Barry C Smith, Director

Professor Barry C. Smith has been Director of the Institute of Philosophy at the School of Advanced Study since 2008 and is the founding director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses, which pioneers collaborative research links between philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists. He has published on the emotions, the perception of taste and on self-knowledge. In November 2012, Barry was appointed AHRC Leadership Fellow for the Science in Culture Theme. As part of this role he will provide intellectual and strategic leadership for the further development of the Science in Culture Theme and work closely with senior AHRC Programmes staff to develop partnerships within and beyond academia. He is a frequent broadcaster and recently wrote and presented a 10-part series for BBC Radio 4, The Uncommon Senses.  Visit the Science in Culture website.



Nicholas Shea, Professor Of Philosophy

Professor Nicholas Shea is an interdisciplinary philosopher of mind, and of psychology, cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience. He has previously collaborated with the Institute on his AHRC fellowship project ‘Meaning for the Brain, Meaning for the Person’ which saw him work closely with the Institute’s Honorary Research Fellow, Prof Chris Frith

More recently Prof Shea has been awarded a 5 year, €1.9 million European Research Council Consolidator grant for his project ‘Metacognition of Concepts’ This project will investigate the thoughts and feelings that accompany the use of concepts. It will be hosted at the Institute of Philosophy and will include interdisciplinary collaborative partnerships with Oxford University and City University, University of London. 

Professor Shea joins the Institute from King’s College London and specialises in the interdisciplinary study of philosophy of mind, psychology and cognitive neuroscience.


Ophelia Deroy, Director CREATE 

Prof. Ophelia Deroy's work is in philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience, and she is most well-known for her work on how information can be shared across different senses, as well as different minds. In addition to being an research fellow at the Institute, Ophelia is the Director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Research in Experimental Aesthetics, Technology and Engineering, which connects fundamental research question about how we perceive, act, think and socially connect, to new ideas in the arts, policy and new technologies. Ophelia was the Associate Director of the Institute until 2017, and now holds the Chair for Philosophy of Mind at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. See more on Ophelia's and the LMU website


Michael Hannon, Research Fellow

Michael Hannon joined the Institute of Philosophy in 2017. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2013; from 2013-2016 he managed the $4.5 million Varieties of Understanding project in New York City, which was headed by Stephen Grimm. Michael works mainly in epistemology, especially social epistemology, but he also publishes in cognitive science and the philosophy of language. He has a book under contract with Oxford University Press, titled What's the Point of Knowledge? More recently, Michael's work has taken a political turn. He is currently writing a book about the role of facts and knowledge in democratic politics, tentatively titled Truth, Reason, and Political Knowledge. He is also a Visiting Research Fellow at VU Amsterdam as part of a project on 'Knowledgeable Democracy: A Social-Epistemological Inquiry.'


Stephen Neale, Research Fellow

Stephen Neale is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics and holder of the John H. Kornblith Family Chair in the Philosophy of Science and Values at the Graduate Centre, City University New York (CUNY). His main research interests are in Philosophy of Language and the interface between Philosophy of Language and Linguistics, but he has also written on philosophy of mind, cognitive science, logic and truth.


James Nguyen, Jacobsen Fellow

James Nguyen joined the Institute in September 2018. He is the University of London Jacobsen Fellow based at both the Institute of Philosophy and the Department of Philosophy at University College London. His primary research interests concern scientific modelling: how do we use models to represent and explain natural and social phenomena? His philosophical interests are broad and include; the philosophy of economics, physics, and science in general; the nature of representation in art, language, and the mind; formal epistemology and decision theory; and philosophical methodology. He was previously a Postdoctoral Researcher in History and Philosophy of Science and the University of Notre Dame and is currently a Research Associate at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Nayef Al-Rodhan, Senior Research Fellow

Prof. Nayef Al-Rodhan, is a Neuroscientist, Philosopher and Geostrategist. His main research interest is " Analytic Neurophilosophy, International Relations and Policy". He is an Honorary Fellow at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and Senior Fellow and Head of the Geopolitics and Global Futures Programme at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Geneva, Switzerland. He was educated at the Mayo Clinic, Yale University and Harvard university. Through many books and articles, he has made many innovative conceptual contributions to the application of the field of neurophilosophy to human nature, history, contemporary geopolitics, governance, international relations, cultural and future studies, disruptive technologies, and war and peace. His books and articles can be found in his website:


Colin Blakemore, Honorary Research Fellow

Professor Sir Blakemore was appointed Director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses at the Institute in October 2012. He is a renowned vision scientist and one of Britain’s leading scientists, who speaks and advises on a number of public issues, including chairing the Royal Society’s recent Brain Waves project, reviewing the policy implications of developments in neuroscience, including a report on Neuroscience and the Law. Colin Blakemore is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and was a previous head of the Medical Research Council. He has been a Reith Lecturer and given the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. He has been honoured by many countries, including India and China, and has ten honorary degrees. Colin is Principal Investigator on the 'Rethinking the Senses' project. This £2million grant was awarded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of their Science in Culture programme.


