Non-Academic Work

Links to my public and other non-academic work on: time; the reality of the past; time travel; memory (and false memory); perception and illusion; art; being present; artificial and alien intelligence; drones; simulations; chance; free will. They include talks, podcasts, and articles. Presentations are both singular and collaborative, in various locations.

October and onwards. Philosophy by Postcard. Contributor/writer on this project (link to philosophers, including me, on the site).

Project description on site: To celebrate the centenary of the birth of Iris Murdoch, An Post are releasing a commemorative stamp of this iconic Dublin-born philosopher and author. An Post have partnered with In Parenthesis to bring you Philosophy by Postcard, a public philosophy project introducing #slowphilosophy and celebrating Iris Murdoch.

What I say about Iris Murdoch: Murdoch’s views on ethics inspired my own thinking, especially her ethical views’ challenges to existentialism, relativism, and behaviourism. My own work – on the philosophy of time – developed out of metaphysics, rather than ethics. However, her general form of argument opened the possibility of such non-reductive philosophical work. Also, her fiction – especially The Sea – forcefully illustrates the value of vivid images and storytelling in philosophical thought.

August 2019. ‘Why does time fly? Maybe you’re not paying enough attention. Newspaper article. Interview with Joe Humphreys for his ‘Unthinkable’ column.

October 2018. ‘Where the intern has gone. Hack Circus ticketed event, Access-Space, Sheffield. Recorded video performance, pretending to be a future neuroscientist who must explain why an intern has gone missing during a snow storm…

February 2018. ‘AI and Apocalypse’. Podcast. Interview by Leila Johnston as part of her artist residency at the Centre for Millenarian Studies (CenSAMM).

September 2017.Remembering it Well: Understanding History and the Importance of False Memory“. Public talk for Culture Night. Dungarvan Library. Dungarvan. Co. Waterford

July 2017. “Introduction to the film Primer“. Dark Skies’ science fiction series at the Irish Film Institute.

April 2017. Art, Science and The Truth“. Interdisciplinary public panel discussion, Upper Chapel (Sheffield),part of ‘Site Sessions’ for Site Gallery, Sheffield

Audio (mp3 on Dropbox): https://www.dropbox.com/s/nb0bblxzin39n81/SiteSessions1Part1.mp3?dl=0

  • Taken from organiser Leila Johnston’s site. Leila introduces, then, at about 9mins, I begin talking.
  • Please excuse the audio quality (it took place offsite in a church, and there were recording issues.)

Event theme: Who has the claim to what’s true, in these rational times? To what extent are art, science and belief “branches of the same tree” as Albert Einstein once said, and what happens when some of those branches begin to crack? Join us in the revered surroundings of Sheffield’s Upper Chapel on the 27 April to discuss these questions and more, with our expert panel from the worlds of art, science and ideas.

2017 (April 18). What Should We Forget? Memory and the philosophy of time“. Public philosophy talk, Blackrock Library, Dublin

Description: How valuable is memory? Some remembered events seem to only harm us, with no further value. Is there any value in holding on to them? Perhaps we cannot forget them. But, if we could, should we?

(Note: the link refers to me as a Professor. I am not. I have not achieved that status yet, and am only a doctor)

March 2017. Is Time Travel Possible?’ Big Ideas. Public talks series, Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin. Programme for that year (PDF)

December 2016. ’20 Century philosophers, David Chalmers’. Great Philosophers. Public talks series, Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin. Programme for that year (PDF)

2014 – 2017. Hack Circus (podcast and magazine)

Hackcircus magazine is, by its own description,  ‘about fantasy technology and everyday magic. […] an artistic collective dedicated to celebrating the entertaining and engaging side of inventive thought, whether that manifests physically with wires and batteries, or conceptually in artistic or philosophical ways’. I contributed several articles to the published magazine, as well as appeared on the podcast. 

I talk about such things seeing distant stars, what made me a philosopher, and time travel.

2017. #12. ‘Death of A Cartoon’ — Death, simulation theory, and dreaming

2016. #10. ‘Clocking Off’ — Why measure our experience against the standard clock? (Also: aliens and call-centres)

2015. # 9. ‘Losing Your Head’ — Personal identity over time, severe accidents, mad scientists, and cloning

2015. #7. ‘Free Will in a Chancy World’ — Whether or not missing your bus and having to trudge through the rain was ‘meant to be’

2015. #5. ‘What Is Under Us?’ — Which way is down? Is the sun ever below us?

2014. #4. ‘They Might Be Aliens’ — If we met intelligent aliens, would we be justified in believing it?

2012 – 2016. For/With Artist Grace Weir 

March 2016. ‘Is Living in the ‘Now’ Such a Good Idea?

Interview with Joe Humphreys for his ‘ ‘Unthinkable’ column in The Irish Times

December 2015. Opening night talk. For artist Sinead MacDonald.

Sinead’s exhibition, Draiocht Art Centre, Blanchardstown

2014. Commentary track on ‘Q’ episode of anthology horror film ‘ABCs of Death 2‘ (director: Rodney Ascher).

Over a short horror film, I discuss the mind-body problem and, in particular, whether or not I have the same mind if it gets transplanted into a different body (e.g., in …a gorilla).

2010. ‘Mirrors and Memory’. Talk on a selected piece from the exhibition running there at the time. Glucksman Art Gallery, Cork.