Susan Schneider

Associate Professor

Department of Philosophy

Cognitive Science Program

The University of Connecticut

Ethics and Technology Group,

Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics

Fellow, Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton

Email:  Susansdr(at)

My work is on the nature of the self, which I examine from the vantage point of issues in philosophy of mind, astrobiology, ethics, cognitive science, metaphysics and AI. The topics I’ve written about most recently include the software approach to the mind, intelligent life in the universe, brain enhancement, how the mathematical nature of physics undermines physicalism, AI, and the nature of the person.  For a brief overview of some of my work see this interview with 3AM Magazine.   Other discussions of my work have appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Humanity+, Big Think, 3 Quarks Daily, and Discover Magazine, (see “media”, above). You can download the introductions to my books and some papers below.

        There is a conference on my work this summer in Lisbon: Minds, Selves and Technology, with Susan Schneider.


- I’ll be giving a TED talk in Boston (more info soon). Speaking engagements within the next month or so: Yale, Bioethics Center (Wed. March 17th); Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton (AI ethics/safety); March 9; Villanova, April 11 (to departments of business, cognitive science and philosophy).

  1. Here’s my op-ed in this week’s Huffington Post, with SETI’s Seth Shostak.

  2. WIRED discusses my view on uploading in a piece on the “internet of things” (see “media” above). 

  3. A live talk show on my work (available here and on CuriosityStream).

  4. Here’s a video of a talk I just gave to NASA on alien minds. Discussions of this paper are in Science, Motherboard, CBS, Slate (France), The Daily Mail (UK), El Mundo (Spain) Popular Mechanics, IO9, etc. (see “media”).

  5. Interviewed on Coast to Coast AM (special on AI, hour interview).

  6. Cool Motherboard interview with myself and computational neuroscientist Randal Koene on whether brain uploading would be a way for a person to survive.

  7. The new edition of Science Fiction and Philosophy is available on Kindle and for pre-order on Amazon.

  8. Here’s my two cents on the future of philosophy of mind (with Pete Mandik):  How Philosophy of Mind can Shape the Future” (ends a 6 vol. history of philosophy of mind).


    - Catalog description

    - 10 pg. overview of my book on LOT (appeared in the journal, WIRES: Cognitive Science)

The Mind-Body Problem: Rethinking the Solution Space. (Oxford University Press, in preparation).  

The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness, (with Max Velmans), eds., Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2006. (You can download the introduction below.) Second edition in progress.

Science Fiction and Philosophy. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. 2nd Edition.

  1. -Arabic translation, (2010).  Portuguese translation, (2011).

Articles and Book Chapters: (See also my page if links are down)

Papers in the Metaphysics of Mind:

The Philosophy of Her.”  The New York Times. (Opinion piece on AI, personal identity, and brain uploading. Pg. 1 of the digital edition. Top ten most emailed.)

  1. How the Mathematical Nature of Physics Undermines Physicalism, subject of an upcoming special issue of The Journal of Consciousness Studies.

  2. Non-reductive Physicalism and the Mind Problem, Nous.

  3. Idealism, or Something Near Enough” (an argument for panprotopsychism), forthcoming in an OUP volume on idealism.

  4. Non-reductive Physicalism Cannot Accept Token Identity, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, forthcoming.

  5. Why Property Dualists must Reject Substance Physicalism, Philosophical Studies, Vol. 157, Number 1, Jan. 2012.

  6. The Metaphysics of Uploading, forthcoming in a special issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies. (Symposium on a piece by David Chalmers, with his response.)  Reprinted in Uploaded Minds (with postscript), Russell Blackford (ed.) Wiley-Blackwell.

Reflections on Computational Approaches to Thought:

  1. The Nature of Symbols in the Language of Thought, Mind and Language, Vol. 24, No. 4, Nov., 2009.

 LOT, CTM, and the Elephant in the Room, Synthese, Winter, 2009.

  1. Fodor’s Challenge to the Classical Computational Theory of Mind, (with Kirk Ludwig).  Mind and Language, 2008.

Yes, It Does: A Diatribe on Jerry Fodor’s The Mind Doesn’t Work That Way, Psyche, 2007.

Direct Reference, Psychological Explanation, and Frege Cases, Mind and Language, Sept., 2005.

  1. Daniel Dennett’s Theory of Consciousness, in my Blackwell Companion to Consciousness, 2007.

        - Chinese translation.  In Philosophical Analysis, (Fu Bin, translator). Shanghai People’s Publishing House and Institute of Philosophy of Shanghai Academy of Social Science, 2012.

  1. The Language of Thought, for The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology, John Symons and Paco Calvo, editors, 2009.

  2. Rethinking the Language of Thought, (with Matt Katz). WIRES: Cognitive Science, Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming. (Solicited overview of my work on LOT.)

  3. Conceptual Atomism Rethought, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, June 2010.

Brain Enhancement, the Singularity, and The Nature of the Person:

  1. “The Mind is not the Software of the Brain (Even if it is Computational)” - on ideas that motivate the ethics of futuristic brain enhancements, as well as computationalism in cognitve science.

  2. The Metaphysics of Uploading, forthcoming in a special issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies. (Symposium on a piece by David Chalmers, with his response.)  Reprinted in Uploaded Minds (with postscript), Russell Blackford (ed.) Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.

  3. Transcending and Enhancing the Human Brain, in my Science Fiction and Philosophy. (Note: this is for an interdisciplinary audience.)
  4. Essay Award Winner, The Swiss Society for Biomedical Ethics (Topic: “The Future of Bioethics”).

  5. Reprinted in, Brain Minds, Selves and Others: Neuroscience, Neurotechnology and the Social Good. James Giordano, editor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. 

  6. Cognitive Enhancement and the Nature of Persons, for The University of Pennsylvania Bioethics Reader, Art Caplan and Vardit Radvisky, eds., 2009, pp. 844-856.

Pieces Accessible to Nonspecialists (See also my pieces on enhancement:

  1. Thought Experiments: Science Fiction as a Window into Philosophical Puzzles. Introduction to my Science Fiction and Philosophy

  2. Consciousness Studies: An Introduction to the Issues, (with Max Velmans), introduction to our Blackwell Companion to Consciousness.

More Topics in Metaphysics (see also “Papers in the Metaphysics of Mind” above):

  1. What is the Significance of the Intuition that Laws Govern? Australasian Journal of Philosophy, June, 2007.

  2. Events, IEP. (From my graduate school days, but a useful survey of events).

  3. Alien Individuals, Alien Universals, and Armstrong's Combinatorial Theory of ModalityThe Southern Journal of Philosophy, Winter 2002.

Introductions to my Books:

  1. “Science Fiction Thought Experiments as a Window into Philosophical Puzzles.”  Introduction to my Science Fiction and Philosophy.

  2. Consciousness Studies: An Introduction to the Issues, (with Max Velmans), introduction to our Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. (Please use “look inside” feature at Amazon)

  3. The Language of Thought: Ch 1