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About Colin Chamberlain

Welcome to my academic website! I am an associate professor of philosophy at University College London, based in London and Washington, DC. I received my Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard University and my B.A. from the University of Toronto. My research interests cluster around problems of embodiment and experience in 17th- and 18th-century European philosophy, especially as they arise in the work of René Descartes, Nicolas Malebranche, and Margaret Cavendish. On this website, you can find information about my current projects, publications, and upcoming events. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about my work.

Philosophy has a reputation for being impractical. But I think it is the most practical discipline of all. We inevitably bump into philosophical questions as we move through the world. So why not use all the available resources for dealing with them? In my free time, I enjoy reading science fiction and fantasy, cooking, hiking, and spending time with my husband and dog. 

My dog's name is Frederica Kamala Cavendish, Duchess of Taggert, Marquise of Lincoln Park. Mostly she goes by Freddy or the Duchess.

My latest projects

Current Research Projects


In this project, I explore Malebranche's view that our minds largely serve our bodies' interests. The senses, imagination, and passions do not put us in touch with the true natures of things. Instead, they keep us alive. I am currently working on a book manuscript explaining the contribution that each of these faculties makes to the preservation of the body, as well as the harmony between them. A distinctive feature of my approach to Malebranche is that I think he is right about many things.


In this project, I investigate Margaret Cavendish's account of the (dis)unity of the human mind. Philosophers like Descartes and Henry More allege that our minds exhibit a magical kind of oneness that differs from anything we find in material things. Cavendish disagrees. She argues that a materialist can account for the extent to which our minds are unified and, moreover, that the fragmentation of our minds reveals their materiality. I am currently working on a series of papers addressing these issues.

Latest Publications

Upcoming Events

  • April 19, 2024: Department Colloquium, UT Austin, title tbd

  • May 3, 2024: Department Colloquium, Virginia Tech, title tbd

  • July 25-26, 2024: Online Cavendish Workshop on Mind, Perception and Consciousness, title tbd

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