Associate Professor<br /> 
Associate Professor
Honorary Research Associate Professor
Contact Details:
Department of Philosophy
University of Canterbury
New Zealand
MA (Hons) (Edinburgh)
MLitt (Cambridge)
Research Interests:
My current research is in the philosophy and history of Artificial Intelligence, Turing, Wittgenstein, philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of language, and the philosophy and psychology of religion. I am co-director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing, the largest web collection of digital facsimiles of original documents by Turing and other pioneers of computing. Most recently I have been working on Turing and the philosophy of Artificial Intelligence.
Current Research Projects:
In 2015 I will be a Fellow of the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies for the autumn semester 2015 and a member of the Computability: Historical, Logical and Philosophical Foundations Research Group. The focus of the Group is the classical 1930s analysis of computability. I am also writing a book (jointly with Jack Copeland) on the philosophy and science of religion, to be published by Blackwell.
Selected Recent Publications:
  • Proudfoot, D. (2014) Turing’s Three Senses of ‘Emotional’. International Journal of Synthetic Emotions 5(2): 7-20.
  • Proudfoot, D. (2013) Rethinking Turing’s Test. Journal of Philosophy 110(7): 391-411.
  • Proudfoot, D. (2013) Can a Robot Smile? Wittgenstein on Facial Expression. In T.P. Racine and K.L. Slaney (Ed.), A Wittgensteinian Perspective on the Use of Conceptual Analysis in Psychology: 172-194. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Proudfoot, D. (2013) Software immortals: science or faith? In A. Eden, J. Søraker, J. Moor and E. Steinhart (Ed.), The Singularity Hypothesis: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment: 367-389. Berlin: Springer.
  • Proudfoot, D. and Copeland, J. (2012) AI’s Promise: Our post-human future. The Philosophers’ Magazine 57(2): 73-78.
  • Copeland, B.J. and Proudfoot, D. (2012) Turing and the computer. In B.J. Copeland (Ed.), Alan Turing’s Electronic Brain: The Struggle to Build the ACE, the World’s Fastest Computer: 107-148. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Proudfoot, D. (2011) Anthropomorphism and AI: Turing’s much misunderstood imitation game. Artificial Intelligence 175(5-6): 950-957.
  • Proudfoot, D. and Copeland, B.J. (2011) Artificial Intelligence. In E. Margolis, R. Samuels, S.P. Stich (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science: 147-182. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Copeland, B.J. and Proudfoot, D. (2011) Alan Turing, Father of the Modern Computer. The Rutherford Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology 4.
  • Copeland, B.J. and Proudfoot, D. (2010) Deviant Encodings and Turing's analysis of computability. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41(3): 247-252.
I am Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. I was educated at the University of Edinburgh, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, the University of California at Berkeley (as a Fulbright-Hays Scholar), and the University of Cambridge (as an Andrew Carnegie Scholar). I have held various visiting scholarships/fellowships/professorships, including at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Georgetown University, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. In 2000 Jack Copeland and I founded the online Turing Archive for the History of Computing, which has received the Encyclopedia Britannica Internet Guide Award for Excellence and the Scientific American Sci/Tech Award. We received a Marsden Grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand for research into the philosophical foundations of cognitive and computer science.

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