UCL Philosophy


In memoriam Paul Snowdon

12 August 2022

Paul Snowdon was Grote Professor from 2001 until his retirement in 2015. Before that he had been tutorial fellow and university lecturer at Exeter College, University of Oxford, from 1971–2001.

Snowdon was author of Persons, Animals, Ourselves (OUP 2014), and co-editor of a collection, Animalism, with Stephan Blatti (OUP 2016).

As well as his views on personal identity, Snowdon was well-known as one of the key contributors to debates about sense perception and was an early exponent of the controversial doctrine of disjunctivism. A collection of his essays on perception is in production from OUP.

To watch Snowdon give a talk or seminar was to witness someone engaging with a question as if for the first time, and thinking about it as slowly and carefully as possible. His audiences invariably found themselves drawn into this activity of doing philosophy together. Generations of students were caught up in this activity of philosophising through his key influence. He taught a generation of philosophers of mind in Oxford through the 1980s and 1990s and did the same again at UCL after he arrived at the turn of the millennium.

He is survived by his wife, Katherine Snowdon, and their children, Nicholas and Victoria.

Photos courtesy of Mike Martin and Craig French