I’m a lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and a Director of Studies at Selwyn College Cambridge. I’m also a member of the Inner Speech in Action project based at UPF Barcelona. My research covers a range of topics in philosophy of mind, psychology, metaphysics, aesthetics and applied ethics. My introductory book What is Philosophy of Mind? is available from Polity Press.
Right now I’m focussing on developing the concept of affordances for mental action. Long-standing work in philosophy and psychology suggests that we see our environment in terms of the actions we can perform in it e.g. we perceive a teapot as affording gripping. I suggest we also see our environment in terms of the mental actions available to us such as acts of attention, imagination and deliberation. Recently I’ve also been exploring how social inequalities might shape our perception. Paulina Sliwa and I have developed the hypothesis that gender inequalities in the performance of domestic tasks may be underwritten by socially-mediated differences in how affordances for domestic tasks are perceived. Our recent paper on the topic has been widely reported in the media. You can find out more about my research here.
I’m keen to bring insights from philosophy and psychology to the business world. I have a blog on the philosophy of business and have talked to various companies about how research can be applied in their field. I’m an Associate Leader of Outstanding.Global – a personal and professional development consultancy promoting open-minded leadership. You can find out more about my business engagement here.
Beyond philosophy, I do voluntary work protecting the natural environment of my small village in Suffolk. This involves everything from trimming trees in the rain to developing local planning policy. I’m partial to comics, cats and a good pot of tea.
Here’s a link to my CV: McClelland CV 2023