My profile


University College London
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2004
Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  •  20
    I argue for the view that some we-thoughts are immune to error through misidentification (IEM) relative to the first-person plural pronoun. To prepare the ground for this argument I defend an account of the semantics of ‘we’ and note the variety of different uses of that term. I go on to defend the IEM of a certain range of we-thoughts against a number of objections.
  • IX-The Conceptual Problem of Other Bodies
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (2pt2): 201-217. 2010.
  •  95
    What is empathy for?
    Synthese 194 (3). 2017.
    The concept of empathy has received much attention from philosophers and also from both cognitive and social psychologists. It has, however, been given widely conflicting definitions, with some taking it primarily as an epistemological notion and others as a social one. Recently, empathy has been closely associated with the simulationist approach to social cognition and, as such, it might be thought that the concept’s utility stands or falls with that of simulation itself. I suggest that this is…Read more
  •  172
    Can Transcendental Intersubjectivity be Naturalised?
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (1): 91-111. 2011.
    I discuss Husserl’s account of intersubjectivity in the fifth Cartesian Meditation. I focus on the problem of perceived similarity. I argue that recent work in developmental psychology and neuroscience, concerning intermodal representation and the mirror neuron system, fails to constitute a naturalistic solution to the problem. This can be seen via a comparison between the Husserlian project on the one hand and Molyneux’s Question on the other
  •  188
    As so often with his published texts, the experience of reading Nietzsche’s notebooks is at once mesmerising and infuriating. One is in the presence of a thinker who, on the one hand, meditates deeply on fundamental issues in philosophy and psychology but who, on the other, refuses to be pinned down. The fact that Nietzsche’s style is so elusive can account for the enormously disparate interpretations of his work and it is no surprise that his notebooks have been read in the most extreme fashion…Read more
  •  81
    Phenomenology
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2009.
    In its central use “phenomenology” names a movement in twentieth century philosophy. A second use of “phenomenology” common in contemporary philosophy names a property of some mental states, the property they have if and only if there is something it is like to be in them. Thus, it is sometimes said that emotional states have a phenomenology while belief states do not. For example, while there is something it is like to be angry, there is nothing it is like to believe that Paris is in France. A…Read more
  •  172
    Merleau-ponty and the phenomenological reduction
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 48 (6): 553-571. 2005.
    _reduction in favour of his existentialist account of être au monde. I show that whilst Merleau-Ponty _ _rejected, what he saw as, the transcendental idealist context in which Husserl presents the _ _reduction, he nevertheless accepts the heart of it, the epoché, as a methodological principle. _ _Contrary to a number of Merleau-Ponty scholars, être au monde is perfectly compatible with the _ _epoché and Merleau-Ponty endorses both. I also argue that it is a mistake to think that Merleau-_ _Ponty…Read more
  •  29
    Self-Consciousness
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2017.
    Human beings are conscious not only of the world around them but also of themselves: their activities, their bodies, and their mental lives. They are, that is, self-conscious (or, equivalently, self-aware). Self-consciousness can be understood as an awareness of oneself. But a self-conscious subject is not just aware of something that merely happens to be themselves, as one is if one sees an old photograph without realising that it is of oneself. Rather a self-conscious subject is aware of thems…Read more
  •  301
    Egocentric Space
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (3): 409-433. 2014.
    I discuss the relation between egocentric spatial representation and the capacity for bodily activity, with specific reference to Merleau-Ponty.
  •  22
    The Expression of Emotion collects cutting-edge essays on emotional expression written by leading philosophers, psychologists, and legal theorists. It highlights areas of interdisciplinary research interest, including facial expression, expressive action, and the role of both normativity and context in emotion perception. Whilst philosophical discussion of emotional expression has addressed the nature of expression and its relation to action theory, psychological work on the topic has focused on…Read more
  •  95
    Strawson on Other Minds
    In Joel Smith & Peter Sullivan (eds.), Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism, Oxford University Press. 2011.
