Andrea Christofidou

About me

I was born in Nicosia, Cyprus, where I lived for fifteen years. Aside from the usual school work, I took ballet and piano lessons; I gave up the former after a few years (though not before performing on Cyprus television), but continued with the latter. Just before I was to receive my diploma, I moved with my family to London. My father died when I was eighteen, soon after I finished school, and I got a job in banking, helping my mother and supporting my two younger brothers (who were both still at school). In 1976 I moved to merchant banking (shipping finance and eurocurrency divisions) in the City of London, where I stayed for three and a half years, before giving up salary and perks to study, and ultimately to make my career in, Philosophy.

I went to City University, London for my first degree, and then moved on to Birkbeck College, University of London, where I took my M.A. and Ph.D. While working on my doctoral thesis ("The Metaphysics of the Self: Self-Identification and Self-Ascription"), I was a part-time tutor for both Birkbeck College (1987-92) and King's College London (1987-90). I was also a lecturer on the Diploma Course of the University of London Continuing Education Department, lecturing on Plato's Meno, Descartes' Meditations, and Hume's First Enquiry (1987-1996). In the Summers, from 1988 to 1992, I was a tutor at the Open University Summer Schools, lecturing on the History of Philosophy (Locke, Spinoza, and Leibniz), and on Moral Philosophy.

In 1992 I moved to Oxford as a result of my appointment as a Lecturer at Balliol College, Oxford. It was during that year at Balliol that I completed and submitted my doctoral thesis. After Balliol, I was appointed a Lecturer at Worcester College, Oxford, where I taught for seven years (1993-2000). I also embarked on a three-year project with Peter J. King, translating the poetry of Kavafis and Karyotakis. Additionally I held Oxford lectureships at New College, Pembroke, Somerville, and Wadham.

Since 2001 I have taught philosophy at Keble College, Oxford, where I am currently Senior College Lecturer in Philosophy. I am also College Lecturer in Philosophy at Worcester College, Oxford.

My curriculum vitæ (PDF file).



  • Self, Reason, and Freedom: A New Light on Descartes' Metaphysics (Routledge, 2012)
     I offer a new understanding of Descartes' philosophy, arguing that his primary question is 'what is real and true?' – not 'how can I be certain?' as we have been accustomed to believe – an inquiry that requires both reason's authority and freedom's autonomy. Without freedom and its internal relation to reason, Descartes' undertaking would not get off the ground; yet that relation has gone unnoticed by successive studies of his philosophy. I demonstrate that it is only when we grasp the role of freedom in his Meditations that we can understand what motivates key parts of his metaphysics. I present Descartes' distinctive metaphysics of freedom, and reveal his compelling conception of the true unity of the self, a thinking active being, and its place in the world.
  • Paperback edition published 30th November 2016.


  • First Person: The Demand for Identification-Free Self-Reference (Journal of Philosophy, XCII:4, April 1995, pp 223-234)
  • The Self and the Objective World (Skepsis, Summer 1999)
  • Subjectivity and the First Person: Some Reflections (Philosophical Inquiry, vol.XXI, Summer-Fall 1999, pp 1-27)
  • Self-Consciousness and the Double Immunity (Philosophy, vol.75, Autumn 2000, pp 539-569) [Abstract]
  • Descartes' Dualism: Correcting Some Misconceptions (The Journal of the History of Philosophy, vol.XXXIX, No.2, April, 2001, pp 215-238)[Abstract]
     Included in Archives de Philosophie - Bulletin Cartésien XXXII, Bibliographie internationale critique des études cartésiennes pour l'année 2001, publié par le Centre d'Études Cartésiennes (Paris IV.Sorbonne) et par le Centro di Studi su Descartes e il Seicento dell'Università di Lecce.
  • God, Physicalism, and the Totality of Facts (Philosophy, vol.82, October 2007, pp 515-542) [Abstract]
  • Self and Self-Consciouness: Aristotelian Ontology and Cartesian Duality (Philosophical Investigations, 32:2, 2009, pp 134–162.
     Selected in 2015 by the editorial board of the journal as one of the best ten articles published by them in the past thirty-five years.
  • Descartes on Freedom, Truth, and Goodness (Noûs, 43:4, 2009)
  • Jose E. Burgos "Antidualism and Antimentalism in Radical Behaviourism": Critical Discussion (Behaviour and Philosophy 43: 2016 (Cambridge Centre for Behavioural Studies)
  • Descartes on Mind-Body Relation: A Solution?
    * early version presented at the Early Modern Philosophy Panel, at the National University of Singapore, 15–16 November 2016
    * revised version presented at the Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy VIII, at the University of Edinburgh, April 2017
  • Descartes' Cogito: its significance, indispensability, and eternal reality
    * early version presented at a workshop on 'The Cogito', sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation, at Ligerz, Switzerland, April 2017
  • Descartes' Distinctive Conception of Freedom: The Self's Supreme Good (in The Cartesian Mind Jorge Secada and Cecilia Wee Lim [edd], Routledge, 2018)

Short pieces

  • Consciousness Razing (originally published in the THES [29th July 1994] under the title "A Difficult Subject for Experiment")
  • Ernst Mally (for the Routledge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy; December 1995)
  • Donald Davidson.(for the World English Edition of Microsoft's Encarta Encyclopedia)
  • Thomas Nagel (for the World English Edition of Microsoft's Encarta Encyclopedia)

Philosophy around the Web