curriculum vitae

Curriculum Vitae



Patricia Smith Churchland



Born:      July 16, 1943

Citizenship:      USA/Canada

Permanent Resident U.S.A.

Married:      Paul M. Churchland, Ph. D.

Children:      Mark M. Churchland Ph. D. (1972)

Anne K. Churchland Ph. D. (1974)


Address:      Philosophy Department 0119

University of California San Diego

La Jolla CA 92093

Telephone:      858-534-6811



Fields Of Specialization

Philosophy of Neuroscience

Philosophy of Mind


Educational History

University of British Columbia, 1961-65, B.A. (hons.)

University of Pittsburg, 1965-66, M.A.

Oxford University, 1966-69, B. Phil.

Employment History

Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba, 1969-1977

Associate Professor, University of Manitoba, 1977-82

Visiting Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 1982-83

Full Professor, University of Manitoba, 1983-84

Full Professor, University of California, San Diego, 1984 –

Adjunct Professor, Salk Institute, 1989 –

       UC President’s Professor of Philosophy, 1999 – 2013

Professor Emerita 2013 –

Major Academic Awards And Grants

National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Grant 1987-1989

James S. McDonnell Research Grant 1988-89

Faculty Research Lecture Award (UCSD) 1988

Chancellor’s Associate Award (UCSD) 1988

James S. McDonnell Research Grant 1989-90

MacArthur Foundation Research Fellow, 1991-96

Elected, Academy of Humanism, 1993

Honorary Doctor of Letters, University of Victoria, 1996

Presidential Chair in Philosophy, 1999-Present

Honorary Doctor of Law, University of Alberta, 2007

Rossi Prize in Neuroscience, Pavia, Italy 2008




Touching a Nerve: The Self As Brain (2013) New York: Norton


Translations: Italian, German, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Swedish.


Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Morality (2011) Princeton University Press.

Brain-Wise: Studies in Neurophilosophy. (2002) Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

______ Japanese translation (2005) Sozo Shuppan


On the Contrary : Critical Essays 1987-1997. (1998 ). Paul M. Churchland and Patricia S. Churchland. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

The Mind-Brain Continuum (1996). Ed. R. R. Llinas and P. S. Churchland. MIT Press.

Neurophilosophy and Alzheimer’s Disease. (1992) Ed. by Y. Christen and P. S. Churchland. Berlin: Spinger-Verlag.

The Computational Brain. (1992) P. S. Churchland and T.J. Sejnowski. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.

Italian Translation, Il Cervello Computazionale (1995) il Mulino: Bologna

German Translation, Grundlagen zur Neuroinformatik und Neurobiologie. (1997). Vieweg.

Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind-Brain. (1986) Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.


_______Finnish translation Neurofilosofia (2004) Helsinki: Terra Cognita


________Korean Translation (2005) Chulhak Kwa Hyunsil Sa Publishing Co.







Sejnowski TJ, Churchland PS, Movshon JA. Putting big data to good use in neuroscience. Nature Neuroscience. 2014 Nov;17(11):1440-1.


Patricia S. Churchland. The neurobiological platform for moral values. Behavior. 151: 283-296.


Patricia S. Churchland and Christopher L. Suhler. Agency and Control: The Subcortical Role in Good Decisions (Chapter 8). In: Moral Psychology: Free Will and Responsibility (Volume 4). Walter Sinott-Armstrong. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Patricia S. Churchland, Looking-Glass Wars, review of The Myth of Mirror Neurons, by G. Hickok, Nature, 511.



Patricia S. Churchland, Foreword to Word and Object (2nd edition), by W. V. O. Quine. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Patricia S. Churchland and Piotr Winkielman. Modulating social behavior with oxytocin: How does it work? What does it mean? Hormones and Behavior.


McCullough ME, Churchland PS, Mendez AJ. Problems with measuring peripheral oxytocin: can the data on oxytocin and human behavior be trusted?

Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 2013 Sep;37(8):1485-92.


Patricia S. Churchland. Exploring the causal underpinnings of determination, resolve, and will. Neuron. 2013 Dec 18;80 (6):1337-8.



Christopher Suhler and Patricia Churchland. Can Innate, Modular “Foundations” Explain Morality? Challenges for Haidtʼs Moral Foundations Theory. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 23:9, 2103-2116.


Moral Decision-Making and the Brain. In: Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics. ed J. Illes and B. J. Sahakian. New York: Oxford.


Patricia S. Churchland. The brain and its self. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 2011 Mar;155(1):41-50.


