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Prof Michael Martin
Dept of Philosophy, UCL Gower St
19 Gordon Square
  • Honorary Professor
  • Dept of Philosophy
  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities
I started out as a student of Classics, but ended my undergraduate days with a BA in Philosophy and Politics at the University of Oxford. I went on to take a BPhil and then a DPhil there, writing on the contents of experience.

I joined UCL in 1992 and have stayed put ever since.
Research Summary
My research falls broadly into four blocks:

A. Naïve Realism
Over the last few years I have been working on a monograph on the history of the problem of perception and the genesis of recent debate about phenomenal consciousness, Uncovering Appearances. The book argues that our basic conception of perceptual experience is a form of naive realism neglected in recent discussions of perception and consciousness.I I am currently in the process of revising this material into a final monograph version of the account.  
B. Appearances
Partly in relation to the above set of issues, I have become concerned with the nature of appearances and the language we use to talk about such appearances. So far the key publication from this research sets out to provide a comprehensive account of the semantics of appearance statements in English and the corresponding metaphysics needed to make such statements true.  
C. Hume
For a number of years I have been concerned with working through the implications of Hume’s account of human nature as presented in his first and longest philosophical work, A Treatise of Human Nature. Most notably I have been concerned to treat Book II of this work as on a par with the more commented on and exhaustively discussed Book I – the two books were published together as Vol 1 of the Treatise, and Book III, as discussed as Book I, made up the bulk of the second volume eighteen months later. So far the research in this area has occasioned one publication, an account of Hume’s theory of pride together with associated issues for his view of the passions. But in other work I have been applying this Humean picture of the passionate mind to gaining better understanding of, for example, his theory of justice in and to his few comments on matters critical or aesthetic which originally were to have had a book of their own. This discussion of the standard of taste was part of the Nature of Taste project and is intended for publication in the volume deriving from that series of workshops.

D. Philosophy of Mind & Psychology
My overall research goal is to develop accounts of aspects of the commonsensical picture of the mind, found in our experience of ordinary life and reflected in the semantics of how we talk about the mind against the backdrop of developments in psychology. The areas of philosophy which most interest me require research in the philosophy of mind, epistemology, the history of philosophy and a knowledge of empirical psychology. In addition to the focus principally on problems of perception, I have interests in other aspects of the mind, and in other issues deriving from psychology. In particular I have worked on the nature of memory, in the nature of self-awareness and self-knowledge. I have also long been concerned with the relations among the senses and as part of that interested in the awareness that each has of his or her own body. Other areas that I have been concerned with include the nature of the emotions and their expression both and the nature of attention both in sensory awareness and cognition.

Teaching Summary
In the past I have given courses in epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, metaphysics, history of early modern philosophy.

In recent years (since UCL philosophy started providing modules) I have taught:
i.) an advanced course on Texts in Early Modern Philosophy focusing on Hume's Treatise;
ii.) a master's course on philosophy of language;
iii.) a master's course on the philosophy of mind;
research seminars on: appearances; time and modality; sensation and attention; content and consciousness.

I also occasionally participate in the senior seminar and direct thesis preparation for second year MPhil Stud students.
01-JUL-2009 Mills Visiting/Adjunct Professor Philosophy University of California, Berkeley, United States
01-FEB-2002 Professor of Philosophy Philosophy UCL, United Kingdom
01-SEP-1992 – 31-JAN-2002 Lecturer in Philosophy Philosophy UCL, United Kingdom
01-OCT-1989 – 31-AUG-1992 Junior Research Fellow   Christ Church, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
01-JAN-1989 – 30-SEP-1989 Lecturer in Philosophy   University College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Academic Background
1992   Doctor of Philosophy Christ Church Oxford
1987   Bachelor of Philosophy University of Oxford
1985   Bachelor of Arts (Honours) University of Oxford
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