University of Otago emblem    Department of Philosophy


photo of Michaelian
  • PhD UMass (2009)
  • MA Carleton (2003)
  • BA Alberta (2001)


I work primarily on memory, which I approach from the perspectives of epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of psychology. My book, Mental Time Travel: Episodic Memory and Our Knowledge of the Personal Past (MIT 2016), argues against the causal theory of memory and develops a simulation theory according to which remembering is a matter of imagining the past.

While my research continues to explore the implications of the simulation theory, I've recently turned my attention towards collective memory, and I'm currently the PI on a project on collective memory funded by a Fast Start grant from the Marsden Fund.

I've also edited several volumes on memory, the most recent of which are New Directions in the Philosophy of Memory (Routledge 2018) and The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Memory (Routledge 2017).

I'm currently a senior lecturer in the philosophy department at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Before moving to Otago in 2015, I worked for several years at Bilkent University in Turkey and at the Institut Jean-Nicod in France. My Ph.D. is from the University of Massachusetts in the US, and my M.A. and B.A. are from Carleton University and the University of Alberta, both in Canada.

These pages are updated infrequently; for up-to-date information, see my personal website.