David Chalmers

On this date in 1966, philosopher David John Chalmers was born in Sydney, Australia. Chalmers earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Adelaide in 1986. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University before transferring to Indiana University at Bloomington, where he obtained a Ph.D. in 1993 in philosophy and cognitive science.

He worked at Washington University in St. Louis from 1993-95 and at the University of California-Santa Cruz from 1995-98. He worked in the Department of Philosophy and the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona from 1999 to 2004. Chalmers accepted a part-time professorship at New York University in 2009 and then a full-time professorship at the same university in 2014.

His 1996 book The Conscious Mind is considered a seminal work on consciousness.  His numerous papers and books have had great influence in the realms of cognitive science, philosophy of the mind and philosophy of language. In 2013 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He lives in New York with his partner Claudia Passos Ferreira, a philosopher and psychologist from Rio de Janeiro who teaches at the NYU Center for Bioethics.

Photo by zereshk under CC 3.0.

“Now I have to say I'm a complete atheist. I have no religious views myself and no spiritual views, except very watered down humanistic spiritual views. And consciousness is just a fact of life. It's a natural fact of life.”

—Chalmers, interview on “Encounter” on Australian ABC National Radio (April 10, 2011)

Compiled by Bonnie Gutsch

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