Mind and Language
Philosophical Research on Mental and Linguistic Phenomena.
A number of Manchester philosophers work on issues in the philosophy of mind and language. Our research investigates a wide range of mental and linguistic phenomena, including the nature of representation, reference, meaning, truth, action, perception, self-awareness, and the interface between semantics and pragmatics.
At Manchester, research in the philosophy of mind and language is pursued in recognition of its kinship with other areas of philosophical enquiry.
Our work is deeply interconnected with Metaphysics, Aesthetics, Engaged Philosophy, and the History of Analytic Philosophy. We also have strong links with academics in Linguistics and Psychology, regularly engaging in interdisciplinary research.
In addition to wide-ranging workshops, conferences, and research projects, we run regular reading groups and seminars. For further information about the Mind Reading Group, contact Joel Smith. For information on the Semantics Lab, contact Graham Stevens.
We welcome expressions of interest from prospective master's and PhD students, and from postdoctoral researchers who would like to come to Manchester. Take a look at our page for prospective postgraduate researchers.
Rebuilding Trust in Public Discourse: The Good Speech Project (Mihaela Popa-Wyatt)
Most of what we know, we know through the speech of others. It’s the oil of social interaction. Yet, speech is now a primary source of social dysfunction—online and offline. Trust in authoritative sources is breaking down. We no longer trust our government, public agencies, news sources, or those holding different political views. We are split into tribes that dislike one another intensely, and this reinforces group division and polarization. We live in a time of deepening inequality and oppression. Speech is used to maintain and expand this. How can we improve speech without regulation of speech? How can speech be free and good once more?
Our project 'Knowledge of Emotion: Expression and Social Cognition' undertook a sustained and comprehensive investigation into the role of emotional expression in social cognition. This AHRC-funded project was led by Joel Smith and Catharine Abell, and ran from 2012 until 2015.
Jonathan Mitchell's British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (2018-2021) 'Emotions as Feelings Towards Value' examined how emotions connect us with our environment. The project aimed to reveal the important connection between emotions and evaluative properties in our environment.
- Emily Caddick Bourne: Fiction, Metaphor, Implicature
- Sean Crawford: Intentionality, Reference, Propositional Attitudes
- Chris Daly: Reference, Truth, Definition
- David Liggins: Truth, Propositions, Pretence, Fictionalism
- Cynthia MacDonald: Mental Causation, Psychological Explanation, Self-Knowledge
- Graham MacDonald: Mental Causation, Psychological Explanation, Metaphysics of Mind
- Fraser McBride: Reference, Predication, Quantification
- Mihaela Popa-Wyatt: Slurs, Oppresive Speech
- Michael Scott: Religious Language, Semantics & Pragmatics, Perception
- Joel Smith: Self-Consciousness, Social Cognition, Spatial and Temporal Perception
- Thomas Smith: Action, Shared Intentionality
- Graham Stevens: Descriptions, Indexicals, Semantics and Pragmatics
- Thomas Uebel: Other Minds, Action Explanation
- Mohammad Saleh Zarepour: Intentionality, Reference, Representation, Medieval Islamic Theories of Mind & Language
- Justina Berskyte: Contextualism, Relativism, Expressivism, Harmful Language
- Paige Colton: Animal Cognition, Animal Sentience, Episodic Memory, Empathy
- Gong Chen: Metaphor
- Lucija Duda: Reasoning
- Hadis Farokhi: Metaethics, Ethical Attitudes
- Umair Khan: Phenomenology, Philosophy of Mind, Psychopharmacology, Cognitive Science
- Hsu-Nan Liou: Phenomenology, Philosophy of Psychoanalysis
- Bin Liu: Language, Aesthetics
- Penelope Orr: Meta-Cognition, Self-Consciousness
- Juta Pulijana: Generics
- Ryan Ratchford: Narrative, Identity
- Zhiyao Xiong: Self-Awareness, Memory, Bodily-Awareness