University of Otago emblem    Department of Philosophy

KOURKEN MICHAELIAN

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

RESEARCH
TEACHING

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 philosophy and interdisciplinary volumes on memory, the most recent of which are The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Memory (Routledge 2017) and Seeing the Future: Theoretical Perspectives on Future-Oriented Mental Time Travel (OUP 2016).

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.

This page is updated infrequently; for up-to-date information on my research, see my personal website.