University of York Department of Philosophy

Paul Noordhof

Paul Noordhof


Research interests

For the first three years of my appointment, I will hold a Major Leverhulme Research Fellowship in support of my research project on Consciousness and Representation. I would welcome prospective graduate students wishing to work in this area.

My main research interests are in philosophy of mind, action theory and metaphysics. I have been concerned with the question of whether difficulties in accounting for mental causation favour one view of the nature of mental events and states over another. I have tried to argue that they do not. This led me to attempt to provide a general theory of causation in terms of counterfactual chance-raising. The full presentation of this theory will occur in my forthcoming book, A Variety of Causes (under contract with OUP).

My other work in the philosophy of mind mainly focuses upon the nature and explanatory character of consciousness. A key idea is that, in all but some very interesting but highly exceptional circumstances, consciousness makes manifest the attraction of being disposed to act on what you take to be true. I have also defended representationalist accounts of consciousness against attack from those who favour disjunctivist approaches to perceptual consciousness as well as discussing the phenomenology of imaginative experience. These ideas take centre stage in the second part of a book, the first part of which draws together my work on mental causation, entitled Cement of the Mind (also under contract with OUP).

Editorial Work

Associate editor of Mind since 1991; Reviews Editor since July 1999.

I have edited a collection of papers on causation with Phil Dowe entitled Cause and Chance (Routledge). I was a contributor to The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, and a contributor of quotations to A Dictionary of Philosophical Quotations, regretfully of other people's rather than my own.


I have taught the following courses in Nottingham

Self, Mind and Body
Philosophy of Mind
Objectivity, Reason and Value
Moral Philosophy
Philosophy of Art
Justice and Rights

at undergraduate level and

Self and Mind
Consciousness and Self-Consciousness

at MA level. As I am on leave for three years with the Leverhulme, my teaching at York after that is yet to be decided. As I hope my range of teaching so far indicates, I have been happy to teach a wide variety of the central areas of philosophy. I find this helps me broaden my outlook and throws up new research links and ideas. Sometimes I am inspired to write papers as a result of what I have taught.




Reviews and Miscellaneous Contributions