Shaun Gallagher

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For those of a similar name, see Sean Gallagher (disambiguation).
Shaun Gallagher in 2008

Shaun Gallagher is an American philosopher known for his work on embodied and social cognition, agency and the philosophy of psychopathology. Since 2011 he has held the Lillian and Morrie Moss Chair of Excellence in Philosophy at the University of Memphis and was awarded the Anneliese Maier Research Award by the Humboldt Foundation (2012-2017). Since 2014 he has also been Professorial Fellow on the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts at the University of Wollongong in Australia. He is Honorary Professor of Philosophy at the University of Copenhagen (2010-2015), Honorary Professor of Philosophy at Durham University (UK)(since 2012), and Honorary Professor of Health Science at the University of Tromsø (since 2012).

Philosophy and research[edit]

Gallagher's research covers a number of fields, including phenomenology, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and hermeneutics, especially the topics of embodied cognition and intersubjectivity.[1] In How the Body Shapes the Mind (2005), and more recent work, he draws from phenomenology and empirical cognitive sciences, to provide a detailed account of embodied cognition, developing distinctions between body image (medicine) and body schema, the sense of agency and sense of ownership.[2] He explores philosophical implications of embodied cognition with respect to topics such as perception, social cognition, agency, and free will. He also develops a critique of current standard theories of social cognition (including 'theory theory' and 'simulation theory') and develops an approach (termed 'interaction theory') which emphasizes embodied interaction.[3] Interaction theory draws on developmental studies, social psychology, neuroscience and narrative theory to develop an integrated theory that recognizes the importance of bodily movements, gesture, facial expression, action, and communicative and narrative practices for understanding other persons.[4]

Gallagher co-edits the journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, and is the author of several books, including How the Body Shapes the Mind (2005), Phenomenology (2012), Hermeneutics and Education (1992), The Inordinance of Time (1998), Brainstorming (2008), and (with Dan Zahavi), The Phenomenological Mind (2008; 2nd edition, 2012). He is also editor of The Oxford Handbook of the Self (2011) and several other volumes.

Gallagher has held visiting positions at the Humboldt University in Berlin, the Centre de Recherche en Epistémelogie Appliquée in Paris; the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Lyon; the University of Copenhagen; and the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge. His previous positions include Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Central Florida (2003-2011), and Research Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science at the University of Hertfordshire in England (2007-2015). He received his Ph.D in philosophy from Bryn Mawr College. He also studied philosophy at Villanova University and Leuven, and economics at the State University of New York–Buffalo.


  • Phenomenology (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
  • The Oxford Handbook of the Self (ed) (Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • Handbook of Phenomenology and Cognitive Science. Co-edited with D. Schmicking (Berlin: Springer, 2010)
  • The Phenomenological Mind (Routledge; 2008). Second edition (2012), co-authored with Dan Zahavi. Translations: Hungarian (2008); Italian (2009); Danish (2010); Japanese (2011); Korean (2013).
  • Brainstorming: Views and Interviews on the Mind (Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic, 2008)
  • Does Consciousness Cause Behavior? An Investigation of the Nature of Volition. Co-edited with W. Banks and S. Pockett (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006)
  • How the Body Shapes the Mind (Oxford University Press; 2005) Chinese translation (2009)
  • Ipseity and Alterity: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Intersubjectivity. Co-edited with S. Watson (Rouen: Publications de l'Université de Rouen, 2004)
  • Models of the Self. Co-edited with J. Shear (Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic, 1999)
  • The Inordinance of Time (Northwestern University Press, 1998)
  • Hegel, History, and Interpretation. Editor (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997)
  • Merleau-Ponty, Hermeneutics, and Postmodernism. Co-edited with T. Busch. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992)
  • Hermeneutics and Education (State University of New York Press; 1992)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joly I. (2011). Le Corps sans représentation. De Jean-Paul Sartre à Shaun Gallagher, Paris, L'Harmattan
  2. ^ Gallagher, S. 2000. Philosophical conceptions of the self: implications for cognitive science. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (1): 14-21.
  3. ^ Gallagher, S. (2001). "The practice of mind: Theory, Simulation, or Interaction?", Journal of Consciousness Studies, 8, 83-107.
  4. ^ Gallagher, S., & Hutto, D. (2008). "Understanding others through Primary Interaction and Narrative Practice". In T. Zlatev, T. Racine, C. Sinha, & E. Itkonen, The Shared Mind: Perspectives on Intersubjectivity (pp. 17–38). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

External links[edit]