Camden McKenna (AFHEA)
Dugald Stewart Building
- 3 Charles Street, Edinburgh
- Post code
- EH8 9AD
I completed my PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2023. In the same year I was voted the University of Edinburgh's Student Teacher of the Year. Thank you to all my wonderful students for nominating and voting for me! I will be assisting in lecturing the course "Philosophy of Time" in Semester 2 and remain a tutor with the PPLS Skills Centre.
My research focus concerns the many facets of our experience of time, though I am interested in many questions in the philosophy of mind, philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of perception, and phenomenology. I have also written and presented on topics with relevance to the philosophy of action, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, Buddhism, and science fiction.
PhD in Philosophy, University of Edinburgh, 2023
MSc in Mind, Language and Embodied Cognition, University of Edinburgh, 2017
MLitt in Philosophy, University of St Andrews and University of Stirling (SASP Joint Program), 2013
BA (Honors) in History, Bates College, 2011
Responsibilities & affiliations
Organizer of the Time and Perception Reading Group (TPRG) at the University of Edinburgh
Philosophy of Time, Semester 2 2023/2024 (Assistant Lecturer)
Introduction to the History of Philosophy, Semester 2 2022/23
Mind, Matter and Language, Semester 1 2022/23
Mind, Matter and Language, Semester 1 2021/22
Topics in Mind and Cognition, Semester 2, 2020/21 (Guest Lecturer and Tutor)
Knowledge and Reality, Semester 2, 2020/21
Mind, Matter and Language, Semester 1, 2020/21
Logic I, Semester 2, 2019/20
Philosophy of Science, Semester 1, 2019/20
Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment, Semester 2, 2018/19
Philosophy of Science, Semester 1, 2018/19
Mind, Matter and Language, Semester 2, 2017/18
I have also been a writing tutor for the University of Edinburgh PPLS Skills Centre (formerly known as the PPLS Writing Centre) since 2017 and encourage students to book an appointment through the PPLS Skills Centre website (https://skillscentre.ppls.ed.ac.uk/).
Philosophy of mind, cognitive science, philosophy of perception, phenomenology, and especially how all of these relate to temporal experience. More recently I have become interested in the philosophy of biology, psychiatry, and psychopharmacology.
You can find some of my published work here: https://philpeople.org/profiles/camden-mckenna
Current research interestsMy PhD dissertation ("Analysing Time-Consciousness: A New Account of the Experienced Present") focused on experiences of the passage of time and the so-called "specious" present, which is the interval of time we take to be "now". The dissertation develops a novel theory of time-consciousness that accounts for the phenomenology of temporal experience while respecting empirical data, aligning this view of time-consciousness with the "predictive" approach to cognition and consciousness. I am also interested in moods, emotions, and mental illness; illusions (especially temporal illusions); mental representations and representationalism; predictive processing; and consciousness in general.
Past research interestsIn the past I was very concerned with the explanatory power (or lack thereof) of representations in theories of consciousness. To some degree I retain this concern. I have also focused a great deal of attention (scholarly and otherwise) on anxiety and what it can tell us about the mind and ourselves.
“Time-Consciousness Analyzed: An Extensionalist-Retentionalist Hybrid Proposal”, SOPhiA 2022: Salzburg Conference for Young Analytic Philosophy, Sept 7, 2022.
“Succession, Agency, and Time-Consciousness,” SIFA 2021: XIV Convegno Nazionale della Società Italiana di Filosofia Analitica (National Conference of the Italian Society for Analytic Philosophy), Noto, Italy, Sept 22-24, 2021.
“The Succession Requirement for Agentive Subjects,” MindGrad 2021: Warwick Graduate Conference in the Philosophy of Mind, University of Warwick, June 26-27, 2021.
“Exploring the Space of Possible Times: Agency and Time-Consciousness,” Australasian Postgraduate Philosophy Conference, University of Melbourne, Sept 19-20, 2020.
“The Rolling Present,” Worlding the Brain, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus, Denmark, November 27-19, 2018.
“The Predictive Brain as Temporo-Phenomenological Bridge,” Central European University Two Phenomenologies Conference, Budapest, Hungary, Spring 2020. Accepted - Event cancelled due to COVID-19.
“Exploring the Space of Possible Times,” Philippines Association of Philosophy Annual Conference, Manila, Philippines, Spring 2020. Accepted - Event cancelled due to COVID-19.
McKenna, C.A. 2021. Agency and the Successive Structure of Time-Consciousness. Erkenntnis. DOI: 10.1007/s10670-021-00440-7. Available online at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10670-021-00440-7
McKenna, C.A. 2020. Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls: Motion Aftereffects and the Dynamic Snapshot Theory of Temporal Experience. Review of Philosophy and Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-020-00511-8
McKenna, C. 2020. Flash-Lag Illusion. In F. Macpherson (ed.), The Illusions Index. Available online at: https://www.illusionsindex.org/i/flash-lag-illusion.