    I critically discuss Strawson's transcendental argument against other minds scepticism, and look at the prospects for a naturalised version of it.
  •  450
    In this long and detailed book Bennett and Hacker set themselves two ambitious tasks. The first is to offer a philosophical critique of, what they argue are, philosophical confusions within contemporary cognitive neuroscience. The second is to present a ‘conceptual reference work for cognitive neuroscientists who wish to check the contour lines of the psychological concept relevant to their investigation’ (p.7). In the process they cover an astonishing amount of material. The first two chapters …Read more
  •  57
    Are Emotions Embodied Evaluative Attitudes? (review)
    Disputatio 6 (38): 93-106. 2014.
    Deonna and Teroni’s The Emotions is both an excellent introduction to philosophical work on emotions and a novel defence of their own Attitudinal Theory. After summarising their discussion of the literature I describe and evaluate their positive view. I challenge their theory on three fronts: their claim that emotions are a form of bodily awareness, their account of what makes an emotion correct, and their account of what justifies an emotion.
  •  241
    The Perceptibility of Emotion
    In Hichem Naar & Fabrice Teroni (eds.), The Ontology of Emotion, Cambridge University Press. pp. 130-148. 2018.
    I offer an account of the ontology of emotions and their expressions, drawing some morals for the view that we can perceive others' emotions in virtue of seeing their expressions.
  •  37
    Review of Shaun Gallagher, How the Body Shapes the Mind (review)
    Philosophy 82 (1): 196-200. 2007.
    The stated aim of Shaun Gallagher’s book is to provide, “an account of embodiment that is sufficiently detailed, and that is articulated in a vocabulary that can integrate discussions across the cognitive sciences...to remap the terrain that lies between phenomenology and cognitive neuroscience” (10). With this in mind, the book must be considered a success. The book provides a unified account of embodiment, and its relations to a number of aspects of experience, that is genuinely accessible fro…Read more
  •  377
    The Phenomenology of Face‐to‐Face Mindreading
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2): 274-293. 2015.
    I defend a perceptual account of face-to-face mindreading. I begin by proposing a phenomenological constraint on our visual awareness of others' emotional expressions. I argue that to meet this constraint we require a distinction between the basic and non-basic ways people, and other things, look. I offer and defend just such an account.
  •  99
    The Conceptual Problem of Other Bodies
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (2pt2): 201-217. 2010.
    The, so called, ‘conceptual problem of other minds’ has been articulated in a number of different ways. I discuss two, drawing out some constraints on an adequate account of the grasp of concepts of mental states. Distinguishing between behaviour-based and identity-based approaches to the problem, I argue that the former, exemplified by Brewer and Pickard, are incomplete as they presuppose, but do not provide an answer to, what I shall call the conceptual problem of other bodies. I end with some…Read more
  •  50
    The authors in this collection pursue a number of questions concerning self-consciousness, self and consciousness. Although the essays range rather broadly, there is a good deal of unity. In her introduction Liu organises the chapters under three headings: the Humean denial of self-awareness, the issue of self-knowledge, and the nature of persons or selves. This is helpful although it is worth bearing in mind that some chapters fall under more than one heading (for example, Shoemaker) and some d…Read more
  •  163
    Bodily awareness, imagination, and the self
    European Journal of Philosophy 14 (1): 49-68. 2006.
    Common wisdom tells us that we have five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. These senses provide us with a means of gaining information concerning objects in the world around us, including our own bodies. But in addition to these five senses, each of us is aware of our own body in way in which we are aware of no other thing. These ways include our awareness of the position, orientation, movement, and size of our limbs (proprioception and kinaesthesia), our sense of balance, and our …Read more
  •  126
    Which immunity to error?
    Philosophical Studies 130 (2): 273-83. 2006.
