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José Luis Bermúdez

Professor of Philosophy and the Samuel Rhea Gammon Professor of Liberal Arts
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B.A./M.A., Philosophy, Cambridge University (King’s College), 1988

Ph.D., Philosophy, Cambridge University (King’s College), 1992


José Luis Bermúdez is Professor of Philosophy and the Samuel Rhea Gammon Professor of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University, where he was an awarded an AFS Distinguished Achievement Award for Research in 2021. Dr Bermúdez served as Interim Dean of the newly created College of Arts and Sciences at Texas A&M from May 1, 2022 to July 31, 2023. He is not teaching during the current academic year.

Born in Bogotá, Colombia and educated at St Paul’s School, London and King’s College, Cambridge (B.A., M.A., PhD.), Dr Bermúdez joined Texas A&M in 2010 as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He subsequently served as Associate Provost for Strategic Planning (2014-2015), and as Acting Dean of the College of Dentistry (2021-22). Before coming to Texas A&M, he was Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Center for Programs in Arts and Sciences, and Director of the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program at Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Bermúdez’s many publications include eight single-author books and six edited volumes. His research interests are interdisciplinary in nature, at the intersection of philosophy and the cognitive and behavioral sciences more generally. His first book, The Paradox of Self-Consciousness (MIT Press, 1998) analyzed the nature of self-awareness. Thinking without Words (Oxford UP, 2003) offered a model for thinking about the cognitive achievements and abilities of prelinguistic infants and nonlinguistic humans. Decision Theory and Rationality (Oxford UP, 2009) explores tensions in how the concept of rationality is defined and formalized in different academic disciplines. Continuing his work on self-consciousness and self-reference, Understanding “I”: Language and Thought was published by Oxford UP in 2017 and The Bodily Self: Selected Essays by MIT Press in 2018. His most recent  book, The Power of Frames: New Tools for Rational Thought, was published by Cambridge University Press in November 2020. Behavioral and Brain Sciences published a target article developing themes from The Power of Frames, with 27 invited and submitted peer commentaries and a lengthy author’s response.

The third edition of his widely used textbook Cognitive Science: An Introduction to the Science of the Mind was published by Cambridge University Press in December 2019. It has been adopted for courses offered by departments of cognitive science, philosophy, psychology, and computer science in universities in (at least) 12 different countries. The fourth edition is currently in preparation. He published Philosophy of Psychology: A Contemporary Introduction with Routledge in 2005. He is the founding editor of the New Problems in Philosophy book series, published by Routledge.

Dr. Bermúdez’s work has been supported by an ACLS fellowship (2018-2019), an NEH Summer Stipend (2018), a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (1993-1996), and grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Centre Nationale de Recherche Scientifique, the Carnegie Trust, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, in addition to private foundations. He has served on review panels and advisory committees for the National Science Foundation, the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Strokes, and the European Union.

Dr. Bermúdez has held visiting appointments in seven different countres. He is a member of the European Science Foundation’s College of Reviewers and has served as an adviser on humanities and social science grants to many of the major European funding agencies.

Pursuing a longstanding interest in the history of philosophy, He co-directed a project on the theme ‘Reconsidering the Sources of the Self in the Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Periods’ with Dr. Catherine Conybeare of Bryn Mawr College, supported by a Collaborative Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. A co-edited volume entitled The Self in Premodern Thought is in preparation for Cambridge University Press. He is currently writing a book on Aristotle’s De Anima for the Oxford Guidebooks in Philosophy series.

Research Interests

  •  Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Psychology
  • Rationality
  • Cognitive Science
  • Classical Philosophy, particularly Aristotle

Scholarly Achievements

  • Frame It Again: New Tools for Rational Thought (Cambridge UP, 2020)
  • ‘Rational Framing Effects: A Multidisciplinary Case’, Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45 (2022)
  • ‘Frames and Rationality: Response to Commentators’, Behavioral and Brain Sciences 45 (2022)