Jonathan Cottrell


  • Philosophy
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Room 7.05

40 George Square, Edinburgh
Post code


  • Office Hours: Online, by appointment


I joined the department in 2019, having previously taught at Wayne State University (Assistant Professor, 2013–19) and New York University (Lecturer, 2012–13). I received my PhD from New York University (2012), where I was supervised by Don Garrett.


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Responsibilities & affiliations

Hume Society

British Society for the History of Philosophy

Undergraduate teaching

This year, I am teaching Early Modern Philosophy (with a focus on David Hume's philosophy) and the Early Modern portion of Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

My research focuses on Early Modern philosophy, especially Hume’s philosophy. I approach Hume as a proto cognitive scientist whose work is as much part of psychology as it is part of philosophy. My publications include an article on Hume’s views about the composition of the mind, which appeared in The Philosophical Review, and several articles on his views about mental representation, which are published or forthcoming in the Journal of the History of Philosophy, Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy, and Ergo.

Current research interests

My current project focuses on Hume’s views of reasoning: how does reasoning differ from other mental processes; how are norms of reasoning represented in the minds of human beings and non-human animals; how and why do these norms differ from those in other domains of value, especially ethics and aesthetics? I have come to believe that Hume’s answers to these questions evolved significantly during his career. I plan to develop my work into a book charting this evolution, and defending Hume’s mature views.

View all 15 publications on Research Explorer