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David Papineau

Papineau, Professor David

Photograph of Professor David Papineau (Steve Pyke)Professor of Philosophy of Science

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2594
Address Room 501, Philosophy Building
King's College London
London, WC2R 2LS

Personal website:



David Papineau was educated in Trinidad, England, and South Africa. He has a BSc in mathematics from the University of Natal and a BA in philosophy from Cambridge. He stayed at Cambridge to work on conceptual change in science under Ian Hacking, and was awarded his PhD in 1974. Since then he has lectured at Reading University, Macquarie University, Birkbeck College London, and Cambridge University. He came to King's College as Professor of Philosophy of Science in 1990.

He was elected President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science for 1993-5, of the Mind Association for 2009-10, and of the Aristotelian Society for 2013-4.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of science
  • Philosophy of mind and psychology
  • Philosophy of mathematics

Professor Papineau works on issues in metaphysics, philosophy of science, and the philosophy of mind and psychology. He has written For Science in the Social Sciences (1978), Theory and Meaning (1979), Reality and Representation (1987), Philosophical Naturalism (1993) and Introducing Consciousness (2000), and he edited Philosophy of Science (1996) and Teleosemantics (2006).  His Thinking about Consciousness was published in 2002 and The Roots of Reason, a collection of essays on rationality, decision, and evolution, in 2003.

Professor Papineau welcomes enquiries from prospective students seeking supervision in areas connected to his research interests.

For more details, please see his full research profile.

Selected publications
  • Philosophical Devices: Proofs, Probabilities, Possibilities, and Sets
    Oxford University Press 2012
For a full list of publications, please see his personal website.

Professor Papineau has previously taught modules in philosophical methodology, philosophy of mind and metaphysics, and philosophy of biology. 

Expertise and public engagement

A number of videos and podcasts can be found on his personal website.

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