Dr Maja Spener B.A. M.Phil PhD

Department of Philosophy
Lecturer in Philosophy

Contact details

ERI Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My work focusses on issues at the intersection of philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of science, and epistemology. I have special interests and current research projects on introspective methods, the history of experimental psychology, introspective knowledge, psychological kinds, and the nature of perception.


  • PhD in Philosophy (King's College London, 2003)
  • M.Phil in Philosophy (King's College London, 1997)
  • B.A. in Philosophy, Politics & Economics (Oxford, 1995)


Before coming to Birmingham, I was a Jacobsen Research Fellow at the University College London, a Junior Research Fellow at St Catherine's College, Oxford, a temporary lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, and a post-doc at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.


  • The Mind-Body Problem (second-year UG)
  • Science and Nature (second-year UG)
  • Minds, Brains, and Computers (third-year UG)

Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to supervise postgraduate work in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology and cognitive science, and a range of areas in philosophy of science and epistemology.

Find out more - our PhD Philosophy  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


Research interests

My work focusses on issues at the intersection of philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of science, and epistemology, specifically in relation to introspection, consciousness, and perception, and often in combination with questions about method in science and philosophy.

Current projects

I am interested in the understanding the scope and limitations for using subjects’ introspective access to their experiences in theorizing about the conscious mind. I am currently writing a monograph on introspective methods in scientific psychology and in philosophy. Other interests and projects concern the history of experimental psychology (in particular the early German experimentalist tradition), the nature of introspective knowledge, psychological kinds and natural kinds more generally, and the nature of perceptual experience.


‘Subjective measures of consciousness and introspection’ (forthcoming), in Oxford Handbook of Consciousness, U. Kriegel (ed.), Oxford University Press.

‘Introspecting in the Twentieth Century’ (2018), in Philosophy of Mind in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries: The History of the Philosophy of Mind, Volume 6, A. Kind (ed.), Routledge, pp 148-174.

‘Calibrating Introspection’ (2015), Philosophical Issues 25 (1): 300-321.

‘Moderate Scepticism about Introspection’ (2013), Philosophical Studies 165 (3): 1187-1194.

‘Mind-Independence and Visual Phenomenology’ (2012) in Introspection and Consciousness, D. Smithies & D. Stoljar (eds.), Oxford University Press, pp. 381-403.

‘Disagreement about Cognitive Phenomenology’ (2011a) in Cognitive Phenomenology, T. Bayne & M. Montague (eds.), Oxford University Press, pp. 268-284.

‘Using First-Person Data’ (2011b), Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (1): 165-179.

‘Introspective Humility’ (2010), co-authored with T. Bayne, Philosophical Issues 20 (1): 1-22.

'Expecting Phenomenology', (2007). Behavioural and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6): 526-7.

Critical Review of William Robinson’s Understanding Phenomenal Consciousness, (2005). Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

View all publications in research portal


  • Introspection (self-knowledge), consciousness and perception
  • History of psychology