Thomas Nagel

Thomas Nagel (/ˈnɡəl/; born July 4, 1937) is an American philosopher. He is University Professor of Philosophy and Law, Emeritus, at New York University,[3] where he taught from 1980 to 2016.[4] His main areas of philosophical interest are legal philosophy, political philosophy, and ethics.[5]

Thomas Nagel
Nagel in 1978
Born (1937-07-04) July 4, 1937 (age 84)
Alma mater
Notable work
  • Doris G. Blum
    (m. 1958; div. 1973)
  • (m. 1979; died 2014)
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolAnalytic philosophy
Doctoral advisorJohn Rawls
Doctoral studentsSamuel Scheffler, Susan Wolf, Shelly Kagan, Rebecca Goldstein
Main interests
Notable ideas
What is it like to be a something, objective and subjective points of view, panpsychism[1][2]
WebsiteFaculty webpage (Dept of Philosophy)
Faculty webpage (School of Law)

Nagel is well known for his critique of material reductionist accounts of the mind, particularly in his essay "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?" (1974), and for his contributions to liberal moral and political theory in The Possibility of Altruism (1970) and subsequent writings. He continued the critique of reductionism in Mind and Cosmos (2012), in which he argues against the neo-Darwinian view of the emergence of consciousness.