I work on issues in the philosophy of mind and action and epistemology. Two main interests are: the role of perceptual experience in providing for perceptual knowledge, and the nature of self-knowledge. In both areas, I’m particularly interested in how we should think about the relation and interaction between the various ‘disciplines’ that have a stake in them: the philosophy of mind and epistemology; philosophy and psychology; commonsense epistemology and philosophical epistemology. Related areas of interest include: intentional action and its explanation; causal understanding; the development of a ‘theory of mind’; knowledge of other minds; skepticism and transcendental arguments; understanding delusions; Kant.
I came to Warwick as a research fellow in the AHRC interdisciplinary project on Consciousness and Self-Consciousness. I was subsequently co-director of the Warwick-based interdisciplinary project on Causal Understanding, and an associated partner of NormCon (Understanding the Normative Dimensions of Human Conduct: Conceptual and Developmental Issues). I'm a member of Second Person project at Warwick, and I'm co-directing two projects: one (with Glenda Satne, Santiago) on 'Joint Practical Knowledge: Shared Agency and Knowledge of Other Minds', and one (with Gianfranco Soldati, Fribourg) on Perception, Rationality and Self-Knowledge.
I'm secretary of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and an Associate Editor of Philosophical Explorations.
Click here for information about a new module on The History of Scepticism I'll teach in the Spring term 2021.
And click here for some illustrative reading (from John Cooper, Pursuits of Wisdom, ch. 5: sections 5-7 are about Ancient Scepticism).
I'm happy to take on PhD students working on issues in the philosophy of mind and action, philosophy of psychology, and epistemology. Recent PhD theses I supervised include:
Experience, action and affordance perception
A defence of a deflationary theory of self-deception
Philosophical reflections on the nature of psychosis
Desire and value in practical reasoning
The Relation Between Attention and Awareness in Visual Experience
J. Roessler & N. Eilan (eds.), Agency and Self-Awareness: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford: OUP. 2003.
N. Eilan, C. Hoerl, T. McCormack and J.Roessler (eds.), Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds. Oxford: OUP. 2005.
J. Roessler, N. Eilan and H. Lerman (eds.), Perception, Causation, and Objectivity: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford: OUP. 2011.
Articles and Reviews
- ‘Perception , Introspection and Attention’, European Journal of Philosophy, 1999, pp. 47-64.
- ‘Attention and the Self’, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2000, pp. 78-84.
- ‘Understanding Delusions of Alien Control’, Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology 8, 2001, pp. 177-187.
- ‘Action, Emotion, and the Development of Self-awareness’, European Review of Philosophy 5, 2002, pp. 33-52.
- ‘Intentional Action and Self-Awareness’, in J. Roessler & N. Eilan (eds.), Agency and Self-Awareness, Oxford University Press, 2003.
- ‘Joint Attention and the Problem of Other Minds’, in N. Eilan, C. Hoerl, T. McCormack, J. Roessler (eds.), Joint Attention, Oxford University Press, 2004
- ‘Perceptual experience and perceptual knowledge’, Mind 118, 2009
- 'Critical Notice of Lucy O'Brien, Self-Knowing Agents', Philosophical Books 50, 2009
- ‘Agents’ knowledge’, in A Companion to the Philosophy of Action, edited by Timothy O'Connor and Constantine Sandis. Oxford: Blackwell. 2010
- ‘Teleology and causal understanding in children’s theory of mind’ (with Josef Perner), in J. Aguilar & A.A. Buckareff (Eds.), Causing Human Action: New Perspectives on the Causal Theory of Action. Cambridge, MA: Bradford Book, The MIT Press. 2010
- ‘Perceptual causality, counterfactuals, and special causal concepts’, in Understanding Counterfactuals and Causation: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Edited by Christoph Hoerl and Teresa McCormack. Oxford: OUP. 2011.
- 'Perceptual Attention and the Space of Reasons', in Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Issues. Edited by Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies, and Wayne Wu. Oxford: OUP. 2011
- 'Causation in Commonsense Realism', N. Eilan, H. Lerman and J. Roessler (eds.), Perception, Causation and Objectivity. Oxford: OUP. 2011
- 'Introduction', N. Eilan, H. Lerman and J. Roessler (eds.), Perception, Causation and Objectivity. Oxford: OUP. 2011
'From infants' to children's appreciation of belief' (with Josef Perner) Trends in Cognitive Sciences 16, 2012. available here
- 'Thought insertion, self-awareness and rationality', Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Psychiatry. Oxford: OUP. 2013)
- 'The Silence of Self-Knowledge', Philosophical Explorations 2013
- 'Knowledge, Explanation and Teleology', Oxford Studies in Epistemology 4, 2013.
- 'Teleology: Belief as Perspective' (with Josef Perner), forthcoming in S. Baron-Cohen et al. (eds.), Understanding Other Minds, 3rd edition.
- 'Competition as rational action: Why young children can't appreciate competitive games' (with Beate Priewasser and Josef Perner), Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 2013.
- 'The Epistemic Role of Intentions', Proceedings of the Aristotelan Society 2012-13
- Review of D. Bakhurst et al (eds.), Thinking about Reasons: Themes from the Philosophy of Jonathan Dancy. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
- 'Reason explanation and the second-person perspective', Philosophical Explorations 2014 (special issue on the second person)
- 'Thinking, Inner Speech, and Self-Awareness', Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2015 (in a special issue on Voices and Thoughts in Schizophrenia, ed. by Sam Wilkinson and B. Alderson-Day)
- 'Self-Knowledge and Communication', Philosophical Explorations 18, 2015 (special issue on Self-Knowledge in Perspective', ed. by Fleur Jongepier and Derek Strijbos)
- 'Pro-Social Cognition: helping, practical reasons, and "theory of mind"' (with Josef Perner), Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2015 (special issue on the development of normative understanding, ed. by Glenda Satne)
- 'The manifest and the philosophical image of perceptual knowledge', in F. Stadler & C. Limbeck-Lilienau (eds.), The Philosophy of Perception and Observation: Proceedings of the 40th International Wittgenstein Symposium. 2019. PDF
- Review of Michael Ayers, Knowing and Seeing: Groundwork for a New Empiricism. Mind 129 (2020) PDF
- 'Plural practical knowledge', Inquiry 2020