Joel Smith University of Manchester
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  • Faculty, University of Manchester
  • PhD, University College London, 2004.

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About me
I work primarily on the philosophy of mind, psychology and phenomenology, with a special focus on self-consciousness and consciousness of others.
My works
21 items found.
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  1. Joel Smith (2014). Are Emotions Embodied Evaluative Attitudes? [REVIEW] Disputatio 6 (38):93-106.
    Deonna and Teroni’s The Emotions is both an excellent introduction to philosophical work on emotions and a novel defence of their own Attitudinal Theory. After summarising their discussion of the literature I describe and evaluate their positive view. I challenge their theory on three fronts: their claim that emotions are a form of bodily awareness, their account of what makes an emotion correct, and their account of what justifies an emotion.
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  2. Joel Smith (2014). Egocentric Space. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (3).
    I discuss the relation between egocentric spatial representation and the capacity for bodily activity, with specific reference to Merleau-Ponty.
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  3. Joel Smith (2013). The Phenomenology of Face‐to‐Face Mindreading. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2).
    I defend a perceptual account of face-to-face mindreading. I begin by proposing a phenomenological constraint on our visual awareness of others' emotional expressions. I argue that to meet this constraint we require a distinction between the basic and non-basic ways people, and other things, look. I offer and defend just such an account.
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  4. Joel Smith (2012). Review of JeeLoo Liu & John Perry (Eds.), Consciousness and the Self: New Essays. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
    The authors in this collection pursue a number of questions concerning self-consciousness, self and consciousness. Although the essays range rather broadly, there is a good deal of unity. In her introduction Liu organises the chapters under three headings: the Humean denial of self-awareness, the issue of self-knowledge, and the nature of persons or selves. This is helpful although it is worth bearing in mind that some chapters fall under more than one heading (for example, Shoemaker) and some don't fall neatly (...)
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  5. Joel Smith (2011). Can Transcendental Intersubjectivity Be Naturalised? Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (1):91-111.
    I discuss Husserl’s account of intersubjectivity in the fifth Cartesian Meditation. I focus on the problem of perceived similarity. I argue that recent work in developmental psychology and neuroscience, concerning intermodal representation and the mirror neuron system, fails to constitute a naturalistic solution to the problem. This can be seen via a comparison between the Husserlian project on the one hand and Molyneux’s Question on the other.
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  6. Joel Smith (2011). Review of Radu Bogdan, Our Own Minds: Sociocultural Grounds for Self-Consciousness. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2011 (2).
    Our Own Minds presents an account of the nature and development of self-consciousness. Bogdan describes the mind of the infant as outward looking, turning in on itself only at a relatively late stage of development. This it does as a response to the increasingly sophisticated sociocultural pressures it faces throughout infancy and early childhood. The book is difficult to follow (about which, more later) but the main line of argument is this: to begin with, infants are attuned to their physical (...)
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  7. Joel Smith (2011). Strawson on Other Minds. In Joel Smith & Peter Sullivan (eds.), Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism. OUP.
    I critically discuss Strawson's transcendental argument against other minds scepticism, and look at the prospects for a naturalised version of it.
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  8. Joel Smith & Peter Sullivan (eds.) (2011). Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism. Oxford University Press.
    Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism assesses the present state and contemporary relevance of this tradition.
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  9. Joel Smith (2010). Seeing Other People. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):731-748.
    I present a perceptual account of other minds that combines a Husserlian insight about perceptual experience with a functionalist account of mental properties.
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  10. Joel Smith (2010). The Conceptual Problem of Other Bodies. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (2pt2):201-217.
    The, so called, ‘conceptual problem of other minds’ has been articulated in a number of different ways. I discuss two, drawing out some constraints on an adequate account of the grasp of concepts of mental states. Distinguishing between behaviour-based and identity-based approaches to the problem, I argue that the former, exemplified by Brewer and Pickard, are incomplete as they presuppose, but do not provide an answer to, what I shall call the conceptual problem of other bodies. I end with some (...)
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  11. Joel Smith, Phenomenology. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In its central use “phenomenology” names a movement in twentieth century philosophy. A second use of “phenomenology” common in contemporary philosophy names a property of some mental states, the property they have if and only if there is something it is like to be in them. Thus, it is sometimes said that emotional states have a phenomenology while belief states do not. For example, while there is something it is like to be angry, there is nothing it is like to (...)
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  12. Joel Smith (2007). Review of Shaun Gallagher, How the Body Shapes the Mind. [REVIEW] Philosophy 82 (1):196-200.
    The stated aim of Shaun Gallagher’s book is to provide, “an account of embodiment that is sufficiently detailed, and that is articulated in a vocabulary that can integrate discussions across the cognitive sciences...to remap the terrain that lies between phenomenology and cognitive neuroscience” (10). With this in mind, the book must be considered a success. The book provides a unified account of embodiment, and its relations to a number of aspects of experience, that is genuinely accessible from the perspectives of (...)
