Brian O'Shaughnessy (philosopher)

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Brian Joseph O'Shaughnessy
Brian O'Shaughnessy.png
Born10 September 1925
Died7 July 2010(2010-07-07) (aged 84)
Occupation(s)Philosopher, writer

Brian Joseph O'Shaughnessy (10 September 1925 – 7 July 2010)[1] was an Australian philosopher of mind, who lived in London and taught at King's College London. He published papers on the nature of physical action and the will, at a time when this was quite unfashionable.[2]


He was born in Kew, a suburb of Melbourne in Australia, where his father was a doctor.[2] He studied at Xavier College and then attended Melbourne University, firstly studying engineering before changing to philosophy. He graduated in 1950 and then went to England to continue his studies at Oxford University.[3] He is buried in Highgate Cemetery in north London in the first section on the right immediately upon entering the Eastern Cemetery. His wife Edna O'Shaughnessy was buried with him in 2022.

Major works[edit]

  • The Will: A Dual Aspect Theory (1980) Cambridge University Press ISBN 0-521-22680-5 [4]
  • Consciousness and the World (2000, Oxford University Press)


  1. ^ Obituary,; 14 July 2010; accessed 16 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Brian O'Shaughnessy obituary". 14 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Brian O'Shaughnessy". King's College London. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
  4. ^ Pears, David (17 December 1981). "The Will and the Body". London Review of Books. 03 (24).