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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Philip Goff

Personal web page

Associate Professor/Deputy Director of Phil MA/Tutor Manager in the Department of Philosophy

Contact Dr Philip Goff


Office hours:

Tuesday & Thursday: 4-5

Friday: 3-4

About me

My main research project is trying to work out how consciousness fits into our overall theory of reality. I argue that the traditional approaches of materialism (consciousness can be explained in terms of physical processes in the brain) and dualism (consciousness is separate from the body and brain) face insuperable difficulties. On the basis of this I defend a form of panpsychism, the view that consciousness is a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of the physical world. It sounds a bit crazy, but I try to show that it avoids the difficulties faced by its rivals .

My first academic book, Consciousness and Fundamental Reality (Oxford University Press), was published last year and my first book aimed at a general audience, Galileo's Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness (Rider in UK, Pantheon in US), will be published in November 2019.

You can access more of my pubilcations, and my articles for a general audience, on my website:

Research Groups

Department of Philosophy


Authored book

  • (2019). Galileo's Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness. Rider in UK, Pantheon in US.
  • Goff, Philip (2017). Consciousness and Fundamental Reality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chapter in book

  • Philip, Goff & Roelofs, Luke (Forthcoming). In defence of phenomenal sharing. In The Phenomenology and Self-Awareness of Conscious Subjects. Bugnon, L. & Nida-Rumelin, M. Routledge.
  • Goff, Philip (Forthcoming). Quantum mechanics and the consciousness constraint. In Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness. Shan Gao Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Goff, P. (2020). Cosmopsychism, micropsychism and the grounding relation. In The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. Seager, W. Routledge.
  • Coleman, S. & Goff, P. (2020). Russellian monism. In Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Kriegel, U. Oxford Oxford University Press.
  • Goff, Philip (2020). Universal consciousness and the ground of logic. In Pantheism and Panpsychism. Goecke, B. & Jaskolla, L. Brill/Mentis. 107-122.
  • Goff, P. (2017). Panpsychism. In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Zalta, E. N.
  • Goff, P. (2017). Panpsychism. In Blackwell Companion to Consciousness, 2nd Ed. Schneider, S. & Velmans, M. Blackwell.
  • Goff, P. (2016). Bertrand Russell and the problem of consciousness. In Consciousness and the Great Philosophers. Tartaglia, J. & Leach, S. Routledge.
  • Goff, P. (2016). The phenomenal-bonding solution to the combination problem. In Panpsychism: Contemporary Perspectives. Brüntrop, G. & Jaskolla, L. Oxford University Press.
  • Goff, P. (2015). Against constitutive Russellian monism. In Consciousness in the Physical World: Perspectives on Russellian Monism. Alter, T. & Nagasawa, Y. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Goff, P. (2015). Real Acquaintance and Physicalism. In The Nature of Phenomenal Qualities: Sense, Perception & Consciousness. Coates, P. & Coleman, S. Oxford Oxford University Press.
  • Goff, P. (2014). The Cartesian argument against physicalism. In New Waves in the Philosophy of Mind. Kallestrup, J. & Sprevak, M. Palgrave Macmillan. 3-20.
  • Goff, P. (2013). Idealism. In Pashler, H. Sage Reference.
  • Goff, P. (2013). Orthodox property dualism + linguistic theory of vagueness = panpsychism. In Consciousness Inside and Out: Phenomenology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Experience. Brown, E. Springer.
  • Goff, P. (2013). Reply to Simon and Robinson. In Consciousness Inside and Out: Phenomenology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Experience. Springer.
  • Goff, P. (2011). Experiences don't sum. In Consciousness and the Mind-Body Problem: A Reader. Alter, T. & Howell, R. J. Oxford University Press.
  • Goff, P. (2011). There is more than one thing. In Spinoza on Monism. Goff, P. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Goff, P. (2011). There is no combination problem. In The Mental as Fundamental. Blaumauer, M. Ontos Publishing House.
  • Goff, P. (2010). Could the Daleks stop the pyramids being built? In Dr Who and Philosophy. Lewis, C. & Smithka, P. Open Court Press.
  • Goff, P. (2009). Can the panpsychist get round the combination problem? In The Mind that Abides: Panpsychism in the New Millennium. Skrbina, D. Benjamins Publishing.
  • Goff, P. (2006). Propertied objects as truth-makers. In Topics in General and Formal Ontology. Valore, P Polimetrica International Scientific Publisher.

Journal Article

Book review

Other (Digital/Visual Media)