Dr Elizabeth Irvine

Dr Elizabeth Irvine


School of English, Communication and Philosophy

+44 (0)29 2087 4505
1.41, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

I am part of the School's Philosophy team. Check my bio for research interests.

My personal website, with more up to date news, talks, and engagement activities, is here: https://lizirvinephilosophy.wordpress.com/

My main interests are in philosophy of cognitive science and psychology, philosophy of neuroscience, and philosophy of science (particularly philosophy of biology). I studied for my masters in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, and got my PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2011. From 2011-2013 I was a post-doc in Philosophy of Neuroscience at the University of Tuebingen, at the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN). From 2013-2014 I was a post-doc at ANU working on the evolution of language on Kim Sterelny’s ‘Signs to Symbols’ project. I joined the Philosophy Department at the Cardiff University as a lecturer in September 2014.

I started by working on various aspects of methodology in consciousness science, coming to an eliminativist conclusion about the concept of consciousness in scientific research. This was the topic of my PhD thesis, and was published as a book in 2012. I’m still doing some work in this area, mainly on methodological problems related to introspection.

I’m also interested in modelling and simulation methods in cognitive science and biology, particularly at the roles of robustness and computational templates in modelling strategies and explanatory practices.

I have an ongoing interest in the evolution (origins) of language, where I’m trying to challenge assumptions about the role of iconicity and gesture in the evolution of (proto)-language by drawing on developmental and comparative evidence and what it takes to be a ‘symbol user’. The modelling/simulation interest also comes in here, particularly assessing the external validity of simulation methods. Related to this interest, I’m a member of the Cardiff University Language and Cognition Research Network.

I’m also interested in the theoretical frameworks using in decision making research (dual-process theories, fast and frugal heuristics, etc), particularly looking at theoretical questions related to cognitive architecture, and the nature of process models.

I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

UG courses taught or co-taught: Critical Thinking, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Epistemology of Experiment

PG courses taught: Philosophy of Evolution: Mind and Society, Science of Consciousness, Mental Architectures, Explaining Consciousness, Decision Making: Models, Mechanisms and Levels

PhD supervision of Ben Smart (2016-present)

I welcome enquiries for PhD supervision in Philosophy of Cognitive Science, Psychology, Neuroscience, Biology, and some areas of Philosophy of Science (e.g. on modeling/simulation, experimentation).

My main interests are in  philosophy of cognitive science and psychology, philosophy of neuroscience, and  philosophy of science (particularly philosophy of biology).

Within this is a  big focus on scientific methodology, and how this impacts how philosophers can  and should interact with empirical work.

Research interests

  • philosophy of  psychology and neuroscience
  • philosophy of mind
  • philosophy of science
  • philosophy of biology

External profiles