Professor Max Velmans

Staff details

Position Emeritus Professor
Department Psychology
Email m.velmans (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7870
Professor Max Velmans

Overview

Max is Emeritus Professor (BSc PhD CPsychol FBPsS FAcSS) of Psychology at Goldsmiths, currently focusing on Consciousness Studies, to which he has made extensive contributions through teaching, administration, and research. He has been a Fulbright Scholar at UC Berkeley (1984), a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Westminster and Plymouth, and National Visiting Professor for 2010-2011 of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Government of India. His main book Understanding Consciousness was short listed for the BPS book prize in 2001 and 2002 and he has over 130 publications in this area (over 100 on-line at Research Gate and Academia.edu).

Grants and Awards

Max has received grants to support his earlier research on deafness rehabilitation from The National Research and Development Corporation, the Department of Health and Social Security, the Medical Research Council, the British Technology Group, and his later research on consciousness from ESRC, the Fetzer Institute (USA), the Templeton Foundation (USA), and the Hari Prasad Shastri Charitable Trust.

Public Engagement and Knowledge Exchange

Max has given over 150 invited papers nationally and internationally, around 120 of which have been keynote addresses or plenary papers at conferences, workshops or symposia on consciousness, some of which have been open to the public, as well given invited papers in many overseas departments and institutions.

His earlier hearing aid research was exhibited at the Royal Society, UC Berkeley, and at exhibitions sponsored by RNID, The Institute of Laryngology and Otology, and the National Society for Deaf Children. Documentaries of this research have also been made by the Central Office of Information (for overseas distribution), BBC1, programmes on Radio 2, BBC World Service, and reports in the press. His work on Consciousness has also been featured in discussions and/or radio interviews, including BBC4 and World Service, along with various YouTube films, Wikipedia, and reports on many sites on the World Wide Web.

In 1997 Max co-founded the Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section of the BPS and has organised or helped to organise many conferences, workshops and symposia on consciousness, including international ones sponsored by the CIBA foundation (London), the Fetzer Institute (USA) and the Templeton Foundation (USA). From 2006 onwards he also founded Totnes Consciousness Café with visiting speakers at monthly meetings in Totnes, where he now lives.

He is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, The Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research and Practice (American Psychological Association), Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, NeuroPsychoanalysis, and Journal of Parapsychology.

 

Research Interests

Max's work introduces and develops reflexive monism, a novel resolution of the “hard problems” of consciousness that provides a framework for a non-reductionist science of consciousness.

  • consciousness
  • mind/body interactions
  • philosophy of psychology
  • integrating philosophy, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology and mind/body interactions in clinical practice.
  • the relation of brain to experience
  • conscious versus unconscious processing
  • the nature of subjectivity, intersubjectivity and objectivity
  • how to avoid both dualism and reductionism
  • the problems of free will

For a review and discussion of some of my published research go to My Selected Publications

Publications

Book

Velmans, Max. 2017. Towards a Deeper Understanding of Consciousness: Selected works of Max Velmans. Andover, Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138699441

Velmans, Max. 2009. Understanding Consciousness: Second Edition. Hove, East Sussex: Routledge. ISBN 9780415425162

Velmans, Max. 2002. How Could Conscious Experiences Affect Brains? Exeter: Imprint Academic. ISBN 9780907845393

Velmans, Max. 2000. Understanding Consciousness. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415186552

Edited Book

Velmans, Max, ed. 2018. Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology), Volume 2: Cognitive and Neuropsychological Approaches to the Study of Consciousness, Part 1. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138848658

Velmans, Max, ed. 2018. Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology), Volume 1: The Origins of Psychology and the Study of Consciousness. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138848641

Velmans, Max, ed. 2018. Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology), Volume 3: Cognitive and Neuropsychological Approaches the Study of Consciousness, Part 2. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138848665

Velmans, Max, ed. 2018. Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology), (4 volumes). Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138848634

Velmans, Max, ed. 2018. Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology), Volume 4: New Directions: Psychogenesis, Transformations of Consciousness, and Non-reductive, Integrative Theories. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138848672

Schneider, Susan and Velmans, Max, eds. 2017. The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness: Second Edition. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell. ISBN 9780470674062

Velmans, Max and Schneider, Susan, eds. 2007. The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Malden: MA, USA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. ISBN 9781405120197

Velmans, Max, ed. 2000. Investigating Phenomenal Consciousness: New Methodologies and Maps. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. ISBN 1556191936

Velmans, Max, ed. 1996. The Science of Consciousness: Psychological, Neuropsychological and Clinical Reviews. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415110815

