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Dr Carolyn Price MA (Oxon), BPhil (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon)

Profile summary

  • Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
  • Faculty of Arts
  • Philosophy
  • carolyn.price

Professional biography

Carolyn Price joined the department in February 2000, having spent eight years as a Lecturer and Tutor at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. Her research interests lie in the Philosophy of Mind: she is particularly interested in questions about meaning, rationality and emotion, and the connections between them. In 2001, she published Functions in Mind (Oxford University Press) in which she set out a teleosemantic theory of content. Since then, she has moved on to work on two further issues: the source and nature of rational norms; and the nature and value of emotions and moods. She has recently published papers on grief and on love – two emotions that, for different reasons, have often been regarded as essentially irrational.  She is currently working on a book about emotion to be published by Polity Press. 

Research interests

Carolyn’s interest in emotion crosses over into ethics:  she co-organised a conference on Death: What it is and Why It Matters, which took place at the University of York in 2008. She is also Director of the Department’s Mind Meaning and Rationality Group. She co-organised the group’s inaugural conference in 2004, and joined Keith Frankish in organising the conference In Two Minds: Dual Process of Reasoning and Rationality, which took place in Cambridge in July 2006. From 2008-2010, she ran a series of seminars on practical reasons. She is currently helping to develop a new interdisciplinary project on localising emotions  with Dr Christian Bailey in the Open University’s History Department. She is also beginning to develop a new project on sources of normativity with Dr Cristina Chimisso.



Functions in Mind: A Theory of Intentional Content. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Carolyn Price is currently working on a book on emotion, which will be published by Polity Press as part of their Key Concepts in Philosophy series.

Journal articles and book chapters

The problem of emotional significance’ in Acta Analytica, 2013, Vol. 28, no. 2: 189-206.

Doing without emotions’ in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 2012, Vol. 93, no. 3: 317-337.

What is the point of love?’ in International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 2012, Vol. 20, no 2: 217-237.

The rationality of grief’ in Inquiry, 2010,  20-40.

‘Affect without object: moods and objectless emotions’ in European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 2006, Vol. 2, no. 1: 49-68.

‘Fearing Fluffy: the content of an emotional appraisal’ in Teleosemantics, edited by Graham MacDonald and David Papineau. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006: 208-228.

'Artificial functions and the meaning of literary works', British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (1), January 2003: 1-17.

'Rationality, biology and optimality*', Biology and Philosophy 17 (5), November 2002: 613-34.

'General-purpose content' in International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (2), May 2000:123-135.

'Determinate functions' in Nous 32 (1), March 1998: 54-75.

'Function, perception and normal causal chains' in Philosophical Studies 89, January, 1998: 31-51.

'Functional explanations and natural norms' in Ratio 8(2), September 1995: 143-160.

Other publications

Entry on ‘Emotion’ in the Continuum Encyclopaedia of British Philosophy, edited by Anthony Grayling, Andrew Pyle and Naomi Goulding, London: Thoemmes Continuum, 2006.

Review of Language: A Biological Model by Ruth Millikan in Mind, 2007, Vol. 116, no. 463:  766-9.

Review of Teleological Realism by Scott Sehon in Philosophical Quarterly 2007 Vol.57, no. 228: 501-503.

Review of The Pursuit of Unhappiness: The Elusive Psychology of Well-Being by Dan Haybron in Philosophy, 2009, Vol. 84, no. 330: 624-629.

Review of Functional Beauty by Glenn Parsons and Allen Carlson in British Journal of Aesthetics, 2010, Vol. 50, no. 2: 215-218.

Review of The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Emotion edited by Peter Goldie in European Journal of Philosophy, 2011, Vol. 19 no. 4: 630-633.

Review of Embodiment Emotion and Cognition by Michelle Maiese in Philosophical Quarterly, 2012, Vol. 62, issue 246: 202-204.

‘Teleosemantics re-examined: content, explanation and norms’ (Essay review of Millikan and Her Critics, edited by Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury and Kenneth Williford) in Biology and Philosophy, published online February 2014.

Recent conference and workshop presentations

'Expressing and Sharing' presented at a conference on Emotion and Expression, The University of Manchester, June 2013.

‘Teleosemantics and the problem of emotional significance’ presented at a workshop on teleosemantics today, Friedrich-Alexander Universität, Erlangen Nürnberg, February 2012.

‘Truth: aim or function?’ presented at a conference on the aims of inquiry and cognition, University of Edinburgh, May 2012

See also Open Research Online for further details of Carolyn Price’s research publications.

Teaching interests

Carolyn has contributed material to a number of modules. Recently, she contributed some audio material on philosophy of mind to A222 Exploring philosophy; she wrote an essay on Seneca for A219 Exploring the classical world. She was a member of the module team which produced AA308 Thought and experience: themes in the philosophy of mind, for which she wrote a book on emotion. She was closely involved in the production of AA100 The arts past and present: she was academic editor for Book 2 Tradition and dissent and contributed a chapter on Plato’s Laches, as well as some material on Epicurus and Aristotle for a chapter on the philosophy of leisure. She is still a member of the module team and enjoys meeting AA100 students at day schools and through national seminar forums. She is currently chairing the production team for a new third level module in Philosophy, and is busy writing some material about rational thought and belief  for one of the module books.


The problem of emotional significance (2013-06-02)
Price, Carolyn
Acta Analytica, 28(2) (pp. 189-206)
Doing without emotions (2012-09)
Price, Carolyn
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 93(3) (pp. 317-337)
What is the point of love? (2012)
Price, Carolyn
International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 20(2) (pp. 217-237)
The rationality of grief (2010-02)
Price, Carolyn
Inquiry, 53(1) (pp. 20-40)
Affect without object: moods and objectless emotions (2006)
Price, Carolyn
European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 2(1) (pp. 49-68)
Artificial functions and the meaning of literary works (2003-01)
Price, Carolyn
Astronomy & Geophysics, 43(1) (pp. 1-17)
Rationality, biology and optimality (2002-11)
Price, Carolyn
Biology and Philosophy, 17(5) (pp. 613-634)
General-purpose content (2000)
Price, Carolyn
International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 14(2) (pp. 123-133)
Functions in mind: a theory of intentional content (2001-06-07)
Price, Carolyn
ISBN : 0-19-924200-3 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford, UK
Fearing Fluffy: The Content of an emotional appraisal (2006-09-28)
Price, Carolyn
In: Macdonald, Graham and Papineau, David eds. Teleosemantics (pp. 208-228)
ISBN : 0-19-927026-0 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford, UK