Kavanagh LC, Suhler CL, Churchland PS, Winkielman P. When It’s an error to mirror: the surprising reputational costs of mimicry. Psychological Science. 2011 Oct;22(10):1274-6







Control: Conscious and Otherwise. Trends in Cognitive Neurosciences (with Christopher Suhler)


Suhler Christopher L. and Churchland Patricia S. Psychology and medical decision-making. American Journal of Bioethics. 2009;9(6-7):79-81


Inference to the best decision. In: Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Neuroscience, ed J. Bickle. OUP.




The Impact of Neuroscience on Philosophy, Neuron, 60, Nov 6.


Human dignity from a Neurophilosophical Perspective, in Human Dignity and Bioethics: Essays Commissioned by the President’s Council on Bioethics, ed by A. Schulman. 99-121.




Neurophilosophy: The Early years and New Directions. Functional Neurology. 22(4): 185-195.


Review of The Stuff of Thought, by S.Pinker. Nature.




Moral decision-making and the brain. In: Neuroethics: Defining the Issues in Theory, Practice and Policy. Ed. J. Illes. Oxford University Press. 3-16.


Do we have free will? The New Scientist. 18 November 2006.


Reprint: Can neurobiology teach us anything about consciousness? In: Philosophy of Cognitive Science: Classical and Contemporary Readings, ed by D. Chalmers. Oxford University Press (in press).


Reprint: From Descartes to Neural Networks. In: In the Agora: The Public Face of Canadian Philosophy pp. 51-53.


Reprint: How Do neurons Know? In: In the Agora: The Public Face of Canadian Philosophy pp. 54-59.


Reprint: Could a Machine Think? (with Paul Churchland) In the Agora: The Public Face of Canadian Philosophy pp. 70-82.



A neurophilosophical slant on consciousness research. Progress in Brain Research. Eds. V.A. Casagrande, R. W. Guillery, & S. M. Sherman and. pp. 285-294


Reprint: A neurophilosophical slant on consciousness research. Sphinx 2005.


Moral decision-making and the brain. In: Neuroethics: Defining the Issues in Research, Practice, and Policy. Ed by J. Illes. New York: Oxford University Press.pp. 3-16

Reprint: Moral decision-making and the brain: Inaugural Address. In: Behind and Beyond the Brain. Proceedings of the Instituicao de utilidade publica. Fundacao Bial. 2005. Pp. 23-39.


Brain Wide Shut, New Scientist, 30 April 2005. pp. 46-49.

Brain-based values Review of The Ethical Brain by Michael Gazzaniga. American Scientist.



How do neurons know? Daedalus Winter 2004: On Learning. 42-50.


Cerebro y responsibilidad (translation of Decisions, Responsibility, and the Brain). Nuevos Aminos del Conocimiento 2004. Santander Fondacion. Pp. 96 – 116.


Intertheoretica Reduction: A Neuroscientist’s Field Guide (translated into Polish: Interteoretska redukcija: podrocni vodnik za nervoznanstvenike) Analiza 8(3) 60-72.




Self-representation in nervous systems (reprint). In: The Self: From Soul to Brain. Ed. J. LeDoux, J. Debiec & H. Moss. Annals of the New York Academy of Science. 1001: 31-38.


The neural mechanisms of moral cognition: A multiple-aspect approach to moral judgment and decision-making. With W. D. Casebeer. Biology and Philosophy 18:169-194.




Self-representation in nervous systems, Science. Vol. 296: 308-310.


Neural Worlds and Real Worlds, Nature Reviews/Neuroscience. 3:903-907.


Neuroscience: Reflections on the Neural Basis of Morality. In: Neuroethics: Charting the Field, Ed. J. Illes. Dana Press, November, 2002.


(Reprint) Can neurobiology teach us anything about consciousness? Editura Academiei Romane 26:133-154.




Why Neuroscience Still Needs Pioneers” in Carving our Destiny: Scientific research Faces a New Millenium. Ed. Susan Fitzpatrick and John T. Beuer. National Academy of Sciences Publications (Joseph Henry Press). 117-122.


The View from Here: The Nonsymbolic Structure of Spatial Representations (I. Farber, W. Peterman, and P. S. Churchland) in The Foundations of Cognitive Science. Ed. by J. Branquinho. Oxford: Oxford University Press.




Foreword to new edition of John von Neumann’s book, The Computer and the Brain. Yale University Press. pp xi – xxii




“The Mind-Brain Problem” (with Paul M. Churchland) in The Brain of Homo Sapiens. Vol. 4 of Frontiere della Biologica (Istitutio della Enciclopedia Italiana Trecanni). (French and English edition also forthcoming.) Ed. By E. Bizzi, P. Calissano and V. Volterra.


