Matthew Dworkin

Professional Bio 

In 2016 I received a PhD in philosophy from the University of California, Irvine, and I am currently a Mellon Humanities Faculty Fellow (MHFF) at the same institution. I specialize in the philosophy of mind and metaphysics, with a focus on empathy and consciousness. Currently, I am refining the chapter of my dissertation on empathy for publication. In the future I plan to focus on the relation between empathy and ethics.
As an MHFF I teach in both the philosophy department, and in a general humanities program. I also serve on a committee devoted to developing non-academic career options for recent humanities PhD's. The committee is part of a larger project concerned with developing a curriculum for the next generation of PhD's. The project is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Humanities.


Area of Expertise 

My dissertation is concerned with special topics in the philosophy of mind, specifically focusing on the relationship between consciousness and empathy. Empathy is an interdisciplinary issue, one not only studied by philosophers, but by cognitive scientists, social neuroscientists, developmental psychologists, and psycho-pathologists, among others. Unfortunately, a quick glance at the literature will reveal that there is no consensus over the nature of empathy, either within, or between fields. This lack of consensus is potentially problematic in that it can impede advances in empathic research, as researchers may be talk past one another, or incorrectly cite data that is not directly relevant to their claims. In the dissertation I argue for view of empathy that can accommodate numerous ways empathy is studied, as well as provide a framework for a careful and structured inquiry into the phenomenon.

Workshop Locations 
Institutional Affiliation 
Professional Title 
Faculty Fellow