I am a philosopher at New York University and the Australian National University. Officially I am Professor of Philosophy and co-director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness at NYU, and also (20% time) Professor of Philosophy at ANU. I work in the philosophy of mind and in related areas of philosophy and cognitive science. I am especially interested in consciousness, but am also interested in all sorts of other issues in the philosophy of mind and language, metaphysics and epistemology, and the foundations of cognitive science.
This site includes quite a bit of my own work (e.g. all of my papers), and it also includes a number of resources I've put together on topics related to consciousness and/or philosophy: e.g., MindPapers (a bibliography), directories of online papers, and some philosophical diversions. There is also a photo gallery. A complete master index to this site's contents is available. Also worth noting are PhilPapers, the site I co-direct for access to all sorts of philosophy online, and my weblog, Fragments of Consciousness.
What's New: Three Puzzles About Spatial Experience, Why Isn't There More Progress in Philosophy?, Frontloading and Fregean Sense, Intensions and Indeterminacy (the last two are replies in symposia on Constructing the World), How Do You Explain Consciousness? (video of my talk at TED 2014).
I studied mathematics at the University of Adelaide from 1983 to 1986 and at the University of Oxford in 1987-88. I switched to Indiana University in 1989, where I obtained a Ph.D. in 1993 in Philosophy and Cognitive Science, working in Doug Hofstadter's Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition. I spent 1993-95 as a McDonnell Fellow in Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, and 1995-98 in the Department of Philosophy at UC Santa Cruz. From 1999-2004 I was in the Department of Philosophy and the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona. I moved to ANU in August 2004. From 2009-2014 I spent one semester per year at New York University, moving full-time in September 2014 (keeping a 20% appointment at ANU). A photo gallery is here.
I seem to spend a lot of time organizing things (this is a good work-avoidance strategy). I was one of the founders of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, and I've helped organize the biennial Tucson conferences on consciousness. I also edit the philosophy of mind series at Oxford University Press, and am philosophy of mind editor for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I have been director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at Arizona and the Centre for Consciousness at ANU, and I'm currently co-director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Consciousness at NYU. I'm also co-director of PhilPapers.
When I have time and run out of excuses, I sometimes do some real work. I've written articles on consciousness, metaphysics and meaning, AI and computation, and various other topics in philosophy and cognitive science (see top of page). Consciousness is my first love, and it's what I always come back to, but one of the nice things about being a philosopher is that one is allowed to be interested in all sorts of things. (If you get interested in X, you just say "I'm working on the philosophy of X"). I do a lot of fairly technical philosophy (philosophy of language, metaphysics, epistemology) as well as being closely involved with work in science (neuroscience, psychology, AI, physics).
In Search of a Fundamental Theory
My first book on consciousness was published in April 1996, with Oxford University Press. Its web page has a few bits and pieces, such as the table of contents, the introduction, some reviews, and other information.
The Hard Problem
This collection (edited by Jonathan Shear) was published in 1997 by MIT Press. It has a keynote article by me, 26 responses from all sorts of perspectives, and my response to all these in turn. See its web page for contents.
Classical and Contemporary Readings
This is an anthology of readings in the philosophy of mind, edited by me, and published by Oxford University Press in August 2002. Its web page has the table of contents and an ever growing list of typos.
Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology
This collection (which I co-edited with David Manley and Ryan Wasserman) was based in part on a conference I organized at ANU in 2005, and was published in 2009 by Oxford University Press. It has seventeen articles by a really terrific group of authors.