Entries on Dualism, Eliminative Materialism, Emergent Properties, Epiphenomena, Mentalism, Neurophilosophy, Reductionism. In: Dictionary of Biological Psychology. Ed. Philip Winn. Routledge Ltd.




“Computation and the Brain” (with Rick Grush) (1998) in The MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Ed. by R. Wilson. MIT Press.


‘What Can We Expect from a Theory of Consciousness?” (1998) in Advances in neurology: Vol 77. Consciousness: At the Frontiers of Neuroscience. Eds. H. Jasper, L. Descarries, V. Castellucci, S. Rossignol. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven. 19-32.




“Recent Work on Consciousness: Philosophical, Empirical and Theoretical,” Seminars in Neurology. 17: 101-108. (With Paul M. Churchland).


Reprinted in Cognitive Studies: Bulletin of the Japanese Cognitive Science Society. 4: 45-55.


“Can Neurobiology Teach Us Anything about Consciousness?” (reprinted) (1997) in The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates. Ed. by Block, Flanagan, and Guzeldere. MIT Press. 127-140.


“Brainshy: Nonneural Theories of Conscious Experience.” (1997) in Consciousness — Papers for Tucson II. Edited by S. Hameroff, J. Laukes et al.


“The Neurophilosopher: An Interview with Patricia Smith Churchland,” (1997) in Imagine There’s No Heaven; Voices of Secular Humanism. Ed. Matt Cherry, Tom Flynn, and timothy Madigan. Council of Secular Humanism Place for Publication. 95-102.



“Toward a Neurobiology of the Mind.” (1996) in The Mind-Brain Continuum. Ed. by Llinas and Churchland. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 281-303.


“The Hornswoggle Problem” (1996) Journal of Consciousness Studies. 3:402-8.


“Could a Machine Think?” (reprint) (1996) in Readings in Language and Mind. Ed. by Geirsson and Losonsky. Blackwells. 273-281.


“Feeling Reasons.” (1996) in Decision-Making and the Brain. Ed. by A. R. Damasio, H. Damasio and Y. Christen. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. 181-199.



“Machine Intelligence” (1995) P. M. Churchland and P. S. Churchland. Anniversary volume of Scientific American.

‘Gaps in Penrose’s Toiling’. (1995) R. Grush and P. S. Churchland. Journal of Consciousness Studies.

(1995) Reprinted in Conscious Experience. Ed. by T. Metzinger. Berlin: Schoningh-Verlag.

(1995) Reprinted in Mind and Brain in the 21st Century. Edited by C. Maar. Berlin: Rowohlt Verlag.

“Replies to The Churchland and their Critics,” (1995). P. M. Churchland and P. S. Churchland Ed. by R. N. McCauley. Oxford: Blackwells.

“Can Neurobiology Teach Us Anything about Consciousness?” (1995) (Expanded version of 1993) in The Mind, The Brain, and Complex Adaptive Systems. Ed. by H. J. Morowtiz and J. L. Singer. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.

(1995). Reprinted in Conscious Experience. Ed, by T. Metzinger. Berlin: Schoningh Verlag.

‘Intertheoretic-Reductionism: A Neuroscientist’s Field-Guide,” (reprinted from 1991) in Nature’s Imagination. Ed. by John Cornwell. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


“Filling In: Why Dennett is Wrong,” (1994).   P.S. Churchland and V. S. Ramachandran. In Dennett and His Critics. Ed. Bo Dahlbom. Oxford: Blackwells.

Reprinted in Vancouver Studies in Cognitive Science. (1994). Ed. S. Davis and K. Akins. Oxford: Oxford UP.

“A Critique of Pure Vision,” (1994). P. S. Churchland, V. S. Ramachandran, and T. J. Sejnowski. In Large-scale Neuronal Theories of the Brain. Ed. C. Koch. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

“Consciousness and the Neurosciences: Philosophical and Theoretical Issues,” (1994). I. Farber and P. S. Churchland. In The Cognitive Neurosciences. Ed. Michael Gazzaniga. MIT Press.

“Could a Machine Think?’ Paul Churchland and Patricia Churchland. Reprinted in Thinking Computers and Virtual Persons. Ed. E. Dietrich Academic Press.

‘Inter-theoretic reduction: A neuroscientist’s field guide,” (reprinting) Paul Churchland and Patricia Churchland. in: The Mind-Body Problem: A guide to the current debate. Ed. by R. Warner and T Szubka. Oxford: Blackwells. 41-54.


