Deborah Brown

Professor Deborah Brown

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2022
  • Section(s): Philosophy And History Of Ideas


Professor Deborah Brown is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Queensland and Director of the University of Queensland Critical Thinking Project (UQCTP). A specialist in Early Modern Philosophy and Philosophy of Mind, she has contributed to scholarship in the history of philosophy and to contemporary debates in philosophy of mind about reason and emotions, consciousness, mental representation, attention, and consciousness. In the history of philosophy, she works on key figures in the transitional period between late medieval and early modern philosophy, including Descartes, Malebranche, Hobbes, and Hume. More recently, she has investigated how pre-first-wave-feminists (c.1650-1750) such as Mary Astell utilised Cartesian ideas to advocate for women’s rights. She has published two books on Descartes: Descartes and the Passionate Mind (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and Descartes and the Ontology of Everyday Life (Oxford University Press, 2019; with Professor Calvin Normore, UCLA). Her recent collaborative, interdisciplinary research in neurophilosophy explores the boundaries of sentience in non-human animals. In her role as Director of the UQCTP, Professor Brown assists organisations across Education and Industry create environments for effective decision-making, innovation, and collaboration through critical and creative thinking.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.