I am a philosopher of mind and cognitive science, currently conducting research on AI alignment thanks to a grant from Survival and Flourishing. My project is about the different ways that humans value things, and their suitability as targets for alignment.

More broadly, my research is in empirically-informed philosophy of mind and philosophy of the cognitive sciences. One strand of my research is on representation: how and why does the mind represent the world, and what is representation, anyway? The other main strand is on action and motivation: what are the processes that contribute to determining how we act, and what is it about them that makes us autonomous, rational agents (to the extent that we are)?

I was a Teaching Fellow at King's College London from 2017 to 2020, where I taught philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology to students in the Philosophy, Neuroscience and Psychology departments. Before that, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Centre for Philosophical Psychology at the University of Antwerp from 2016 to 2017, and a Stipendiary Lecturer in Philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford from 2014 to 2017. At Hertford I taught ethics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of cognitive science, and logic.

In 2015 I completed my Ph.D. in Philosophy at King's College, London, where I was supervised by David Papineau and Nick Shea.

My email address is patrick.butlin {at}