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Durham University

The Department of Philosophy


Dr Philip Goff

Personal web page

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

Contact Dr Philip Goff


Office hours:

Monday: 10-1

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


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

  • Goff, P. (Forthcoming). Cosmopsychism, micropsychism and the grounding relation. In The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. Seager, W. Routledge.
  • Coleman, S. & Goff, P. (Forthcoming). Russellian monism. In Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Kriegel, U. Oxford University Press.
  • Goff, P. (Forthcoming). Universal consciousness and the ground of logic. In Pantheism and Panpsychism. Goecke, B. & Jaskolla, L. Notre Dame University Press.
  • 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 University Press.
  • Goff, P. (2015). Real acquaintance and the phenomenal concepts strategy. In The Nature of Phenomenal Qualities: Sense, Perception & Consciousness. Coates, P. & Coleman, S. 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.
  • 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

  • Goff, P. (2019). Did the universe design itself?. International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion 85(1): 99-122.
  • Goff, Philip (2019). Essentialist modal rationalism. Synthese
  • Goff, P. (2018). Revelation, consciousness+ and the phenomenal powers view. Topoi
  • Goff, P. (2017). Conscious thought and the cognitive fine-tuning problem. Philosophical Quarterly 68(270): 98-122.
  • Goff, P. (2017). Is consciousness transcendent?. Journal of Philosophy of Life 7(1): 21-32.
  • Goff, Philip (2017). Is it a problem that physics is mathematical?. Journal of Consciousness Studies 24(9-10): 50-58.
  • Goff, P. (2016). Fundamentality and the mind-body problem. Erkenntnis 8(4): 881-898.
  • Goff, P. (2016). Is realism about consciousness compatible with a scientifically respectable world view? Journal of Consciousness Studies 23(11-12).
  • Goff, P. & Papineau, D. (2014). What’s wrong with strong necessities? Philosophical Studies 167(3): 749-62.
  • Goff, P. (2012). A priori physicalism, lonely ghosts and Cartesian doubt. Consciousness and Cognition 21(2): 742-46.
  • Goff, P. (2012). Does Mary know I experience plus rather than quus? A new hard problem. Philosophical Studies 160(2): 223-235.
  • Goff, P. (2012). Ghosts are scarier than zombies. Consciousness and Cognition 21(2): 749-50
  • Goff, P. (2011). A posteriori physicalists get our phenomenal concepts wrong. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82(2): 191-209.
  • Goff, P. (2010). Ghosts and sparse properties: Why the physicalist has more to fear from ghosts than zombies. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81(1): 119-39.
  • Goff, P. (2010). Orthodox truthmaker theory cannot be defended by cost/benefit analysis. Analysis 70(1): 45-50.
  • Goff, P. (2009). Why panpsychism doesn’t help explain consciousness. Dialectica 63(3): 289-311.
  • Goff, P. (2008). A non-eliminative form of austere nominalism. European Journal of Philosophy 16(1): 43-54.
  • Goff, P. (2007). Kirk on empirical physicalism. Ratio 20(1): 122-29.
  • Goff, P. (2006). Experiences don't sum. Journal of Consciousness Studies 13(10-11): 53-61.

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