Alva Noë  

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"... the idea that we are, in our truest nature, thinkers. It is this intellectualist background that shapes the way cognitive scientists think about human beings."--Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain (2009) by Alva Noë

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Alva Noë (B.Phil, University of Oxford; Ph.D., Harvard University; born 1964) is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. The focus of his work is the theory of perception and consciousness. In addition to these problems in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind, he is interested in phenomenology, the theory of art, Wittgenstein, and the origins of analytic philosophy.


Noë joined the UC Berkeley Department of Philosophy as an associate professor in 2003, where he was a member of the UC Berkeley Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, serving as a core faculty member for the Program in Cognitive Science and the Center for New Media. During 2011-12, he was Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Before coming to Berkeley, Noë was an assistant professor of philosophy at UC Santa Cruz. He has been a Post-doctoral Research Associate of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science at UC Irvine and at the Institut Jean-Nicod (CNRS/EN/EHESS) in Paris, a McDonnell-Pew Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and a visiting scholar at the Center for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen. Noë has been a recipient of a UC President's Fellowship in the Humanities and an ACLS/Ryskamp Fellowship, and in 2007/2008 was a research fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.

Noë is the author of the books Varieties of Presence (2012), Out of Our Heads (2009) and Action In Perception (MIT Press, 2004). He is the co-editor of Vision and Mind: Selected Readings in the Philosophy of Perception (MIT Press, 2002) and the editor of Is the Visual World a Grand Illusion? (Imprint Academic, 2002). In Action In Perception, Noë puts forth the notion of the sensorimotor profile. Externalism about the mind and mental content is a pervasive theme in his work. His book Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature was released on September 22, 2015.

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