Book Section

Velmans, Max. 2018. General Introduction to Volumes 1 to 4: A psychological view of the long history of thought about consciousness. In: M Velmans, ed. Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology) Volume 1: The Origins of Psychology and the Study of Consciousness. 1 Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 1-30. ISBN 9781138848641

Velmans, Max. 2018. Introduction to Volume 2. In: M Velmans, ed. Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology) Volume 2: Cognitive and Neuropsychological Approaches to the Study of Consciousness Part 1. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 1-14. ISBN 9781138848658

Velmans, Max. 2018. Introduction to Volume 3. In: M Velmans, ed. Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology) Volume 3: Cognitive and Neuropsychological Approaches, Part 2. 3 Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 1-16. ISBN 9781138848665

Velmans, Max. 2018. Introduction to Volume 4. In: M Velmans, ed. Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology) Volume 4: New Directions: Psychogenesis, Transformations of Consciousness and Non-reductive, Integrative Theories. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 1-20. ISBN 9781138848672

Velmans, Max. 2017. Dualism, reductionism and reflexive monism. In: Susan Schneider and Max Velmans, eds. The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness (2nd Edition). Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 349-362. ISBN 9780470674062

Velmans, Max. 2017. An epistemology for the study of consciousness. In: Susan Schneider and Max Velmans, eds. The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness (2nd Edition). Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 769-784. ISBN 9780470674062

Velmans, Max. 2017. What and where are conscious experiences? Dualism, reductionism, and reflexive monism. In: Kurt Almqvist and Anders Haag, eds. The Return of Consciousness: A New Science on Old Questions. Stockholm: Sweden: Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation, pp. 127-144. ISBN 9789189672901

Velmans, Max. 2014. Conscious agency and the preconscious/unconscious self. In: Sangeetha Menon; Anindya Sinha and B. V. Sreekantan, eds. Consciousness and Self: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. New Delhi: Springer, pp. 11-25. ISBN 9788132215868

Velmans, Max. 2013. Sentient matter. In: Graham Harvey, ed. Handbook of Contemporary Animism. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 363-372. ISBN 9781844657117

Velmans, Max. 2013. How to arrive at an Eastern place from a Western Direction: Convergences and divergences among Samkya Yoga, Advaita Vedanta, the Body-Mind-Consciousness (Trident) Model and Reflexive Monism. In: B. Sambasiva Prasad, ed. Consciousness Gandhi and Yoga: Interdisciplinary, East-West Odyssey of K.Ramakrishna Rao. New Delhi: D. K. Printworld, pp. 107-139. ISBN 9788124607152

Velmans, Max. 2013. Preconscious free will. In: Harold Pashler, ed. The Encyclopedia of the Mind. 2 Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, pp. 611-613. ISBN 9781412950572

Velmans, Max. 2009. Psychophysical nature. In: Harald Atmanspacher and Hans Primas, eds. Recasting Reality: Wolfgang Pauli's Philosophical Ideas and Contemporary Science. Berlin: Springer, pp. 115-134. ISBN 9783540851974

Velmans, Max. 2008. Consciousness and the physical world. In: Michel Weber and Will Desmond, eds. Handbook of Whiteheadian Process Thought. 10 Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, pp. 371-382. ISBN 9783110333299

Velmans, Max. 2008. How to separate conceptual issues from empirical ones in the study of consciousness. In: Rahul Banerjee and Bikas K. Chakrabarti, eds. Models of Brain and Mind: Physical, Computational and Psychological Approaches. 168 Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 1-9. ISBN 9780444530509

Velmans, Max. 2007. An epistemology for the study of consciousness. In: Max Velmans and Susan Schneider, eds. The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, pp. 711-725. ISBN 9781405120197

Velmans, Max. 2007. Dualism, reductionism and reflexive monism. In: Max Velmans and Susan Schneider, eds. The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, pp. 346-358. ISBN 9781405120197

Velmans, Max and Blackmore, Susan. 2007. Max Velmans. In: Susan Blackmore, ed. Conversations on Consciousness: What the Best Minds Think about the Brain, Free Will, and What It Means to Be Human. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 233-244. ISBN 9780195179590

Velmans, Max. 2005. Causal interactions of consciousness, unconscious mind and brain. In: P Giampieri-Deutsch, ed. Psychoanalysis as an Empirical, Interdisciplinary Science: Collected Papers on Contemporary Psychoanalytic Research. 27 Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, pp. 91-117. ISBN 9783700133865

Velmans, Max. 2003. How could images heal anything? In: A. A. Sheikh, ed. Healing Images: The Role of Imagination in the Healing Process. Amityville, New York: Baywood Publishing Company, pp. 53-71. ISBN 0895032082

