John Campbell

John Campbell is Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at New College, Oxford University.

  • Past, Space, and Self

    Past, Space, and Self

    John Campbell

    Humans were thought to be unique among the species in having minds, but recent results showing the richness and diversity in animal psychology makes this view untenable. Yet there remains the question of whether we can map the features of a particularly human psychology that are responsible for its overall structure. In this book John Campbell shows that the general structural features of human thought can be seen as having their source in the distinctive ways in which we think about space and time. He describes the contrasts between animal representations of space and time and distinctively human ways of thinking about them. In particular, he shows what is special about the human ability of to think about the past.

    Campbell looks at how self-consciousness exploits these particular abilities in thinking about space and the past. He discusses at length the relation between self-consciousness and the first person and how fundamental the first person is in ordinary thought. Campbell shows that the structured character of ordinary thinking can be explained by reference to the demands of first-person thinking and the way in which first-person thiinking exploits distinctively human respresentations of space and time. Finally, he considers the metaphysical implications of this approach, in particular, how ordinary self-consciousness relies on a realist view of the past.

    • Hardcover $32.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00


  • Joint Attention

    Joint Attention

    New Developments in Psychology, Philosophy of Mind, and Social Neuroscience

    Axel Seemann

    Interdisciplinary perspectives on definitional concerns, underlying mechanisms, and the functional significance of joint attention.

    Academic interest in the phenomenon of joint attention—the capacity to attend to an object together with another creature—has increased rapidly over the past two decades. Yet it isn't easy to spell out in detail what joint attention is, how it ought to be characterized, and what exactly its significance consists in. The writers for this volume address these and related questions by drawing on a variety of disciplines, including developmental and comparative psychology, philosophy of mind, and social neuroscience. The volume organizes their contributions along three main themes: definitional concerns, such as the question of whether or not joint attention should be understood as an irreducibly basic state of mind; processes and mechanisms obtaining on both the neural and behavioral levels; and the functional significance of joint attention, in particular the role it plays in comprehending spatial perspectives and understanding other minds. The collected papers present new work by leading researchers on one of the key issues in social cognition. They demonstrate that an adequate theory of joint attention is indispensable for a comprehensive account of mind.

    • Hardcover $19.75 £14.99