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Dr Tom McClelland

  • College positions:

    External Director of Studies in Philosophy

  • University positions:

    Lecturer in Philosophy

  • Subject:


Philosophy BA (Clare College, University of Cambridge), Philosophy MA (University of York), Philosophy PhD (University of Sussex)


Research interests 

My research covers a range of topics in philosophy of mind, psychology, metaphysics, aesthetics and the philosophy of business. Right now I’m focussing on how the skills we acquire alter our perception and guide our action. I’m particularly interested in what this means for our perception of artworks. This builds on my recent work about ‘affordances for mental action’.


Teaching interests

Besides topics in philosophy of mind, I teach in metaphysics and epistemology. I also teach in aesthetics with a special focus on philosophy of film.



What is Philosophy of Mind?, monograph forthcoming with Polity Press.

“Seeing the Forest for the Trees” forthcoming in Philosophy and the Mind Sciences.

“Suffering and Affordances for Mental Action” forthcoming in D. Bain, M. Brady and J. Corns (eds.) The Value of Suffering, Routledge Press.

“Self-Representationalism,” forthcoming in U. Kriegel (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness, Oxford University Press.

“Four Impediments to the Case for Mineness,” forthcoming in M. Guillot & M. García-Carpintero (eds.) Consciousness and the Sense of Mineness, Oxford University Press.

“The Mental Affordance Hypothesis,” Mind, 129(514): 401–427, 2020. DOI 10.1093/mind/fzz036

“Ignorance as a Solution to the Meta-Problem of Consciousness,” Journal of Consciousness Studies: Special Issue on the Meta-Problem of Consciousness, 27(5-6): 108-119, 2020.

“Film as Philosophical Thought Experiment: Some Challenges and Solutions” in C. Rawls, D. Neiva & S. Gouveia (eds.) Philosophy and Film: Bridging Divides, Routledge Press, 2019, pp.92-115.

“The Knowledge Argument is Either Indefensible or Redundant,” in S. Coleman (ed.) The Knowledge Argument, Cambridge University Press, 2019, pp. 180-197.

“Representing Our Options: The Perception of Affordances for Bodily and Mental Action”, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 26(3-4): 155-180, 2019.

“Ensemble Representation and the Contents of Visual Experience” (co-authored with Tim Bayne), Philosophical Studies, 176:733–753, 2019. DOI 10.1007/s11098-018-1037-3.

“Against Virtual Selves,” Erkenntnis, 84:21-40, 2019. DOI 10.1007/s10670-017-9945-8.

“The Problem of Consciousness: Easy, Hard or Tricky?,” Topoi: Special Issue on the Hard Problem of Consciousness, 36(1), 17-30, 2017. DOI 10.1007/s11245-014-9257-4.

“Gappiness and the Case for Liberalism About Phenomenal Properties,” Philosophical Quarterly, 66 (264): 536-558, 2016. DOI 10.1093/pq/pqv128.

“Concepts, Contents and Consciousness,” (co-authored with Tim Bayne) Neuroscience of Consciousness, (Vol. 1) 2016. DOI: 10.1093/nc/niv012.

“Finding the Feel: The Matching Content Challenge to Cognitive Phenomenology” (co-authored with Tim Bayne) Phenomenology and Mind, 10, 26-43, 2016. DOI: 10.13128/Phe_Mi-20090.

“Can Self-Representationalism Explain Away the Apparent Irreducibility of Consciousness?” Synthese, 193(6), 1755-1776, 2016. DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0806-1.

“Affording Introspection: An Alternative Model of Inner Awareness,” Philosophical Studies, Vol.172, No. 9, 2469-2492, 2015. DOI 10.1007/s11098-014-0421-x.

“The Neo-Russellian Ignorance Hypothesis: A Hybrid Account of Phenomenal Consciousness,” Journal of Consciousness Studies, 20(3-4): 125-51, 2013.

“In Defence of Kantian Humility,” Thought, Vol.1, 62-70, 2012. 10.1002/tht.9.

“The Philosophy of Film and Film as Philosophy,” Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image, Vol. 2, 2011.


Other interests

Woodland conservation, Cinema, Tottenham Hotspur