This page at www.johnsutton.net has
my website since March 2012, replacing www.phil.mq.edu.au/staff/jsutton,
which I ran since early 2000.
Some internal links may still not be operative - sorry! Please email
me if you have any
questions or suggestions. Sorry
about all the green
I work in (and am currently Acting Head of) the Department
of Cognitive Science
the Macquarie Centre for
at Macquarie University,
Sydney, after some years in the
The Department is lead host to CCD, the ARC Centre of Excellence in
Cognition and its Disorders.
Tel: (61 2) 9850 4132. The
to get in touch is to email me. (I'm not
the LSE economist John
Sutton; nor the philosopher Jonathan Sutton of Auburn
Uni; nor the South Sydney Rabbitohs playmaker John
I'm also a member of CAVE
(Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics) and CEPET (Centre for Elite
Performance, Expertise, and Training).
covers memory, skill, and distributed cognition, seeking to integrate
philosophical, psychological, and historical ideas and methods, across
five broad areas listed below. A good sample of my
writing covering many of these themes is
'The Feel of the
World: exograms, habits, and the confusion of types of memory',
in Andrew Kania
philosophers on film (Routledge, 2009), 65-86.
Or for an intro to memory theory, see
my entry 'Memory',
Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
For a full list of my writings, most with access, go to my
page (also see categorized
papers page). Or you can also visit my page at academia.edu
1. The framing theoretical background for my work is distributed cognition in the
traditions of anthropologist Edwin
Hutchins and philosopher Andy
Clark. The central idea is that remembering and
other cognitive processes are sometimes distributed
across brain, body, and world (both social and material). I defend a
'2nd-wave' account based on the complementarity of internal and
For a taster listen to The
Radio's The Philosopher's
Zone, with Richard
Menary & me (podcast
mp3 here), and the 2012
update with Rob Rupert.
For some of my work on this try
Interdisciplinarity: history, the extended mind, and the civilizing
process', in Richard Menary (ed), The
Extended Mind (MIT Press, 2010), pp.189-225.
Among other general issues in philosophy of
cognitive science, I'm still hooked on dreams: 'Dreaming',
in P. Calvo and J. Symons
Companion to the Philosophy of Psychology (2009),
2. I study links between autobiographical and social memory,
and collaborative cognition more generally, with Amanda
Harris and our team. We build on and adapt empirical research
in cognitive psychology studying collaborative
recall and transactive memory systems, to study what happens when
people who know each other well (long-term couples, friends,
remember their shared past together. For a taster
listen to Remembering
Together on ABC
Radio's All in the
Mind (direct link to podcast).
For some of our work with long-term couples see Harris,
Barnier, & McIlwain,
Remember, We Forget: collaborative remembering in older couples',
Processes 48 (4), 2011, 267-303. For links between this
empirical research and the philosophical work on
distributed cognition, see Sutton, Harris,
Psychology of Memory, Extended Cognition, and Socially Distributed
and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4), 2010 521-560.
For more detail and references see our
(needing-updated) page on 'From
autobiographical memory to collective memory: an interdisciplinary
study of individual and group cognition'.
I also work in interdisciplinary memory
studies more broadly. I
Studies, issue 6
number 1 now out, (new Impact Factor 1.070, 3rd in History
and Cultural Studies), and a book series Palgrave
of View in Personal Memory: a
philosophical study of perspective in remembering and imagining'.
Remembering the personal past is a key part of mental life: but why do
we sometimes remember past events
from an external or 'observer' perspective, seeing
ourselves in the remembered
scene? How do visuospatial perspectives relate to emotional and
narrative perspectives? *Perspective
Workshop, 9-11 May 2013*.
4. 'Mindful Bodies in Action, or
intelligence to the reflexes: embodied skill and kinesthetic memory,'
our team. Skilled experts in sport or dance perform extraordinary
perfect time, with exquisite control, and display
resilient coping under pressure: their mindful bodies blend cognition
and emotion in action. This project in philosophy of psychology seeks
to integrate disconnected
research on skilled movement in a new account of
embodied intelligence. For a taster listen to 'The
Philosophy of Cricket' on ABC
Radio's The Philosopher's
For some of my work on this try
Habit, and Memory: the embodied mind and the nature of skill',
Society 10 (5), 2007.
There is a PhD scholarship available
on this project: closing date 26
April 2013. See
5. 'Distributed cognition and ecologies of skill in
work with Lyn Tribble
from English at Otago, and in the Conversion
project with Paul
I used to work in more mainstream history of
philosophy, science, and ideas. My
and Memory Traces: Descartes to connectionism
(1998), permeated by the old fleeting animal spirits,
is out in
for more details and access;
essays on Descartes'
which I edited with Stephen Gaukroger and John Schuster was
in 2000. Now with Lyn Tribble I try to study the history of
cognitive practices and activities as well as the
history of ideas about the mind. For the cognitive theory behind this
work see Tribble & Sutton, 'Cognitive
Ecology as a Framework for Shakespearean Studies',
Studies 39 (2011), 94-103; for a more literary treatment see Tribble
& Sutton, 'Minds
in and out of time: memory, embodied skill, anachronism, and
performance', Textual Practice
26 (4), 2012, 587-607.
I am always
interested in hearing from potential PhD or Masters
students wanting to work on any of these topics. At present I am
primary supervisor for 5 PhD
students in Cognitive Science, and active associate
for 3 PhD students in Cognitive Science, and for PhD
in Philosophy (2), Psychology
& Ancient History, most working roughly
relating to memory or movement. I've been
primary supervisor for
completed PhDs & 6 completed research Masters.
Here's info on all my
current and past graduate students and details
of the topics I've supervised.
I also supervise Honours theses in
both Philosophy and Psychology.
Here is * ASCS09:
Proceedings of the 9th Conference
the Australasian Society for
Some favourite blogs: Greg & team on Neuroanthropology
(now on PLoS blogs, and better than ever!!); Rob
& What Sorts
of People Should There Be?; Art
Politics Philosophy Science at New Apps Blog;
Ken at the Bounds of Cognition;
the Cognition &
Institute at the IJN;
Mark Rowlands; Lucas
Bietti's Collective Memory
Project; Eric at The
of Brains; Philosophy
Samir at samirchopra.com/.
I'm on the editorial board of Palgrave's New Directions in
Philosophy and Cognitive Science, and the
Scan: journal of
media arts culture; Fibreculture Journal.
Ghost in the Machine,
a show about minds,
bodies, machines, and
memory, was on Eastside Radio
89.7FM in Sydney, until our last show on Thursday 27 January 2005.
Instead listen to All in the
and The Philosopher's
Zone on ABC
Here is the mighty Macquarie
Cricket Club. Also
check out Samir Chopra's regular
blog for Cricinfo, The Pitch.
Cognitive Science), (room C5C 423)
Tel. (61) 2 9850
Or just email me.
Last updated 24 April 2013.