Research Profile

Lilian O'Brien

Biography

Having completed a B.A. and M.A. at UCC I did a Ph.D. (2006) at Brown University, Providence, RI, USA. I was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Vassar College in New York for one year and then took a tenure-track position at The College of William and Mary in Virginia. I have been a Lecturer at the Philosophy Department at University College Cork since September of 2007.

Most of my research focuses on the nature of rational agency, both practical and epistemic. I am very interested in the question of how to characterize intentional action and in the psychology of rational practical agency - I am particularly interested in the role of the agent's first-person perspective on her action and in whether or under what circumstances it is rational to act on intentions (or promises) formed earlier. I hope that by better understanding the authority of intention, we can better understand such phenomena as self-control, weakness of will, and addiction. I also work on issues to do with how we explain or understand one another's actions (and our own actions) and how such explanations or types of understanding differ from the kinds of explanation of actions or behaviour that we see in psychology, neuroscience, or in the cognitive sciences.

I have been awarded a research grant by The Philosophy and Science of Self-Control Project at Florida State University, directed by Professor Al Mele and supported by funds from The Templeton Foundation: http://philosophyandscienceofself-control.com/

I am currently working on that project - it is called "The Subjective Authority of Intentions: Self-Control in Planning Agents".

I was recently selected to be a participant in a summer seminar on the topic of understanding to be held in New York in June 2016: http://varietiesofunderstanding.com/conferences.html

Research Interests

AOS:  Philosophy of Action
AOC:  Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics, Epistemology.

Research Grants

 ProjectFunding
Body
Start DateEnd DateAward
The subjective Authority of Intentions - Self control in Planning Agents.Foreign Research Institute15-AUG-1514-AUG-16€82,517.00

Publications

Books

 YearPublication
(2014)The Philosophy of Action.
Lilian O'Brien (2014) The Philosophy of Action. Basingstoke: Palgrave-MacMillan. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2015)'Beyond Psychologism and Anti-Psychologism'
Lilian O'Brien (2015) 'Beyond Psychologism and Anti-Psychologism'. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, [Details]
(2014)'Side-Effects and Asymmetry in Act-Type Attribution'
Lilian O'Brien (2014) 'Side-Effects and Asymmetry in Act-Type Attribution'. Philosophical Psychology, [DOI] [Details]
(2014)'Mutually Exclusive Planning and the Simple View'
Lilian O'Brien (2014) 'Mutually Exclusive Planning and the Simple View'. Topoi-An International Review Of Philosophy, 33 (1) [DOI] [Details]
(2012)'Causalism and Deviance'
Lilian O'Brien (2012) 'Causalism and Deviance'. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, [Details]

Book Chapters

 YearPublication
(2011)'Self-Evaluation in Intention: Individual and Shared'
Lilian O'Brien; (2011) 'Self-Evaluation in Intention: Individual and Shared' In: Self-Evaluation: Affective and Social Grounds of Intentionality. Germany: Springer Verlag: Philosophical Studies Series. [Details]

Published Reports

 YearPublication
(2011)Review of E.J. Lowe's Personal Agency.
Lilian O'Brien; (2011) Review of E.J. Lowe's Personal Agency. Australasian Journal of Philosophy. [Details]
(2006)Review of Stathis Psillos¿s Causation and Explanation.
Lilian O'Brien; (2006) Review of Stathis Psillos¿s Causation and Explanation. Taylor and Francis, International Journal of Philosophical Studies. [Details]

Encyclopedia Entries

 YearPublication
(2012)Agency, Encylopedia of Utilitarianism.
Lilian O'Brien (2012) Agency, Encylopedia of Utilitarianism. Continuum Press, New York:Continuum Press. Encyclopedia Entries. [Details]