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  13. Joel Smith (2006). Review of Naomi Eilan, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Johannes Roessler (Eds.), Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds. [REVIEW] Mind 115 (460):1126-9.
    You and I are watching a spider crawl across the carpet. We are both aware of the spider, and aware that both are so aware. We are jointly attending to it. This collection of essays addresses a bewildering array of questions that arise regarding the notion of joint attention. How should joint attention be characterised in adults? In particular, how can we articulate the sense in which it is plausible to say that nothing is hidden from either participant in cases (...)
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  14. Joel Smith (2006). Bodily Awareness, Imagination, and the Self. European Journal Of Philosophy 14 (1):49-68.
    Common wisdom tells us that we have five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. These senses provide us with a means of gaining information concerning objects in the world around us, including our own bodies. But in addition to these five senses, each of us is aware of our own body in way in which we are aware of no other thing. These ways include our awareness of the position, orientation, movement, and size of our limbs (proprioception and kinaesthesia), (...)
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  15. Joel Smith (2006). Which Immunity to Error? Philosophical Studies 130 (2):273-83.
    A self-ascription is a thought or sentence in which a predicate is self-consciously ascribed to oneself. Self-ascriptions are best expressed using the first-person pronoun. Mental self-ascriptions are ascriptions to oneself of mental predicates (predicates that designate mental properties), non-mental self-ascriptions are ascriptions to oneself of non-mental predicates (predicates that designate non-mental properties). It is often claimed that there is a range of self-ascriptions that are immune to error through misidentification relative to the first-person pronoun (IEM for short). What this means, (...)
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  16. Joel Smith (2005). Merleau-Ponty and the Phenomenological Reduction. Inquiry 48 (6):553-571.
    _reduction in favour of his existentialist account of être au monde. I show that whilst Merleau-Ponty _ _rejected, what he saw as, the transcendental idealist context in which Husserl presents the _ _reduction, he nevertheless accepts the heart of it, the epoché, as a methodological principle. _ _Contrary to a number of Merleau-Ponty scholars, être au monde is perfectly compatible with the _ _epoché and Merleau-Ponty endorses both. I also argue that it is a mistake to think that Merleau-_ _Ponty’s (...)
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  17. Joel Smith (2005). Review of M. R. Bennett & P. M. S. Hacker, Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience. [REVIEW] Mind 114 (454):391-394.
    In this long and detailed book Bennett and Hacker set themselves two ambitious tasks. The first is to offer a philosophical critique of, what they argue are, philosophical confusions within contemporary cognitive neuroscience. The second is to present a ‘conceptual reference work for cognitive neuroscientists who wish to check the contour lines of the psychological concept relevant to their investigation’ (p.7). In the process they cover an astonishing amount of material. The first two chapters present a critical history of neuroscience (...)
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  18. Joel Smith (2004). On Knowing Which Thing I Am. Philosophy 79 (310):591-608.
    Russell's Principle states that in order to think about an object I must know which thing it is, in the sense of being able to distinguish it from all other things. I show that, contra Strawson, Evans and Cassam, Russell's Principle cannot be applied to first-person thought so as to yield necessary conditions of self-consciousness. Footnotes1 Thanks to Naomi Eilan, Keith Hossack, Lucy O'Brien and Ann Whittle for helpful comments.
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  19. Joel Smith (2003). Review of Naomi Eilan & Johannes Roessler (Eds.), Agency and Self-Awareness: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. [REVIEW] The Human Nature Review 3:346-8.
    On hearing a sound behind me I may turn my head in order to see what is happening. This piece of behaviour is a deliberate action, one which feels to be under my own control. If asked what I am doing, I will be able to provide an immediate and knowledgeable answer, viz. 'turning my head' or maybe 'looking to see what is going on'. Not only do I know that an action is taking place, I know which action is (...)
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  20. Joel Smith (2003). Review of F. Nietzsche, Writings From the Late Notebooks. Edited by R. Bittner and Translated by K. Sturge. [REVIEW] Philosophical Writings 22:69-71.
    As so often with his published texts, the experience of reading Nietzsche’s notebooks is at once mesmerising and infuriating. One is in the presence of a thinker who, on the one hand, meditates deeply on fundamental issues in philosophy and psychology but who, on the other, refuses to be pinned down. The fact that Nietzsche’s style is so elusive can account for the enormously disparate interpretations of his work and it is no surprise that his notebooks have been read in (...)
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  21. Joel Smith (2003). Self-Consciousness and Embodied Experience. Dissertation, UCL
    The Body Claim states that a transcendental condition of self-consciousness is that one experience oneself as embodied. The contention of this thesis is that popular arguments in support of the Body Claim are unconvincing. Understanding the Body Claim requires us to have a clear understanding of both self-consciousness and embodied experience. In the first chapter I lay out two different conceptions of self-consciousness, arguing that the proponent of the Body Claim should think of self-consciousness as first-person thought. I point out (...)
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