Joel Smith


  • 2.42, Humanities Bridgeford Street, University of Manchester

    M13 9PL

    United Kingdom

Personal profile


I studied philosophy as an undergraduate in Cambridge (Fitzwilliam College, 1995-1998), and as a postgraduate at University College London (1998-2003). I spent four years at the University of Essex before moving to the University of Manchester in 2007. I am married to the brilliant Ann Whittle.

Research interests

Most of my work falls within the philosophy of mind and phenomenology, with connections to issues in the philosophy of psychology, the philosophy of language, epistemology, and aesthetics. I have published on a variety of mental phenomena including self-consciousness, other minds, perception, emotion, empathy, and the experience of time.
I have historical interests in Kant, post-Kantian philosophy, Phenomenology, and Existentialism.

I am currently working on perceptual demonstratives, communication, emotional expression, and the experience of music.
I am a member of the Mind & Language research area, and organise the Mind Reading Group.

Supervision information

PhD Supervision:

I supervise a number of PhD students. If you're interested in undertaking a PhD that falls within my research interests, send me an email. See our funding information pages for details of available opportunities.

Current PhD Students: Main Supervisor

Umair Khan, working on psychedelics and phenomenology.

Hsu-Nan Liou, working on psychoanalysis, emotion and the unconscious.

Ryan Ratchford, working on narrative and mortality.

Zhiyao Xiong, working on self-awareness and bodily-awareness.

Current Masters' Students

Langit Siregar, working on artificial intelligence and the problem of other minds.

Previous PhD Students (main supervisor)

2023: Penny Orr, "Essays on Self-Awareness and Self-Perception"

2023: Carlo Raineri, "Perceptual Experience and the First Person Perspective"

2022: James Lloyd, "Character and Culture in Social Cognition"

2022: Beth Ansell, "Acquaintance and Self-Knowledge"

2022: Benedetta Magro, "Psychological Constructionism and the (Narrative) Self-Concept"

2021: Emile Chan, "Virtue Reliabilism in the Philosophy of Emotion: Three Implications"

2019: Abigail Connor, "A Minimal Account of Temporal Experience"

2019: Lucy Tomlinson, "Pleasure Three Ways: Phenomenological, Attitudinal, Representational"

2019: Lydia Farina, "Natural Kinds in Affective Science"

2018: Jamie Henson, "Remorse and the Courts: A Defence of Remorse-Based Sentencing"

2015: Pablo Lopez Silva, "The Architecture of Psychosis: Thought and Delusions of Thought Insertion"

2014: Moritz Mueller, "Affect and Intentionality: On the Significance of Emotional Feeling"

2014: Howard Kelly, "Being and Time §15: Around-for References and the Content of Mundane Concern"

2012: Gayle Impey, "Empathy, Motive and Morality: An Enquiry into the Role of Empathy in Ethics"

Previous PhD Students (co-supervisor)

2019: Pilar Lopez-Cantero, "Being in Love: A Narrative Account"

2018: Andrew Kirton: "Matters of Interpersonal Trust"

2014: Beccy Simpson, "The Role of Emotion in Practical Rationality"

2013: Hichem Naar, "A Defence of Sentiments: Emotions, Dispositions, and Character"

2013: Chris Ovenden, "Towards a Theory of Control"

Previous Masters' Students:

2022: Yixuan Li, "What is the Nature of Hallucination?"

2022: Amber Kelly, "Dasein, Intentionality and Care: Heidegger's Angst as Disclosive Existential Mood"

2021: Ryan Ratchford, "An Adaptation of Schechtman's Narrative Self-Constitution View"

2021: Joe Rooney, "Finding the Dynamic in the Static: Interpreting Sartre's Theory of Imagination"

2021: Sarah Sharp, "An Interpretation and Analysis of Rawlsian Tolerance"

2019: Christy Blance, "Literary Fiction and Experiment in Thought"

2019: Rory Blakeney-Edwards, "Albert Camus and the Use of Legitimate Political Violence"

2017: Beth Ansell, "Self-Knowledge and Cognitive Phenomenology"

2015: Abigail Connor, "Perceiving Illusion: A Spatial and Temporal Account"

2014: Pauline Kwiat, "Duties to Others: A Non-Consequentialist Defence of Singer's Principle

2014: Andrew Kirton, "A Theory of Trust, Reliance, and Betrayal" (co-supervisor)

2012: Pablo López-Silva, "On the Experience of Being the Same Over Time"

2011: Thomas Whyman, "Naturalised Transcendental Idealism and the Second Analogy"

2010: Andy Routledge, "Holism in Experience"

2010: Alex Coley, "Could a Computer Think?"

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Areas of expertise

  • B Philosophy (General)
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Psychology
  • Phenomenology


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