“Can Neuroscience Teach us Anything About Consciousness?” P. S. Churchland (1993) Presidential Address, Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association. In Proceedings of the APA.


‘Introduction: Neurophilosophy and Alzheimer’s Disease’. (1992). Introduction to Neurophilosophy and Alzheimer’s Disease. Ed. Y. Christen and P. S. Churchland.

“Aristotle on Memory,” (1992). Patricia Smith Churchland and Georgios Anagnostopoulos. For The Encyclopedia of Learning and Memory. General Editor, L. Squire.

“Silicon brains,” (1992). T. J. Sejnowski and P. S. Churchland. Byte, October, 1992.

“Computation in the Age of Neuroscience.” (1992). T. J. Sejnowski and P. S. Churchland. The New Computation. Ed. D. Hillis. MIT Press.


“Intertheoretic Reduction: A Neuroscientist’s Field Guide,” (1991). Paul M. and Patricia S. Churchland. Seminars in the Neurosciences. 2: 249 – 256.

Reprinted in Neurophilosophy and Alzheimer’s Disease (1991). Ed. Y. Christen and P. S. Churchland. Springer-Verlag.

Reprinted in Modelos Cognitivos de la Mente: Investiga-cion Interdicplinaria en Ciencia Cognitiva. (1992) Ed. J. L. Diaz and E. Villanueva. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

“Our Brains, Ourselves: Reflections on Neuroethical Questions,” (1991). In Bioscience and Society. Ed. D.J. Roy, B. E. Wynne, and R. W. Old. Wiley & Sons.


“Is Neuroscience Relevant to Philosophy?” (1990). In Canadian Philosophers. Ed. D. Copp. University of Toronto Press.

Reprinted as ‘Les Neurosciences Concernent-Elles La Philosophy?’ (1991). In: Philosophie De L’Esprit Et Sciences Du Cerveau. Ed. Jean-Noel Missa. Librarie Philosophique J. Vrin. (Paris)

“What is computational neuroscience?” (1990). With T.J. Sejnowski and C. Koch. In Computational Neuroscience. Ed. E. Schwartz. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

“Could a Machine Think? Recent Arguments and New Prospects,” (1990). With P.M. Churchland. Scientific American.

Reprinted in The Intentionality of Machines. Ed. E. Dietrich. Oxford: Blackwells.


“Neural Representation and Neural Computation,” (1989). With T.J. Sejnowski. In Biological Computation and Mental Representation. Ed. L. Nadel. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 15-48.

Reprinted in Philosophy of Mind and ActionTtheory (1991). Ed. James Tomberlin, Ridgeview Publishing: Altascadero, CA.

Reprinted in From Reading to Neurons. (1989). Ed. A. Galaburda. Cambridge,Mass.: MIT Press, 217-254.

“Brain and Cognition,” (1989). With T. J. Sejnowski. Foundations of Cognitive Science. Ed. M. Posner. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

“From Descartes to Neural Networks,” (1989). Scientific American 261: 118.


“Reductionism and the Neurobiological Basis of Consciousness.” (1988). In Consciousness in Contemporary Science. Ed. A. M. Marcel and E. Bisiach. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 273-304.

“The Significance of Neuroscience for Philosophy.” (1988). Trends In Neurosciences, 11: 304-307.

“Replies to Corballis and to Bishop.” (1988). Biology and Philosophy 3, 393-402.

“Computational Neuroscience.” (1988). T.J. Sejnowski, C. Koch, and P. S. Churchland. Science, 241:1299-1306.

Reprinted in Encyclopedia of Neuroscience (1988).

Reprinted in Connectionist Modeling and Brain Function: The Developing Interface. C. R. Olson. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

“Perspectives on Cognitive Neuroscience.” (1988). P. S. Churchland and T. J. Sejnowski. Science 242:741-745.

Reprinted in From Molecules To Minds. (1990). Ed. Katrina Kelner, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Reprinted in Perspectives on Cognitive Neuroscience. (1991). Ed. Lister and Weingartner. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 3-23.

“Epistemology in the Age of Neuroscience.” (1987). The Journal of Philosophy, 84, 544-552.


“Replies to Commentaries on Neurophilosophy.” (1986). Inquiry, 29, 241-272. (This issue of Inquiry is devoted to a symposium on Neurophilosophy.)

“Psychology and the Study of the Mind-Brain: Reply to Carr, Brown, and Sudevan.” (1984). Neuroscience 13, 1401-1404.