Velmans, Max. 2000. A psychologist’s map of consciousness studies. In: Max Velmans, ed. Investigating Phenomenal Consciousness: New Methodologies and Maps. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 333-358. ISBN 9789027251336

Velmans, Max. 2000. An introduction to Investigating Phenomenal Consciousness. In: Max Velmans, ed. Investigating Phenomenal Consciousness: New Methodologies and Maps. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 1-15. ISBN 9789027251336

Velmans, Max. 1999. Perception, attention, and consciousness. In: C. Taddei-Ferretti and C. Musio, eds. Neuronal Bases and Psychological Aspects of Consciousness. River Edge, New Jersey: New World Scientific Press, pp. 111-124. ISBN 9789810235970

Velmans, Max. 1999. Understanding consciousness: beyond dualism and reductionism. In: C. Taddei-Ferretti and C. Musio, eds. Neuronal Bases and Psychological Aspects of Consciousness. River Edge, New Jersey: New World Scientific Press, pp. 458-468. ISBN 9789810235970

Velmans, Max. 1998. Goodbye to reductionism. In: Stuart R. Hameroff; Alfred W. Kaszniak and Alwyn C. Scott, eds. Towards a Science of Consciousness II: The Second Tucson Discussions and Debates. MIT Press, pp. 45-52. ISBN 9780262082624

Velmans, Max. 1998. Physical, psychological and virtual realities. In: John Wood, ed. The Virtual Embodied: Presence, Practice, Technology. London: Routledge, pp. 45-60. ISBN 9781134720972

Velmans, Max. 1996. An introduction to the science of consciousness. In: Max Velmans, ed. The Science of Consciousness: Psychological, Neuropsychological and Clinical Reviews. London: Routledge, pp. 1-22. ISBN 0415110815

Velmans, Max. 1993. A Reflexive Science of Consciousness. In: Gregory R. Bock and Joan Marsh, eds. Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Consciousness. Chichester: Wiley, pp. 81-99. ISBN 0471938661

Article

Velmans, Max. 2018. How to investigate perceptual projection: A commentary on Perereira, Jr. "The Projective Theory of Consciousness: from Neuroscience to Philosophical Psychology". Trans/Form/Ação, Marília, Edição Especial, 41, pp. 233-242. ISSN 0101-3173

Velmans, Max and Bright, Richard. 2015. Understanding Consciousness: An Interview. Interalia Magazine: Special Issue on "With Consciousness in Mind (part 2)"(12),

Velmans, Max. 2014. What makes a conscious process conscious? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37(1), pp. 43-44. ISSN 0140-525X

Velmans, Max. 2014. Do advances in neuropsychological studies of consciousness demonstrate it to be just a state or function of the brain? A review of Stanislas Dehaene. Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering how the Brain Codes our Thoughts. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 21(11-12), pp. 178-195. ISSN 1355-8250

Velmans, Max. 2013. A review of Donald D. Price and James J. Barrell (2012) Inner Experience and Neuroscience: Merging both Perspectives. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 20(5-6), pp. 208-214. ISSN 1355-8250

Velmans, Max. 2012. The evolution of consciousness. Contemporary Social Science, 7(2), pp. 117-138. ISSN 2158-2041

Velmans, Max and Nagasawa, Yujin. 2012. Introduction to Monist Alternatives to Physicalism. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 19(9-10), pp. 7-18. ISSN 1355-8250

Velmans, Max. 2012. Reflexive Monism: psychophysical relations among mind, matter and consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 19(9-10), pp. 143-165. ISSN 1355-8250

Velmans, Max. 2012. Violence, the fragile ego, and the peaceful self. GITAM Journal of Gandhian Studies, 1(1), pp. 111-121. ISSN 2249-2240

Velmans, Max. 2011. A brief note on how phenomenal objects relate to objects themselves. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 18(11-12), pp. 199-202. ISSN 1355-8250

Velmans, Max. 2011. Can evolutionary theory explain the existence of consciousness? A review of N. Humphrey, 2010, Soul Dust: The Magic of Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 18(11-12), pp. 243-254. ISSN 1355-8250

Pereira Jr, Alfredo; Edwards, J.C.W.; Nunn, C; Trehub, A and Velmans, Max. 2010. Understanding Consciousness: A collaborative attempt to elucidate contemporary theories. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 17(5-6), pp. 213-219. ISSN 1355-8250

Hughes, Gethin; Velmans, Max and De Fockert, J. W.. 2009. Unconscious priming of a no-go response. Psychophysiology, 46(6), pp. 1258-1269. ISSN 0048-5772

Velmans, Max. 2009. How to define consciousness—And how not to define consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 16(5), pp. 139-156. ISSN 1355-8250

