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John Michael

I work mainly on issues pertaining to social cognition -- especially mindreading, perspective taking, joint action, and the sense of commitment -- but am also interested in lots of issues in cognitive science and in the philosophy of cognitive science. For more information and for access to pdfs of my papers, click here:

Email me if you have any trouble downloading a paper, and I will be happy to send it.

From 2016 onward, my research is supported by a 5-year starting grant from the European Research Council to investigate the sense of commitment in joint action (ERC StG 679092: The Sense of Commitment). The project will develop a theoretical framework for research on the sense of commitment, and create a suite of experimental paradigms for testing predictions generated by the theoretical framework. Combining theoretical research conducted at the Department of Philosophy with carefully designed lab experiments carried out at Warwick's Department of Psychology and at the Department of Cognitive Science at the Central European University in Budapest, the project will illuminate how and when people are willing to make and honor commitments, and to rely on others’ commitments, and will also shed light on the emergence of a sense of commitment in young children. In collaboration with the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa, the project will also lay the groundwork for autonomous robots that participate in commitments with humans (e.g. for senior citizens’ homes, factory work and rescue operations). By focusing on joint actions involving pairs of agents, it will illuminate the fundamental mechanisms underlying large-scale human social phenomena.

If you are interested in learning more about this research and/or getting involved in it, don't hesitate to send me an email.

Online Presentations:

For a presentation on the sense of commitment in Edinburgh, see:

For a recent presentation on the sense of commitment in human-robot interaction at the 'Tübingen Science Notes' (in German), see:

In the Press:

Supervisor to:

Alex Green

Melissa Reddy

Matthew Chennells

Francesca Bonalumi

Marcell Székely

Michael Hattersley

Simon van Baal



Email: Johnmichael dot cogsci at gmail dot com

Department of Philosophy

Room Number S2.49


CV available here


Publications available here:

And also here:

ESPP Membership