Andrea Christofidou

Worcester College, Oxford OX1 2HB

I was born in Nicosia, Cyprus, and moved with my family to London at the age of fifteen. My father died when I was eighteen years old, soon after I finished school. I got a job in banking, supporting my two younger brothers who were 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 half-years before abandoning a lucrative income and many perks, and devoting myself to philosophy.

Academic Qualifications

B.Sc.(Hons) Philosophy (City University, London)

M.A. Philosophy (Birkbeck College, University of London)
(papers taken: Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, and Later Wittgenstein)

Ph.D. Philosophy (Birkbeck College, University of London)
Thesis title: "The Metaphysics of the Self: Self-identification and Self-ascription" (May 1993)

Teaching Posts

  • While working on my Ph.D., I was a part-time tutor for both Birkbeck College, London (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, 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 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 Stipendiary Lecturer at Balliol College, Oxford (1992–93).
  • After Balliol, I was appointed a Stipendiary Lecturer at Worcester College, Oxford, where I taught for seven years (1993–2000).
  • In between, I held concurrent stipendiary and non-stipendiary lectureships at Pembroke, Somerville, Wadham, and New College, Oxford.
  • I was a Stipendiary Lecturer at Keble College from 2005 till 2017.
  • In 2006 I returned as lecturer to Worcester College, Oxford, where I have remained.

University Commitments: Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford

1995–2004 Lectures: Descartes: Meditations — for Prelims and Mods.

TT 1997 Lectures: Philosophy of Mind

HT 2001 Classes: Mill: Utilitarianism — for Prelims.

TT 2003 Examining: Heavy-duty assessor for FHS paper CL 101: History of Philosophy.

HT 2004 Examining: Senior moderator and examiner for Prelims and Classics Mods: General Philosophy: Descartes, and Moral Philosophy: Mill.

Main areas of teaching

  • Descartes' Philosophical Works
  • Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals
  • Mill's Utilitarianism
  • Plato's Meno
  • Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations
  • History of Philosophy
  • Epistemology & Metaphysics
  • Ethics
  • Philosophy of Mind.



  • "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)
  • "Descartes' Dualism: Correcting Some Misconceptions" (The Journal of the History of Philosophy, vol.XXXIX, No 2, April, 2001, pp 215–238)
  • "God, Physicalism, and the Totality of Facts" (Philosophy 82:4 2007: 515–42)
  • "Self and Self-consciousness: Aristotelian Ontology and Cartesian Duality" (Philosophical Investigations 32: 2 2009): 134–62). [In 2015 the paper was selected by the editorial board of the journal as one of the best ten papers published by the journal in the previous thirty years.]
  • "Descartes on Freedom, Truth, and Goodness" (Nous 43: 4 2009): 633–55
  • "Descartes: a Metaphysical Solution to the Mind-Body Relation and the Intellect's Clear and Distinct Conception of the Union" (Philosophy, vol. 94, 367, January 2019): 87–114
  • "Descartes'Dualism versus Behaviourism" (Behaviour and Philosophy 46, April 2019). Cambridge Core Publications, on line December 2018
  • "Descartes' Distinctive Conception of Freedom: the Self's Supreme Good" (Jorge Secada and Cecilia Wee Lim [edd] The Cartesian Mind. Routledge Philosophical Minds Series, forthcoming 2020)

Short Articles

    "A Difficult Subject for Experiments" (Times Higher Education Supplement, 29th July 1994)
  • "Ernst Mally" — entry for the Routledge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (December 1995)
  • "Donald Davidson" and "Thomas Nagel" — entries for the World English Edition of Microsoft's Encarta Encyclopedia
  • "Descartes and Neuronists" (Times Literary Supplement, 16th June 2017)
  • "Review of C.P. Ragland The Will to Reason: Theodicy and Freedom in Descartes (The Philosophical Review 127: 4 2018): 519–523)


  • "Self-identification and Self-ascription" — delivered at the Joint Session of Mind and the Aristotelian Society (Graduates' Session) at Durham, July 1991
  • "Mind, Content, and Kant" — delivered to the Wolfson Society, Oxford, MT 1993
  • "Moral Requirements" — delivered as guest lecture to the Open University Summer School, 1996
  • "Objectivity and Reason in Ethics" — delivered at a Symposium (with Roger Crisp and Brad Hooker) on Choosing between Moral Theories, at Rewley House, Oxford, December 1997
  • "Freedom, Truth, and Goodness" — delivered to the Cerberus Society, Balliol College, Oxford, Hilary Term 2005
  • "Descartes on Freedom and the Mind-Body Relation: a Solution?" — an early version was delivered at a Work in Progress seminar at Worcester College, Oxford, October 2016; a revised version was delivered at the Early Modern Philosophy seminar at the National University of Singapore, November 2016; a further revised version was delivered at the Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy VIII, University of Edinburgh, April 2017
  • "Descartes' Cogito: the Self's Reality and Openness to the Objective World" (in progress) — delivered at "The Cogito Mdash; Yes or No?", Ligerz, Switzerland, sponsored by the Swiss National Science Federation, April 2017
  • "Descartes: Habits, Freedom, and the Self" [in progress] — delivered at Habit in the History of Philosophy, the annual conference of the British Society for the History of Philosophy, University of Durham, April 2018

Non-Philosophical Activities

I translate (with Peter J. King) poetry from Modern Greek by K.P. Kavafis, Kostas Karyo­takis, Doros Loizou, Zoe Karelli, and others.