Dr Michael Edwards

Fellow, Deputy Graduate Tutor, Keeper of the Old Library, Director of Studies in History and Politics (History), in History and Modern and Medieval Languages, and in History (Part I), Senior College Lecturer in History, Gurnee F Hart Fellow in History
University Positions
Affiliated Lecturer in History
Specialising in

Michael Edwards is a Senior College Lecturer in History, and Director of Studies in History and Politics (History), in History and Modern and Medieval Languages, and in History (Part I).

Academic interests

My research interests are in 16th and 17th century British and European intellectual history.

My main interest is in exploring the complicated transition in the early modern period from a philosophical tradition whose approach to the world was primarily textual, and based on commentaries on classical and medieval authorities such as Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, towards experimental approaches to nature.

In particular, I work on the early modern scholastic and Aristotelian traditions (often called the ‘philosophy of the schools’) and their relationship to the ‘new philosophies’ of Hobbes, Descartes, and Newton.

My research spans both text-based intellectual history and the cultural contexts of early modern philosophy and science – I have worked on ideas of time, the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes and René Descartes, theories of the soul and its powers, metaphysics, and the intellectual life of Catholic religious orders such as the Jesuits and the Minims.

Together with Professor Christoph Lüthy of Radboud University, Nijmegen, I edit the journal Early Science and Medicine.

Degrees obtained

  • MA, MPhil, PhD (Cantab.).

Awards and prizes

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, 2009 to present.


I have been a Fellow of Jesus College since 2009, and a Senior College Lecturer since 2014.

I was previously a Junior Research Fellow in History at Christ's College, Cambridge from 2005 to 2009, and a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University from 2000 to 2001.

In 2012 I held an Early Career Fellowship at Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) in Cambridge.

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