Philosophy at St Andrews

Simon Prosser

Reader in Philosophy and Philosophy Examinations Officer

Simon Prosser

Phone: 01334 462473

Office: Room 204, Edgecliffe


Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Perception, Metaphysics


Office Hours (semester 1, 2018/19): Thursdays 12-2 (or please email for an appointment if you're not free at that time)

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, and during 2018/19 I am philosophy examinations officer.

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.

  • 'Shared Modes of Presentation', forthcoming in Mind & Language.
  • '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 related views. I am developing a theory of conscious experience according to which (i) all phenomenology is an awareness of relations between subject and environment, and (ii) these states of awareness have an epistemic property that I call first-person redundancy. This theory provides a satisfying explanation, compatible with materialism, for the existence of an 'explanatory gap', and also solves several other significant problems. I have started work on a book on this, and also plan to write some articles while working on it.
  2. Temporal experience and the relation between temporal experience and the metaphysics of time. I recently finished a book on this (see above). 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', 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 after getting side-tracked by other issues for a while. I have been writing about what it takes for two people to think of an object under the same mode of presentation, and about the correct metaphysics for the 'mental files' framework.
  5. Emergent properties. 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 an interest in supertasks and the so-called 'new Zeno' phenomena, about which I have also written in a more light-hearted way.

Research students

I am currently supervising Clotilde Torregrossa, Miguel Egler, Anh Quan Nguyen and Lixiao LIN.

Additional information

In my spare time I like taking pictures of the landscape. Some of these can be seen at the top of the department home page, and around Edgecliffe. For more, see my galleries at PBase.

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