Steve Torrance


Visiting address

Mail address


Visiting professor September 2-20, 2013 (host: Philosophy Department, University of Twente).

Since 2003 I have been a Visiting Senior Research Fellow, at the Centre for Research in Cognitive Science (COGS), School of Informatics, University of Sussex. I also lecture part-time at Goldsmiths, University of London, in the Psychology Department. I am an occasional expert Ethical Reviewer for the European Commission.

I am Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Science from Middlesex University, where I was based in the School of Health and Social Sciences until 2006. I have a DPhil and BPhil in Philosophy from Oxford, and I studied philosophy as an undergraduate at Sussex. Since the 1970s I have taught philosophy, artificial intelligence and cognitive science at Middlesex University, at Sussex, and elsewhere.

I work at the intersection between philosophy, consciousness science and cognitive science. My particular interests concern philosophical and ethical issues in psychology, consciousness, and artificial agency.

My research lies at the intersection between philosophy, consciousness science, cognitive science and cognitive and robotic technology. My main current research areas are:

  • Consciousness in natural and artificial agents;
  • The relation between consciousness and ethics;
  • Machine ethics and machine consciousness – scope and limits of the fields and their interrelations;
  • The relation between ‘infocentric’ approaches to ethics and bio- and ecocentric approaches;
  • Implications of future developments in technology for ethics, society and nature.

Other research interests are:

  • Spinoza’s philosophy, in relation to consciousness, ethics and environment;
  • ‘Enactive’ approaches to interpersonal interaction, ethics and consciousness;
  • The relation between commitments to science and to religion.