    A self-ascription is a thought or sentence in which a predicate is self-consciously ascribed to oneself. Self-ascriptions are best expressed using the first-person pronoun. Mental self-ascriptions are ascriptions to oneself of mental predicates (predicates that designate mental properties), non-mental self-ascriptions are ascriptions to oneself of non-mental predicates (predicates that designate non-mental properties). It is often claimed that there is a range of self-ascriptions that are immune…Read more
  •  64
    On knowing which thing I am
    Philosophy 79 (310): 591-608. 2004.
    Russell's Principle states that in order to think about an object I must know which thing it is, in the sense of being able to distinguish it from all other things. I show that, contra Strawson, Evans and Cassam, Russell's Principle cannot be applied to first-person thought so as to yield necessary conditions of self-consciousness. Footnotes1 Thanks to Naomi Eilan, Keith Hossack, Lucy O'Brien and Ann Whittle for helpful comments.
  •  30
    On hearing a sound behind me I may turn my head in order to see what is happening. This piece of behaviour is a deliberate action, one which feels to be under my own control. If asked what I am doing, I will be able to provide an immediate and knowledgeable answer, viz. 'turning my head' or maybe 'looking to see what is going on'. Not only do I know that an action is taking place, I know which action is taking place, and I know who the agent of that action is.
  •  142
    Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2011.
    Kant's introduction of a distinctive form of philosophical investigation and proof, known as transcendental, inaugurated a new philosophical tradition. Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism assesses the present state and contemporary relevance of this tradition. The contributors aim to understand the theoretical structures involved in transcendental explanation, and to assess the contemporary relevance of the transcendental orientation, in particular with respect to contemporary philosophical…Read more
  •  45
    Review of Radu Bogdan, Our Own Minds: Sociocultural Grounds for Self-Consciousness (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2011 (2). 2011.
    Our Own Minds presents an account of the nature and development of self-consciousness. Bogdan describes the mind of the infant as outward looking, turning in on itself only at a relatively late stage of development. This it does as a response to the increasingly sophisticated sociocultural pressures it faces throughout infancy and early childhood. The book is difficult to follow (about which, more later) but the main line of argument is this: to begin with, infants are attuned to their physical …Read more
  •  12
    Phenomenology is the general study of the structure of experience, from thought and perception, to self-consciousness, bodily-awareness, and emotion. It is both a fundamental area of philosophy and a major methodological approach within the human sciences. Experiencing Phenomenology is an outstanding introduction to phenomenology. Approaching fundamental phenomenological questions from a critical, systematic perspective whilst paying careful attention to classic phenomenological texts, the book …Read more
  •  256
    Seeing Other People
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3): 731-748. 2010.
    I present a perceptual account of other minds that combines a Husserlian insight about perceptual experience with a functionalist account of mental properties.
  •  232
    I outline an account of perceptual knowledge and assess the extent to which it can be employed in a defence of perceptual accounts of emotion and value recognition. I argue that considerations ruling out lucky knowledge give us some reason to doubt its prospects in the case of value recognition. I also discuss recent empirical work on cultural and contextual influences on emotional expression, arguing that a perceptual account of value recognition is consistent with current evidence.
  •  125
    You and I are watching a spider crawl across the carpet. We are both aware of the spider, and aware that both are so aware. We are jointly attending to it. This collection of essays addresses a bewildering array of questions that arise regarding the notion of joint attention. How should joint attention be characterised in adults? In particular, how can we articulate the sense in which it is plausible to say that nothing is hidden from either participant in cases of joint attention? What is the r…Read more
  •  68
    The Body Claim states that a transcendental condition of self-consciousness is that one experience oneself as embodied. The contention of this thesis is that popular arguments in support of the Body Claim are unconvincing. Understanding the Body Claim requires us to have a clear understanding of both self-consciousness and embodied experience. In the first chapter I lay out two different conceptions of self-consciousness, arguing that the proponent of the Body Claim should think of self-consciou…Read more