Invited Lectures

 YearPublication
(2015)The Authority of Intention - Invited Lecture - Visiting Speakers Colloquium, University College Dublin.
Lilian O'Brien (2015) The Authority of Intention - Invited Lecture - Visiting Speakers Colloquium, University College Dublin. Invited Lectures [Details]
(2013)Action Explanation and Presuppositions - Oxford Reading Group in the Philosophy of Action, Oxford University.
Lilian O'Brien (2013) Action Explanation and Presuppositions - Oxford Reading Group in the Philosophy of Action, Oxford University. Invited Lectures [Details]
(2013)Action Explanation and Presuppositions - Visiting Speaker's Colloquium, Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham.
Lilian O'Brien (2013) Action Explanation and Presuppositions - Visiting Speaker's Colloquium, Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham. Invited Lectures [Details]
(2012)Beyond Psychologism and Anti-Psychologism, Royal Institute of Philosophy Lecture, University of Keele.
Lilian O'Brien (2012) Beyond Psychologism and Anti-Psychologism, Royal Institute of Philosophy Lecture, University of Keele. Invited Lectures [Details]
(2010)Feminism and Pornography - University of Iceland, Erasmus Exchange Lecturer.
Lilian O'Brien (2010) Feminism and Pornography - University of Iceland, Erasmus Exchange Lecturer. Invited Lectures [Details]
(2010)Causalism and Deviance - Lecture at the University of Iceland - Erasmus Exchange Lecturer.
Lilian O'Brien (2010) Causalism and Deviance - Lecture at the University of Iceland - Erasmus Exchange Lecturer. Invited Lectures [Details]
(2010)Action Explanation and Presuppositions, Irish Philosophical Club Annual Meeting.
Lilian O'Brien (2010) Action Explanation and Presuppositions, Irish Philosophical Club Annual Meeting. Invited Lectures [Details]
(2009)Intentional Action and Experimental Philosophy, University College Dublin Philosophical Society.
Lilian O'Brien (2009) Intentional Action and Experimental Philosophy, University College Dublin Philosophical Society. Invited Lectures [Details]
(2008)Deviance and Causalism - Visiting Speaker's Colloquium, Trinity College Dublin.
Lilian O'Brien (2008) Deviance and Causalism - Visiting Speaker's Colloquium, Trinity College Dublin. Invited Lectures [Details]

Newspaper Articles

 YearPublication
(2014)Interview with Lilian O'Brien about Feminism for the Irish Times.
Joe Humphrys and Lilian O'Brien (2014) Interview with Lilian O'Brien about Feminism for the Irish Times. Newspaper Articles [Details]

