Ian Phillips is a leading philosopher who explores the intersection of philosophy, psychology and brain science, uniquely bridging these disciplines to explore the make-up of our minds. He is especially interested in the scientific study of consciousness, the way we experience and recall time, and the nature of perception, as well as its relation to memory, imagination, and belief.
In his research, Phillips grapples with questions such as whether we perceive more than we can report or remember; if conscious experience is inextricably linked with short-term memory; and how experience must be structured for us to perceive change or motion. Phillips is currently working on a book examining the relationship between perception and consciousness. The book challenges the widespread belief in the existence of unconscious perception and tackles questions of consciousness in subjects where it can be hard to measure or quantify, including in infants, animals, and people who have experienced brain damage.
Phillips joined Johns Hopkins University as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in 2019 from the University of Birmingham.