Velmans, Max. 2008. The co-evolution of matter and consciousness. Synthesis Philosophica, 22(2), pp. 273-282. ISSN 0352-7875

Velmans, Max. 2008. Reflexive monism. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 15(2), pp. 5-50. ISSN 1355-8250

Velmans, Max. 2007. Where experiences are: Dualist, reductionist, enactive and reflexive accounts of phenomenal consciousness. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 6(4), pp. 547-563. ISSN 1568-7759

Bergström, Zara M.; Velmans, Max; De Fockert, J. W. and Richardson-Klavehn, Alan. 2007. ERP evidence for successful voluntary avoidance of conscious recollection. Brain Research, 1151, pp. 119-133. ISSN 0006-8993

Velmans, Max. 2007. How experienced phenomena relate to things themselves: Kant, Husserl, Hoche, and reflexive monism. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 6(3), pp. 411-423. ISSN 1568-7759

Velmans, Max. 2007. A natural account of phenomenal consciousness. NeuroQuantology, 3(3), pp. 164-179.

Velmans, Max. 2006. Heterophenomenology versus critical phenomenology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 6(1-2), pp. 221-230. ISSN 1568-7759

Velmans, Max. 2005. Are we out of our minds? Journal of Consciousness Studies, 12(6), pp. 109-116. ISSN 1355-8250

Velmans, Max. 2004. Why conscious free will both is and isn’t an illusion. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27(5), p. 677. ISSN 0140-525X

Velmans, Max. 2003. Is the brain in the world, or the world in the brain? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 26(4), pp. 427-429. ISSN 0140-525X

Velmans, Max. 2003. Preconscious free will. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 10(12), pp. 42-61. ISSN 1355-8250

Velmans, Max. 2002. Could phenomenal consciousness function as a cognitive unconscious? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 25(3), pp. 357-358. ISSN 0140-525X

Velmans, Max. 2002. How Could Conscious Experiences Affect Brains? Journal of Consciousness Studies, 9(11), pp. 3-29. ISSN 1355-8250

Velmans, Max. 2002. Making sense of causal interactions between consciousness and brain. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 9(11), pp. 69-95. ISSN 1355-8250

Velmans, Max. 1999. When perception becomes conscious. British Journal of Psychology, 90(4), pp. 543-566. ISSN 0007-1269

Velmans, Max. 1999. Intersubjective science. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 6(2-3), pp. 299-306. ISSN 1355-8250

Velmans, Max. 1999. Neural activation, information, and phenomenal consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22(1), pp. 172-173. ISSN 0140-525X

Velmans, Max. 1996. Consciousness and the “causal paradox.”. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 19(3), pp. 538-542. ISSN 0140-525X

Velmans, Max. 1995. The limits of neuropsychological models of consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 18(4), pp. 702-703. ISSN 0140-525X

Velmans, Max. 1995. The relation of consciousness to the material world. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2(3), pp. 255-265. ISSN 1355-8250

Velmans, Max. 1993. Consciousness, causality and complementarity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 16(2), pp. 409-416. ISSN 0140-525X

Velmans, Max. 1993. Common-sense, functional theories, and knowledge of the mind. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 16(1), pp. 85-86. ISSN 0140-525X

Velmans, Max. 1993. A view of consciousness from the fringe. Consciousness and Cognition, 2(3), pp. 137-141. ISSN 1053-8100

McDougal, Sine and Velmans, Max. 1993. Encoding strategy dynamics: When relationships between words determine strategy use. British Journal of Psychology, 84(2), pp. 227-248. ISSN 0007-1269

Velmans, Max. 1992. Is consciousness integrated? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 15(2), pp. 229-230. ISSN 0140-525X

Velmans, Max. 1991. Consciousness from a first-person perspective. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 14(4), pp. 702-726. ISSN 0140-525X

Velmans, Max. 1991. Is human information processing conscious? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 14(4), pp. 651-669. ISSN 0140-525X

Velmans, Max. 1990. Is the mind conscious, functional, or both? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 13(4), pp. 629-630. ISSN 0140-525X

Velmans, Max. 1990. Consciousness, brain, and the physical world. Philosophical Psychology, 3(1), pp. 77-99. ISSN 0951-5089

Digital

Velmans, Max. 2001. Heterophenomenology versus critical phenomenology: A dialogue with Dan Dennett (on-line debate).

Report

Velmans, Max; Morrison-Coulthart, Lisa; Colley, Ann; Foot, Hugh; Foreman, Nigel; Kent, Gerry; Kwiatkowski, Richard and Sloboda, John. 2004. Guidelines for Minimum Standards of Ethical Approval in Psychological Research. Manual. The British Psychological Society, Leicester.