Professor Paul Thom

Honorary Visiting Professor
Department of Philosophy
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
A14 Quadrangle Building
The University of Sydney NSW 2006
Phone: +61 2 9351 2468
Fax: +61 2 9351 3918


Professor Paul Thom is a widely-published philosopher who has specialised in the philosophy of the performing arts, and the history of logic.

He has a record of success in applying for grants from the Australian Research Council, and currently holds an ARC Discovery grant ("Aristotle's Categories in the Byzantine, Arabic and Latin traditions") jointly with Drs John Marenbon and Tony Street (Cambridge University) and Sten Ebbesen (Copenhagen University). He has also been successful in gaining ARC Linkage grants, jointly with Northern Rivers Performing Arts.

Professor Thom has degrees from the Universities of Sydney and Oxford, and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2003 he was awarded a Centenary of Federation Medal for service to Australian society and the humanities in the study of philosophy of the arts.

He served for eight years as Head of Philosophy at the Australian National University. For ten years he was Dean of Arts, first at ANU then at Southern Cross University.

Main Publications

  • The Syllogism (Munich: Philosophia Verlag 1981)
    “… a crowning synthesis of modern syllogistic studies ….”
    Peter M. Simons Philosophical Quarterly 32 (1982) 175-177
  • For An Audience: a philosophy of the performing arts. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press 1993 )
    “Thom’s … claim to have laid the foundations for a philosophy of the performing arts in the analytic mode is, I think, justified…. Thom’s work should prove eminently useful in clarifying the issues that a philosophy of performance must deal with and providing the requisite conceptual apparatus.... this refreshing and admirable book is sure to arouse controversy.”
    Francis Sparshott Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 52 (1994) 357-358
  • The Logic of Essentialism: an interpretation of Aristotle’s modal syllogistic. Synthese Historical Library vol.43 (Dordrecht: Kluwer 1996 )
    “This is a valuable book. Thom has a remarkable knowledge of modern formal syntax and semantics, the original versions of the Prior Analytics and Aristotle’s metaphysical texts, and the secondary literature….I highly recommend The Logic of Essentialism.”
    Fred Johnson Studia Logica 62 (1999) 429-431
  • Making Sense: a theory of interpretation. (Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield 2000)
    “… short, engaging, and tightly knit … anyone interested in interpretation should give careful consideration to these views.”
    Peter Lamarque, British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (2003) 80-84
  • Medieval Modal Systems: problems and concepts (Aldershot: Ashgate 2003)
    “This is a really excellent book. Its main virtue is the way it descends to the particulars, demonstrating the expressive power of medieval modal systems and the technical skill of medieval logicians in a way that can be easily grasped by modern readers unfamiliar with Latin or medieval logical genres.”
    Jack Zupko, History and Philosophy of Logic 26 (2005) 148-149
  • Logic and Ontology in the Syllogistic of Robert Kilwardby (Leiden: E.J. Brill 2007)
  • The Musician as Interpreter (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania State University Press 2007)