Dr Jonathan Opie

Senior Lecturer
Dr Jonathan Opie
  Org Unit Philosophy
  Email jonathan.opie@adelaide.edu.au
  Telephone +61 8 8313 3815
  Location Floor/Room 7 09 ,  Napier Building ,   North Terrace

Jon studied theoretical physics and then philosophy at Flinders University. After completing his PhD at Adelaide (thesis, Consciousness: A Connectionist Perspective) he took up an ARC Postdoc, before joining the teaching staff here. His primary research interests are in the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and the philosophy of science. He was a member of the McDonnell Project in Philosophy and the Neurosciences.

Between 2008-2011 Jon headed an ARC Discovery project exploring the biological foundations of cognition. See the Cognitive Biology website for more information:


Jon teaches Mind and World, Introduction to LogicCognitive Science, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Mind, and Logic, Truth & Reason.

  • Neural Network Models of Cognition
  • Consciousness & Mental Representation
  • Biological Foundations of Cognition
  • Mechanistic Explanation
  • Reduction and Emergence
  • Theories of Perception

Edited Collection

  1. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2002) Language and Thought: Philosophical Perspectives. Special issue of Language and Communication 22: 209-390

Journal Articles

  1. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2015) Intentionality lite or analog content? Philosophia  43(3): 723-30.  0.1007/s11406-015-9623-5
  2. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2009) The Role of Representation in Computation. Cognitive Processing 10(1): 53-62
  3. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2006) How do Connectionist Networks Compute? Cognitive Processing 7(1): 30-41
  4. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2004) Vehicle, Process, and Hybrid Theories of Consciousness. Authors' response to continuing commentary. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27: 303-5
  5. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2002) Radical Connectionism: Thinking With (Not In) Language. In G. O'Brien & J. Opie (eds.) "Language and Thought: Philosophical Perspectives", a special issue of Language and Communication 22: 313-29
  6. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2001) Connectionist Vehicles, Structural Resemblance, and the Phenomenal Mind. In J. Veldeman (ed.) Naturalism and the Phenomenal Mind, a special issue of Communication and Cognition 34: 13-38
  7. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2000) Disunity defended: A reply to Bayne. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78: 255-63
  8. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (1999) A Connectionist Theory of Phenomenal Experience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22: 127-48
  9. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (1999) Putting Content into a Vehicle Theory of Consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22: 175-96
  10. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (1999) A Defense of Cartesian Materialism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59: 939-63
  11. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (1998) The Disunity of Consciousness. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76: 378-395
  12. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (1997) Cognitive Science and Phenomenal Consciousness: A Dilemma, and How to Avoid It. Philosophical Psychology 10: 269-86

Book Chapters

  1. Opie, J & O'Brien, G (2015) The Structure of Phenomenal Consciousness. In S. Miller (ed.) The Constitution of Phenomenal Consciousness, John Benjamins.
  2. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2015) A Schizophrenic Defence of a Vehicle Theory of Consciousness. In R. Gennaro (ed.) Disturbed Consciousness: New Essays in Psychopathology and Theories of Consciousness, MIT Press.
  3. O’Brien, G & Opie, J (2011) Representation in Analog Computation. In Newen, A., Bartels, A. & Jung, E. (eds.) Knowledge and Representation, CSLI Publications.
  4. Opie, J (2010) ConsciousnessIn G. Oppy & N. N. Trakakis (eds.) A Companion to Philosophy in Australia & New Zealand, Monash University Press.
  5. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2009) Vehicles of consciousness. In T. Bayne, A. Cleeremans & P. Wilken (eds.) The Oxford Companion to Consciousness, Oxford University Press
  6. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2004) Notes toward a structuralist theory of mental representation. In H. Clapin, P. Staines & P. Slezak (eds.) Representation in Mind: New Approaches to Mental Representation, Elsevier
  7. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2003) The multiplicity of consciousness and the emergence of the self. In A. S. David & T. Kircher (eds.) The Self in Neuroscience and Psychiatry, CUP
Conference Paper
  1. Opie, J (2010) Levels and Explanations. In W. Christensen, E. Schier & J. Sutton (eds.) ASCS09: Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science. Sydney: Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science.


  1. Opie, J (2004) Beyond the Fringe. Psyche 10(1) May 2004
  2. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2002) Internalizing Communication. Commentary on Carruthers' "The cognitive functions of language". Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25(6): 694-5
  3. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2002) The Computational Baby, the Classical Bathwater, and the Middle Way. Commentary on Perruchet and Vinter's "The self-organizing consciousness". Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25(3): 348-9
  4. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2001) Sins of Omission and Commission. Commentary on O'Regan and Noe's "A sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness". Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24: 997-8
  5. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (2001) Functional resemblance and the internalization of rules. Commentary on Kubovy & Epstein's "Internalization: A metaphor we can live without". Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24: 695-6
  6. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (1999) What's really doing the work here: Knowledge representation or the HOT theory? Commentary on Dienes and Perner's "A theory of implicit and explicit knowledge". Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22(5): 778-9
  7. O'Brien, G & Opie, J (1999) Finding a place for experience in the physical-relational structure of the brain. Commentary on Stephen Palmer's "Color, Consciousness, and the Isomorphism Constraint". Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22(6): 966-7
  8. Opie, J (1999) Gestalt theories of cognitive representation and processing. Psycoloquy 10(021) http://www.cogsci.ecs.soton.ac.uk/cgi/psyc/newpsy?10.21
  9. Opie, J (1998) Connectionist modelling strategies. Psycoloquy 9(30) http://www.cogsci.ecs.soton.ac.uk/cgi/psyc/newpsy?9.30

Book Reviews

  1. Opie, J (2006) The next step, or a misstep? Review of "Reconstructing the Cognitive World: The Next Step" by Michael Wheeler. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10(4): 144-5
  2. Opie, J (2000) Consciousness in the loops. Review of Rodney Cotterill's "Enchanted Looms: Conscious Networks in Brains and Computers". Metascience 9(2): 277-82
  3. Opie, J (1998) Review of David Braddon-Mitchell's & Frank Jackson's "Philosophy of Mind and Cognition". Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76: 642-4

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Entry last updated: Friday, 5 Feb 2016

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