The mind is a trick of the mind

Welcome to my website. I am an English philosopher and writer, currently living in Crete. I am a Visiting Research Fellow with The Open University, UK (where I was formerly a Senior Lecturer) and an Adjunct Professor with the Brain and Mind Programme at the University of Crete. I work mainly in philosophy of psychology and philosophy mind, though I have interests in many other areas of philosophy.

The title of this site, Tricks of Mind, reflects the role that notions of illusion and artifice play in my view of the mind, which has been heavily influenced by the work of Daniel Dennett. We humans have learned a variety of subtle but powerful tricks — strategies of self-control, self-manipulation, and extended problem-solving — which vastly extend the power of our biological brains and give us the sense of having a unified, phenomenally conscious mind, self, or soul. The conscious mind is a virtual system, constituted by these activities. It is, in a sense, a trick of the biological mind.

The website includes information about my work, past and present, including eprints and sample chapters for download. There are also some photographs and short humorous pieces. Please feel to explore, using the links in the bar above. If you wish, you can send me a message via the Contact page. The icons on the right link to other places on the web where you can find me.



The image above is my own adaptation of a poster for Harry Kellar’s famous ‘Self Decapitation’ illusion [source].

The illusionist Derren Brown has previously used the title Tricks of the Mind for a book on the structure and psychology of magic, and its use here may be considered a homage to a master illusionist.