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Simon Prosser

Arché role: Arché Advisory Committee, Management

Current Projects: Language and Mind (Member) and Epistemology: Current Themes (Member)

Past Projects: Metaphysics: Identity, Existence & Structure (Co-investigator)

Phone: 01334 462473

Office: Room 204, Edgecliffe

Email: sjp7@st-andrews.ac.uk

Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Perception, Metaphysics



Semester 2, 2019/20: Tuesdays 3-4, but if you need to see me you can email me for an appointment.

I joined the department in 2002 after completing my PhD at the University of Warwick. I originally studied physics at the University of Birmingham then changed direction and studied philosophy at Warwick. During my graduate studies I also spent one year at CREA, Paris (CNRS/École Polytechnique).

I am Chair of the Management Committee of The Philosophical Quarterly.

If you are interested in studying for a PhD or MPhil under my supervision then please get in touch - I am happy to supervise students on a variety of topics in philosophy of mind, philosophy of perception and certain areas of metaphysics, especially (though not exclusively) on topics that intersect with my research interests, as described below.

See also the PURE research profile.

Selected publications

You can listen to a public lecture that I gave at the Institute of Advanced Study in Durham ('Does Time Really Pass?') here, and a talk that I gave to the Aristotelian Society ('Why are Indexicals Essential?") here. You can also read my recent entry in the OUP blog.

See also my pages at Philpapers


 Articles, chapters etc.

  • Locating the Contradiction in Our Understanding of Time. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 42 (2019). Commentary on Christoph Hoerl and Teresa McCormack, 'Thinking in and About Time: A Dual Systems Perspective on Temporal Cognition' Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 42 (2019).
  • The Metaphysics of Mental Files. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, forthcoming.
  • Shared Modes of Presentation. Mind & Language, 34 (2019): 465-482. [Draft]
  • Replies to Deng, Lee, and Skow. Inquiry, 61 (2018): 328-350. (Contribution to a book symposium on my book Experiencing Time.) [Draft]
  • Rethinking the Specious Present. In Ian Phillips (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Temporal Experience. London: Routledge, 2017: 146-156. [Draft]
  • Why are Indexicals Essential? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 115 (2015): 211-233. [Draft, Podcast]
  • Is There a ‘Specious Present’? Insights (E-Journal of Durham Institute of Advanced Study, ISSN 1756-2074), 6 (2013). [Published Paper]
  • Experience, Thought, and the Metaphysics of Time. In K. M. Jaszczolt and L. de Saussure (eds.), Time: Language, Cognition, and Reality. Oxford Studies of Time in Language and Thought, volume 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013: 157-174. [Draft]
  • The Passage of Time. In Heather Dyke and Adrian Bardon (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Time. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013: 315-327. [Draft]
  • Passage and Perception. Noûs, 47 (2013): 69-84. [Draft]
  • Emergent Causation. Philosophical Studies, 159 (2012): 21-39. [Draft]
  • Why Does Time Seem to Pass? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 85 (2012): 92-116. [Draft]
  • Sources of Immunity to Error Through Misidentification. In S. Prosser and F. Recanati (eds.) Immunity to Error Through Misidentification: New Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012: 158-179. [Draft]
  • Affordances and Phenomenal Character in Spatial Perception. The Philosophical Review, 120.4 (2011): 475-513. [Draft]
  • Zeno Objects and Supervenience. Analysis, 69 (2009): 18-26. [Draft]
  • The Two-Dimensional Content of Consciousness. Philosophical Studies, 136 (2007): 319-349. [Draft]
  • Could We Experience the Passage of Time? Ratio, 20.1 (2007): 75-90. Reprinted in L. Nathan Oaklander (ed.), Philosophy of Time: Critical Concepts in Philosophy. New York/London: Routledge, 2008. [Draft]
  • The Eleatic Non-Stick Frying Pan. Analysis, 66 (2006): 187-194. [Draft]
  • Temporal Metaphysics in Z-Land. Synthese, 149 (2006): 77-96. [Draft]
  • Cognitive Dynamics and Indexicals. Mind & Language, 20 (2005): 369-391. [Draft]
  • A New Problem for the A-Theory of Time. The Philosophical Quarterly, 50 (2000): 494-498. [Draft]


Research interests

My research interests are principally in the philosophy of mind and perception, and secondarily in metaphysics. The areas that I am most interested in are as follows:

  1. Conscious experience, including intentionalism/representationalism and other views connected with the philosophy of perception. I am currently writing a book on this, defending a novel version of intentionalism that emphasises the notion of the first-person perspective, and connects with issues such as phenonenal externalism, the reducibility of phenomenal character to representational content, phenomenal concepts, and the explanatory gap.
  2. Temporal experience and the relation between temporal experience and the metaphysics of time. I am interested in all aspects of the current philosophical debates concerning temporal experience, whether or not they are related to the metaphysics of time.
  3. Egocentric thought and experience. I am very interested in the notion of the first-person perspective, which connects with several of my other projects. I have written about 'essential' indexicals, about what David Kaplan called 'the problem of cognitive dynamics', about shared thoughts expressed using indexicals, and about immunity to error through misidentification.
  4. The nature of concepts/modes of presentation/mental files. I wrote my PhD thesis on this topic, and have recently returned to it to write a couple of articles. These concern what it takes for two people to think of an object under the same mode of presentation, and about the correct metaphysics for 'atomistic' accounts of concepts, including the 'mental files' framework.
  5. Emergent properties and 'new Zeno' phenomena. I hold that there are logically possible ontologically emergent properties that do not face problems of downward causation, though I do not think that actual mental properties are among them. My interest in this topic arises partly from a minor interest in supertasks and the so-called 'new Zeno' phenomena, about which I have also written in a more light-hearted way.