Faculty & Staff

Robert Howell

Dedman Family Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department

Ph.D., Brown University
Hyer Hall 210B

curriculum vitae



My work mostly concerns the nature of subjectivity, the self and the mind. As a result, I wind up working in metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. I have recently published a book, Consciousness and the Limits of Objectivity (Oxford University Press, 2013) that develops a view called subjective physicalism, which maintains that while everything is physical, some physical states cannot be fully grasped unless they are occupied. I am currently at work on a book on the self, and am beginning to dip my toes into the emerging field of neuro-ethics.


Publications (Selected)

Consciousness and the Limits of Objectivity: The Case for Subjective Physicalism (Oxford University Press, 2013).

The God Dialogues, with Torin Alter (Oxford University Press, 2011).

A Dialogue on Consciousness, with Torin Alter (Oxford University Press, 2009).

"Google Morals, Virtue, and the Asymmetry of Deference," Noûs (forthcoming). Prepublished online 29 July 2012, DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2012.00873.x.

"Emergentism and Supervenience Physicalism," Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2009): 83-98.

"The Ontology of Subjective Physicalism," Noûs 43 (2009): 315-45.

"Subjective Physicalism," in The Case for Qualia, ed. Edmund Wright (MIT Press, 2008).

"The Two-Dimensionalist Reductio," Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2008): 348-58.

"Immunity to Error and Subjectivity," Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (2007): 581-604.

"Self-Knowledge and Self-Reference," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (2006): 44-70.


Courses Taught

PHIL 3310: Advanced Topics in Philosophy: Neuroethics
PHIL 3310: Advanced Topics in Philosophy: The Self
PHIL 3351: History of Western Philosophy (Ancient)
PHIL 1305: Introduction to Philosophy