Professional Activities

Conference Contributions

 YearPublication
(2015)Feeling for Another: The Role of Empathy in Moral Theory and Moral Psychology,
Lilian O'Brien (2015) Understanding Alien Psychologies. [Oral Presentation], Feeling for Another: The Role of Empathy in Moral Theory and Moral Psychology, Oxford University , 21-NOV-15 - 22-NOV-15. [Details]
(2015)The Philosophy and Science of Self-Control,
Lilian O'Brien (2015) The Authority of Intention. [Oral Presentation], The Philosophy and Science of Self-Control, Florida State University , 04-DEC-15 - 06-DEC-15. [Details]
(2015)The First-Person Perspective in Agency,
Lilian O'Brien (2015) One-day workshop. [Conference Organising Committee Member], The First-Person Perspective in Agency, Newman House, Dublin , 30-OCT-15 - 30-OCT-15. [Details]
(2013)Group Agency and Collective Responsibility,
Lilian O'Brien (2013) One-Day Workshop. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Group Agency and Collective Responsibility, University College Cork . [Details]
(2013)APORO Workshop on Epistemology - Irish Philosophical Research Network,
Lilian O'Brien (2013) Deviance and the Basing Relation. [Oral Presentation], APORO Workshop on Epistemology - Irish Philosophical Research Network, Trinity College Dublin . [Details]
(2012)Intentions: Philosophical and Empirical Issues,
Lilian O'Brien (2012) Mutually Exclusive Planning and the Simple View. [Oral Presentation], Intentions: Philosophical and Empirical Issues, Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of the National Research Council of Italy (ISTC-CNR, http://www.istc.cnr.it/), Rome, Italy . [Details]
(2012)European Society for Philosophy and Psychology,
Giuseppina D'Oro, Lilian O'Brien, David Ruben, Constantine Sandis (2012) Panel on Action Explanation convened by Lilian O'Brien. [Oral Presentation], European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, London . [Details]
(2012)Collective Intentionality VIII,
Lilian O'Brien (2012) Intention and Recrimination. [Oral Presentation], Collective Intentionality VIII, University of Manchester . [Details]
(2012)Interdisciplinary workshop: Personal and Shared Intentions,
Lilian O'Brien (2012) Intention and Recrimination. [Poster Presentation], Interdisciplinary workshop: Personal and Shared Intentions, Max-Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany . [Details]
(2011)Everyday Reason Talk,
Lilian O'Brien (2011) Beyond Psychologism and Anti-Psychologism. [Oral Presentation], Everyday Reason Talk, Erasmus University - Leusden, Netherlands , 21-OCT-11 - 23-OCT-11. [Details]
(2011)European Workshop in Experimental Philosophy,
Lilian O'Brien, Jonathan Phillips (2011) Act-Types and the Knobe Effect. [Oral Presentation], European Workshop in Experimental Philosophy, Technical University, Eindhoven , 07-OCT-11 - 07-OCT-11. [Details]
(2009)Workshop on Attitudes of Self-Evaluation: Individual and Collective,
Lilian O'Brien; (2009) Self-Evaluation in Intention. [Oral Presentation], Workshop on Attitudes of Self-Evaluation: Individual and Collective, University of Basel, Switzerland , 16-JAN-09 - 18-JAN-09. [Details]
(2009)The Annual Meeting of the Southern Society of Philosophy and Psychology,
Lilian O'Brien; (2009) Causalism, Presuppositions, and Action Explanation. [Oral Presentation], The Annual Meeting of the Southern Society of Philosophy and Psychology, Savannah, GA, USA , 09-APR-09 - 12-APR-09. [Details]
(2008)The Place of Epistemic Agents - Autonomy and Dependence in Epistemology,
Lilian O'Brien; (2008) Testimony and Extended Epistemic Agency. [Oral Presentation], The Place of Epistemic Agents - Autonomy and Dependence in Epistemology, University Carlos III, Madrid (UC3M) -Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM , 02-OCT-08 - 03-OCT-08. [Details]
(2008)The Joint Sessions of the Mind and Aristotelian Societies,
Lilian O'Brien; (2008) Causation, Control, and Action. [Oral Presentation], The Joint Sessions of the Mind and Aristotelian Societies, The University of Aberdeen , 11-JUL-08 - 14-JUL-08. [Details]
(2004)Symposium on the work of Donald Davidson at the Spanish Society for Analytic Philosophy 2004 Meeting,
Lilian O'Brien; (2004) Davidson on Explanation and Justification. [Oral Presentation], Symposium on the work of Donald Davidson at the Spanish Society for Analytic Philosophy 2004 Meeting, University of Murcia, Spain , 09-DEC-04 - 11-DEC-04. [Details]
(2005)The Joint Sessions of the Mind and Aristotelian Societies,
Lilian O'Brien; (2005) The Irreducibility of Intentions in Action to Primary Reasons. [Oral Presentation], The Joint Sessions of the Mind and Aristotelian Societies, The University of Manchester , 01-JUL-05 - 03-JUL-05. [Details]
(2005)Graduate Conference in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences,
Lilian O'Brien; (2005) Practical Deliberation and Action Explanation. [Oral Presentation], Graduate Conference in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, London School of Economics, June 2005 , 01-JUN-05 - 03-JUN-06. [Details]

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
Society for the Philosophy of Agency Member/
American Philosophical Society Member/
Aristotelian Society Member/
APORO - The Irish Philosophical Research Network Member/
Society for Women in Philosophy - Ireland Organizing Committee Member/

Committees

 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
Board of Women's Studies, University College Cork Member/
Organizing Committee, Society for Women in Philosophy - Ireland (SWIP-I) Member/

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
Department of Philosophy, UCC Lecturer01-SEP-07 / 01-SEP-07
The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA Assistant Professor (tenure-track)15-AUG-06 / 14-AUG-07
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA Visiting Assistant Professor15-AUG-05 / 30-JUN-06
Brown University, Providence, RI, USA Ph.D. Student15-AUG-99 / 14-AUG-05

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
2006Brown University Ph.D.Ph.D. Philosophy
1996University College Cork B.A.B.A. English and Philosophy
1998University College Cork M.A.M.A. Philosophy

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2015CACSSS Research Support Fund CACSSS
2013CACSSS Research Support Fund College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences, UCC
2011CACSSS Research Support Fund College of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Social Sciences, UCC
2009NAIRTL National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning
2005Brown Research Summer Fellowship Brown University
2004Brown Research Summer Fellowship Brown University
2004Wonderlic Fellow Brown University
2003William A. Dyer Distinguished Fellow Brown University
2003Brown Research Summer Fellowship Brown University

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests


Contact details


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