David Papineau

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David Papineau
Born1947 (age 75–76)
Como, Italy
Alma materUniversity of Natal
University of Cambridge
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolAnalytic philosophy
InstitutionsUniversity of Reading
Macquarie University
Birkbeck College, London
University of Cambridge
King’s College London
City University of New York
Doctoral advisorIan Hacking[1]
Doctoral studentsStathis Psillos
Main interests
Philosophy of mind, metaphysics, philosophy of science
Notable ideas
Conceptual dualism

David Papineau (/ˈpæpɪn/; born 1947) is a British academic philosopher, born in Como, Italy.[2] He works as Professor of Philosophy of Science at King's College London and the City University of New York Graduate Center, and previously taught for several years at Cambridge University, where he was a fellow of Robinson College.


Papineau received a BSc in mathematics from the University of Natal and a BA and PhD in philosophy from the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Ian Hacking.[1]

He has worked in metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophies of science, mind, and mathematics. His overall stance is naturalist and realist. He is one of the originators of the teleosemantic theory of mental representation, a solution to the problem of intentionality which derives the intentional content of our beliefs from their biological purpose. He is also a defender of the a posteriori physicalist solution to the mind–body problem.[3]

Papineau was elected president of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science for 1993–1995, of the Mind Association for 2009–2010, and of the Aristotelian Society for 2013–2014.[4]

His book Knowing the Score (2017) is written for a general readership and looks at a number of ways in which sporting issues cast light on long-standing philosophical problems.[5]

Papineau lives in London with his wife, Rose Wild.[citation needed]


  • For Science in the Social Sciences (1978)
  • Theory and Meaning (1979)
  • Reality and Representation (1987)
  • Philosophical Naturalism (1993)
  • Introducing Consciousness (2000)
  • Thinking about Consciousness (2002)
  • The Roots of Reason: Philosophical Essays on Rationality, Evolution and Probability (2003)
  • Philosophical Devices (2012)
  • Knowing the Score (2017)
  • The Metaphysics of Sensory Experience (2021)


  1. ^ a b "Tree – David Chalmers". Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  2. ^ "David Papineau". www.davidpapineau.co.uk.
  3. ^ "physical". 3:AM Magazine. 8 April 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  4. ^ "David Papineau". Aristotelian Society. October 2013.
  5. ^ William Skidelsky (26 May 2017). "Knowing the Score by David Papineau review – sport meets philosophy". The Guardian.

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