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Faculty: Owen Flanagan  

Owen Flanagan
Title: James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Neurobiology
Office Location: 201E West Duke Building
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Owen Flanagan (Ph.D. 1978, Boston University) came to Duke as Chair of department in 1993, a post he held until 2000. Since then he has returned to teaching and research full time. He also holds appointments in Psychology and Neurobiology and is a Faculty Fellow in Cognitive Neuroscience.

He was previously Class of 1919 Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Wellesley College.

During the 1985-86 academic year, he was a visiting member of the Department of Philosophy at Duke University.

He has also had visiting positions at Brandeis, Princeton, Harvard, and La Trobe in Australia as well as several fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In 1993-94 Flanagan was President of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology.

In 1998, he was recipient of the Romanell National Phi Beta Kappa award, given annually to one American philosopher for distinguished contributions to philosophy and the public understanding of philosophy.

In 1999, he was invited by the Mind and Life Institute to attend a small conference in Darhamsala, India with the Dalai Lama on the topic of "Destructive Emotions." A book on the meetings, Beyond Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Collaboration With the Dalai Lama narrated by Daniel Goleman, appeared in 2003.

Besides writing many articles, reviews, and contributions to colloquia, Flanagan has written or edited the following books:

  • The Science of the Mind (MIT press, 1984; 2nd edition, 1991)
  • Identity, Character, and Morality: Essays in Moral Psychology, edited with Amelie O. Rorty (MIT Press, 1990)
  • Varieties of Moral Personality: Ethics and Psychological Realism (Harvard University Press, 1991),
  • Consciousness Reconsidered (MIT Press, 1992)
  • Self Expressions: Mind, Morals, and the Meaning of Life (Oxford University Press, 1996)
  • The Nature of Consciousness edited with Ned Block and Güven Güzeldere (MIT Press, 1998)
  • Dreaming Souls: Sleep, Dreams, and the Evolution of the Conscious Mind (Oxford University, 1999)
  • Narrative and Consciousness: Literature, Psychology, and the Brain Co-edited with Gary Fireman and Ted McVay (Oxford University Press, 2002)

  • The Problem of the Soul: Two Visions of Mind and How to Reconcile Them (Basic 2002).
  • His most recent book is *The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World* (MIT Press 2007).

    He was awarded a Fulbright Research Award in 2001-2002 to study Buddhist and Hindu conceptions of the self. In 2006 he gave the Templeton research Lectures at USC in Los Angeles on *Human Flourishing in the Age of Mind Science.*

  • Recent Publications   (More Publications)


    • Caruso, G; Flanagan, O. Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, morals, and purpose in the age of neuroscience. January, 2018 (1-374 pp.). [doi]  [abs]
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