Chris Frith, Honorary Research Fellow

Although Chris retired from his position at the Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL in 2007, he is  continuing with his studies of Interacting Minds. This discipline concerns the neural basis of social interaction. In particular, he has been trying to delineate the mechanisms underlying the human ability to share representations of the world, for it is this ability that makes communication possible and allows us to achieve more than we could as individuals. He is fortunate in having a number of excellent collaborators for this enterprise, in particular, Uta Frith. Initially his main experimental work on this topic was performed in the Interacting Minds Centre at Aarhus University, with Andreas Roepstorff, where new paradigms were developed for testing people in groups. In October 2011 He was elected a two-year fellow of All-Souls where he organised a series of seminars on meta-cognition to explore the critical role of this process in sharing experiences. Since 2014 his studies have beem mostly conducted at the Institute of Philosophy where he is contrasting conscious and unconscious cognitive processes and exploring how instructions work. Chris is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the British Academy. In 2014 Chris & Uta Frith were awarded the Jean Nicod prize for their work on social cognition.


Vittorio Gallese, Honorary Research Fellow

Vittorio Gallese, MD and trained neurologist, has been Professor in Experimental Aesthetics at the Institute of Philosophy since January 2016. He is Professor of Physiology at the Dept. of Neuroscience of the University of Parma, Italy, Adjunct Senior Research Scholar at the Dept. of Art History and Archeology of Columbia University, New York, and Einstein Fellow at the Berlin School of Mind & Brain of Humboldt University for 2016-2018. He is the coordinator of the PhD Program in Neuroscience and Director of the Doctoral School of Medicine of the University of Parma. A  cognitive neuroscientist, his main research interests are on the neurobiological basis of intersubjectivity, empathy, aesthetics and language.


Vincent Hayward, Honorary Research Fellow

Vincent Hayward's research focuses on tactile mechanics, tactile perception, and the engineering of haptic interfaces. He is a Professor at Sorbonne Université (Paris, France), and a member of the Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics (ISIR). He is also Scientific Advisor to a company which he co-founded. Prior to his post at the Sorbonne, he was at McGill University (Montréal, Canada), where he was a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the McGill Centre for Intelligent Machines. In 2017 and 2018, he was Professor of Tactile Perception and Technology at the School of Advanced Study of the University of London, supported by a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship, following a six-year period as an advanced European Research Council grantee at Sorbonne Université. In recognition of his work in robotics and haptics, he was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 2008, received the Grand Prix Inria of the Académie des Sciences, and was elected a Member of the French Academy of Sciences in 2019.


Christopher Peacocke, Honorary Research Fellow

Professor Peacocke was Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy in the University of Oxford, and held a Leverhulme Personal Research Professorship. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He has taught at Berkeley, NYU and UCLA, and has been a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford. He was President of the Mind Association in 1986-7. In 2001, he delivered the Whitehead lectures at Harvard University, and in 2003 he gave the Immanuel Kant Lectures at Stanford. His books include Sense and Content (Oxford, 1983), Thoughts: An Essay on Content (Blackwell, 1986) and A Study of Concepts (MIT, 1992). In 2010 he gave the Evans Memorial Lecture at Oxford, and the Context and Content Lectures at the Jean Nicod Institute, in the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He delivered the Kohut Lectures at the University of Chicago in 2011, under the title 'Subjects, Consciousness and Self-Consciousness'.  In Columbia, he has taught for the Core Curriculum, in Music Humanities.  In 2011-13, he served as Chair of the Promotions and Tenure Committee in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  He is currently Chair of the Philosophy Department.



Administration team

Richard Somerville, Institute Manager


Eloise Rowley, Project Administrator - ERC Metacognition of Concepts Project


Elizabeth Dearnley, Project Adminstrator - AHRC Science in Culture Project