interconnected shapes and voids, displayed on a black pedestal against a draped white background.

Sculpture unveiling: Essay on Reticulations

28/05/2024 at 18.30

Join us for the unveiling of Essay on Reticulations, a new sculptural work at Wolfson College.

Wolfson Head Gardener in a white hat explaining features of green plants to visitors in an outdoor setting.

Wolfson Garden Tour: A World Environment Day Celebration

05/06/2024 at 16.45

What solutions is the Wolfson Garden employing to grow trees, revive water sources and rejuvinate soil?