Carruthers, Peter

Department of Philosophy
Program in Neuroscience & Cognitive Science
College of Arts and Humanities
1122B Skinner Building

My most recent book, The Centered Mind: What the science of working memory shows us about the nature of human thought (Oxford, 2015), explores the implications of recent work in psychology and cognitive neuroscience on consciousness, working memory, and related topics. I am currently working on the role of affect (specifically valence) in human decision making, as well as its role in human metacognition.

General Research Interests: 
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Philosophy of psychology
  • Cognitive science
  • Theories of consciousness
  • Knowledge of our own propositional attitudes
  • Role of natural language in human cognition
  • Modularity of mind
  • Mentality of animals
  • Nature and status of our folk psychology
  • Nativism (innateness) 
  • Human creativity
I am the author of 13 books and around 100 journal articles and book chapters, including two target articles in Behavioral and Brain Sciences as well as articles in both Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Since arriving at Maryland in 2001 my work has grown increasingly interdisciplinary. I am now involved in a couple of experimental collaborations arising from my work, one with others here on campus and one with colleagues in the UK. Before coming to the University of Maryland I was at the University of Sheffield (UK), where I founded and directed the Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies, resulting in a number of edited volumes of interdisciplinary essays. In a previous incarnation I trained as a Wittgensteinian (at the University of Leeds), got my DPhil from Oxford (working with Michael Dummett), and published a couple of monographs on Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. I have also published books on epistemology, and on ethics, and continue to have interests in these areas.I am a member of the organizing committee for the University of Maryland Cognitive Science Colloquium.