Dr Neil McDonnell

  • Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellowship in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (Philosophy)

telephone: 0141 330 6716
email: Neil.Mcdonnell@glasgow.ac.uk

Room 215, 67 Oakfield Avenue, Glasgow

ORCID iDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7279-5277

Research interests

My current research role focusses on the philosophical issues around the new immersive technologies of Virtual and Augmented Reality. I am working on questions such as: Are virtual entities genuinely real? Are they genuinely valuable? What sort of epistemic status can virtual experiences confer? I am also interested in issues concerning the role AR in particular on our autonomy and social interactions.

Relevant to my current research is my expertise on the Metaphysics of Causation, in particular my work on difference making conceptions of what it is for one thing to cause another. I have written in defence of a simple counterfactual theory of causation, on the issues of transitivity and proportionality in causation, on the methdology in this subfield, and the implications these might have for theories in the philosophy of mind. This work remains ongoing.

In 2017 I visited the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a visiting researcher on the Software Assurance and Formal Methods programme. The purpose of the visit was to explore the potential overlaps between work conducted in epistemology and metaphysics (especially causation) in philosophy, and the issues that arise in Safety Engineering - the domain of those who investigate accidents (looking back) and, through development of regulation and testing procedures, try and minimise the risk of them in the future (looking forward). I was generously hosted by C. Michael Holloway.

The visit demonstrated that there is clear overlap, and thus significant potential for collaborative work in this area. I lead the Safety Engineering Reading Group at Glasgow which is building this collaboration, and I am pursuing grants in support of joint research work with NASA.

I am co-director of the Immersive Experience Artslab at Glasgow. 

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015
Number of items: 11.

2020

Wildman, N. and McDonnell, N. (2020) The puzzle of virtual theft. Analysis, 80(3), pp. 493-499. (doi: 10.1093/analys/anaa005)

2019

McDonnell, N. and Wildman, N. (2019) Virtual reality: Digital or fictional? Disputatio, 11(55), pp. 371-397. (doi: 10.2478/disp-2019-0004)

McDonnell, N. (2019) The non-occurrence of events. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 99(2), pp. 269-285. (doi: 10.1111/phpr.12476)

McDonnell, N. (2019) Immersive technology and medical visualisation: a user's guide. In: Rea, P. (ed.) Biomedical Visualisation. Series: Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1156. Springer, pp. 123-134. ISBN 9783030193843 (doi:10.1007/978-3-030-19385-0_9)

2018

McDonnell, N. (2018) 'Making a Difference', edited by Helen Beebee, Huw Price and Christopher Hitchcock, OUP, 2017, Pp.352, Price h/b £55.00. Philosophical Quarterly, [Book Review] (Accepted for Publication)

McDonnell, N. (2018) Making a contribution and making a difference. American Philosophical Quarterly, 55(3), pp. 303-312.

Carter, J. A. and McDonnell, N. (2018) Welcome to the machine. Philosophers' Magazine, 81, pp. 33-39. (doi: 10.5840/tpm20188144)

McDonnell, N. (2018) Transitivity and proportionality in causation. Synthese, 195(3), pp. 1211-1229. (doi: 10.1007/s11229-016-1263-1)

2017

McDonnell, N. (2017) Causal exclusion and the limits of proportionality. Philosophical Studies, 174(6), pp. 1459-1474. (doi: 10.1007/s11098-016-0767-3)

2016

McDonnell, N. (2016) Events and their counterparts. Philosophical Studies, 173(5), pp. 1291-1308. (doi: 10.1007/s11098-015-0547-5)

2015

McDonnell, N. (2015) The deviance in deviant causal chains. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, 4(3), pp. 162-170. (doi: 10.1002/tht3.169)

This list was generated on Fri Oct 23 18:08:36 2020 BST.
Number of items: 11.

Articles

Wildman, N. and McDonnell, N. (2020) The puzzle of virtual theft. Analysis, 80(3), pp. 493-499. (doi: 10.1093/analys/anaa005)

McDonnell, N. and Wildman, N. (2019) Virtual reality: Digital or fictional? Disputatio, 11(55), pp. 371-397. (doi: 10.2478/disp-2019-0004)

McDonnell, N. (2019) The non-occurrence of events. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 99(2), pp. 269-285. (doi: 10.1111/phpr.12476)

McDonnell, N. (2018) Making a contribution and making a difference. American Philosophical Quarterly, 55(3), pp. 303-312.

Carter, J. A. and McDonnell, N. (2018) Welcome to the machine. Philosophers' Magazine, 81, pp. 33-39. (doi: 10.5840/tpm20188144)

McDonnell, N. (2018) Transitivity and proportionality in causation. Synthese, 195(3), pp. 1211-1229. (doi: 10.1007/s11229-016-1263-1)

McDonnell, N. (2017) Causal exclusion and the limits of proportionality. Philosophical Studies, 174(6), pp. 1459-1474. (doi: 10.1007/s11098-016-0767-3)

McDonnell, N. (2016) Events and their counterparts. Philosophical Studies, 173(5), pp. 1291-1308. (doi: 10.1007/s11098-015-0547-5)

McDonnell, N. (2015) The deviance in deviant causal chains. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, 4(3), pp. 162-170. (doi: 10.1002/tht3.169)

Book Sections

McDonnell, N. (2019) Immersive technology and medical visualisation: a user's guide. In: Rea, P. (ed.) Biomedical Visualisation. Series: Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1156. Springer, pp. 123-134. ISBN 9783030193843 (doi:10.1007/978-3-030-19385-0_9)

Book Reviews

McDonnell, N. (2018) 'Making a Difference', edited by Helen Beebee, Huw Price and Christopher Hitchcock, OUP, 2017, Pp.352, Price h/b £55.00. Philosophical Quarterly, [Book Review] (Accepted for Publication)

This list was generated on Fri Oct 23 18:08:36 2020 BST.

Grants

 

2018

Project Mobius: Fiona Macpherson (P.I) and I were awarded £364,000 from Innovate UK for this project aimed at transforming education through the use of immersive technology, and pedagogical data analytics. The project is in collaboration with Sublime Digital and will run from October 2018 until September 2021.

2017

Fiona Macpherson and I were awarded a grant of £6,670 from the Templeton Foundation via the The New Directions in the Study of Mind Project at the University of Cambridge for a project on Virtual and Augmented Reality, which ran from April - June 2017.

2017

Fiona Macpherson and I were awarded a grant of £15,000 from the University of Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund for a project on Virtual and Augmented Reality, which ran from January - March 2017.

2014

Umut Baysan, Stephan Leuenberger, Fiona Macpherson and I were awarded £50,000 by the Templeton Foundation, via the Durham Emergence Project.

Supervision

I am happy to supervise Masters and PhD students in metaphysics, especially in relation to counterfactuals, causation, and explanation, and in topics related to metaphysics and epistemology regarding Virtual and Augmented Reality, and Safety Engineering.

Current Graduate Students:

Laura Fearnley, PhD Topic: Counterfactuals and Praise/Blame

  • Fearnley, Laura
    What would have been and what should have been: The interdependence of counterfactuals and morality
  • Savickaite, Sarune
    Using Virtual Reality to Understand Inner World of Autism