‘Stalking the Wild Epistemic Engine.” (1983). With P. M. Churchland. Nous, 17, 5-18. (Symposium for the American Philosophical Association, Western Division, Chicago, March 1983.)

Reprinted in Mind and Cognition.   (1990). Ed. W. Lycan. Oxford: Blackwells. 300-311.

“Consciousness: The Transmutation of a Concept.” (1983). Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64, 80-95.

“Content: Semantic and Information-Theoretic.” (1983). With P. M. Churchland The Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

“Is the Visual System As Smart As It Looks?” (1983). In Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association, SymposiaVol 2.   541-552.

“Ojemann’s Data: Provocative but Mysterious.” (1983). The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 6, 211-212.

“Dennett’s Instrumentalism: A Frog at the Bottom of the Mug.” (1983). The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 6, 358-9.


“Mind-Brain Reduction: New Light From the Philosophy of Science.” (1982). Neuroscience 7, 1041-1047.

“Is Determinism Self-Refuting?” (1981). Mind 90, 99-101.

“On the Alleged Backwards Referral of Experiences And Its Relevance to the Mind-Body Problem.” (1981). Philosophy of Science. 165-181.

“How Many Angels?” (1981). The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4, 236.

“Functionalism, Qualia and Intentionality.” (1981). With P. M. Churchland. Philosophical Topics 12, 121-145.

Reprinted in Mind, Brain, and Function. (1982). Ed. R. Shahan and J. Biro. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.

“The Timing of Sensations: Reply to Libet.” (1981). Philosophy of Science 492-497.

“A Perspective on Mind-Brain Research’. (1980) The Journal of Philosophy 77, 185-207.

Reprinted in The Philosopher’s Annual. (1981). Ed. D. L. Boyers, R. Grim and T. J. Saunders. Ridgeview California: Ridgeview Publishing Co., 1-24.

“Language, Thought, and Information Processing.” (1980). Nous 14, 147-170.

“Neuroscience and Psychology: Should the Labor Be Divided?” (1980). The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3, 133.


“Fodor on Language Learning.” (1978). Synthese 38, 149-159.

“The Virtuosity of the Sensory Cortex and the Perils of Common Sense.” (1978). With P.M. Churchland. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1, 144.

“Internal States and Cognitive Theories.” (1978). With P.M. Churchland. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1, 348.

“How Quine Perceives Perceptual Similarity.” (1976). Canadian Journal of Philosophy 6, 251-255.

“Logical Form and Ontological Decision.” (1974). The Journal of Philosophy 71 (Abstract) 599-600.


Review of The Stuff of Thought, by Steven Pinker, (2007) Nature.


Review of The Ethical Brain by Michael Gazzaniga, (2006) The American Scientist

Review of Memory and Brain by Larry Squire. (1990). Philosophy of Science.

Review of Computational Models of Mind: Computational Approaches in Theoretical Psychology by Margaret Boden. (1988). Nature 334, 22-23.

Review of Philosophy and the Brain by J. Z. Young. (1987). Nature 326, 905-906.

“Leap Frog Over The Brain.” (1987). Review commentary in multiple book reviews of Vaulting Ambition by Philip Kitcher. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10, 73.

Review of From Folk Psychology to Cognitive Science by Stephen P. Stich. (1985). The Philosophical Review, 418-420.

Review of Mind and Brain, ed. J. Eccles. (1984). The Quarterly Review of Biology 59, 55-56.

Review of Human Inference: Strategies and Shortcomings in Social Judgment by Richard Nisbett and Lee Ross. (1983). Canadian Philosophical Reviews 2, 240-242.

Review of Psychological Models and Neural Mechanisms by Austen Clark. (1982). The Journal of Philosophy 79, 98-111.

Review of The Language of Thought by J. A. Fodor. (1980). Nous 14, 120-124.

Review of Anatomy of Knowledge, ed. M. Grene. (1969). Oxford Magazine, 15-17.

Professional Societies

Society for Neuroscience

Philosophy of Science Association

American Philosophical Association

Society for Philosophy and Psychology


President, 1984-85, Society for Philosophy and Psychology

Board of Governors, Philosophy of Science Association 1985-87.

Program Committee 1984, Philosophy of Science Association

Board of Governors, Canadian Philosophical Association 1978-1980.

President, American Philosophical Association – Pacific Division. 1992-93.

Chair of Executive Board, Institute for Neural Computation (UCSD) 1994 —

Board of Advisors Swartz Center for Computational neuroscience (USCD) 2000 –

Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives 2003 –


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