Axel Seemann

  • Professor, Philosophy
  • Ph.D. London School of Economics
  • MSc London School of Economics
  • MA Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität

Teaching Interests

Metaphysics and Epistemology; Philosophy of Mind; Social Philosophy

Research Interests

Philosophy of Mind; Social Philosophy; Philosophy of Language

Bio

Axel Seemann works in the philosophy of mind and is particularly interested in the mind's social dimension, on which he has written numerous articles and a monograph. More recently he has become interested in loneliness as a prominent social phenomenon of our time. He worked as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group and used to be a television journalist in Berlin.

Professional Links

Professional Memberships

  • American Philosophical Association Present
  • Loneliness & Social Isolation in Mental Health 2019 - Present
  • Awards and Honors

  • 2011, Visiting Research Fellowship, King's College London
  • 2009, Valente Research Fellowship, Valente Center for the Arts and Sciences
  • 2009, Visiting Research Fellowship, University of Hertfordshire
  • 2009, Conference Grant, National Science Foundation
  • 2004, Research Grant, The Boston Consulting Group
  • 1999, Visiting Scholarship, UC Berkeley
  • 1998, Graduate Studentship, British Academy
  • 1996, Graduate Studentship, Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung
  • Publications

    Journal Articles


  • Seemann, A. (2024). Joint Attention as the Foundation of Common Knowledge and Collective Intentionality. Topoi.
  • Seemann, A., Hughes, E., Roberts, T., Krueger, J. (2023). Introduction. Topoi, (42) 5
  • Seemann, A. (2023). Loneliness, Psychological Models, and Self-Estrangement. Topoi.
  • Seemann, A. (2022). The Public Character of Visual Objects: Shape Perception, Joint Attention, and Standpoint-Transcendence. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.
  • Seemann, A. (2022). The Psychological Structure of Loneliness. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, (19) 3 (Link)
  • Seemann, A. (2021). An Externalist Theory of Social Understanding: Interaction, Psychological Models, and the Frame Problem. Review of Philosophy and Psychology. (Link)
  • Seemann, A. (2019). Reminiscing Together. Synthese, (196) 12 4813-4828. Forthcoming.
  • Seemann, A. (2011). Joint Motor Action and Cross-Creature Embodiment. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, (2) 2 279-301.
  • Seemann, A. (2011). The Role of Joint Experience in Historical Narratives. Journal of the Philosophy of History, (5) 2 201-229.
  • Seemann, A. (2010). The Other Person in Joint Attention: A Relational Approach. Journal of Consciousness Studies, (17) 5-6 161-182.
  • Seemann, A. (2009). Why We Did It: An Anscombian Approach to Collective Action Explanation. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, (17) 5 637 - 655.
  • Seemann, A. (2009). Joint Agency: Intersubjectivity, Sense of Control, and the Feeling of Trust. Inquiry, (52) 2 500-515.
  • Seemann, A. (2008). Person Perception. Philosophical Explorations, (11) 3 245 - 262.
  • Seemann, A. (2007). Collective Knowledge and the 'We'-Perspective. Social Epistemology, (21) 3 217 - 230. (Link)
  • Seemann, A. (2007). Strategy: Rationality, Intuition, and Accountability. Philosophy of Management, (6) 1 123 - 134. (Link)
  • Seemann, A. (2007). Rational Trust: Interview with Onora O'Neill. Philosophy of Management, (6) 2 3-8.
  • Seemann, A. (2004). Lifeworld, Discourse, and Realism: on Juergen Habermas's theory of truth. Philosophy and Social Criticism, (30) 4 503 - 514.

    Books


  • Seemann, A. (2019). The Shared World: Perceptual Common Knowledge, Demonstrative Communication, and Social Space. MIT Press (Link)
  • Seemann, A. (2012). Joint Attention: New Developments in Psychology, Philosophy of Mind, and Social Neuroscience. 350. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

  • Book Chapters


  • Seemann, A. (2023). Eine Modelltheoretische Erklärung der Einsamkeit [A Model-Theoretic Account of Loneliness] In L. Arlt, N. Becker, S. Mann & T. Wirtz, (Eds.) Einsamkeit in Gesellschaft. Transcript Verlag
  • Seemann, A. (2013). Joint Attention and Social Cognition In Byron Kaldis, (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences. London: Sage Forthcoming.
  • Seemann, A. (2013). Social Cognition, Social Reality, and Social Science In Byron Kaldis, (Eds.) Mind & Society. Dordrecht: Springer Synthese Series Forthcoming.
  • Seemann, A. (2012). Joint Attention: Towards a Relational Account In Axel Seemann, (Eds.) Joint Attention: New Developments. 183 - 202. Cambridge MA: MIT Press Forthcoming.
  • Seemann, A. (2011). The Evaluative Dimension of Self-Awareness In Keith Lehrer, Anita Konzelmann-Ziv, Hans-Bernhard Schmid, (Eds.) Self-Evaluation: Affective and Social Grounds of Intentionality. 45 - 58. Frankfurt: Ontos Forthcoming.
  • Frederick, R. E., Seemann, A. (2008). Rationality In Robert W. Kolb, (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications

  • Presentations

  • Seemann, A. (2023). “Joint Know-How and Its Perceptual Base” Presented at the University of Antwerp Group Knowledge and Joint Expertise Antwerp, Belgium
  • Seemann, A. (2023). “Loneliness and Social Connection” Presented at the University of York The Phenomenology of Loss York, UK
  • Seemann, A. (2023). “Loneliness and the Self” Presented at the University of York Graduate Seminar York, UK
  • Seemann, A. (2022). “The Psychological Structure of Loneliness” Presented at theXVI Congress of the Portuguese Society of Psychiatry Lisbon, Portugal
  • Seemann, A. (2022). “Loneliness and Social Space” Presented at the University of Sczeczin Alone Together
  • Seemann, A. (2022). “Loneliness and Social Space” Presented at the University of York Graduate Seminar on Loneliness
  • Seemann, A. (2021). “An Externalist Account of Perceptual Common Knowledge” Presented at the University College London Common Knowledge at 40
  • Seemann, A. (2021). “Loneliness and the Social Environment” Presented at the Bentley University Loneliness in Philosophy and Psychology Online
  • Seemann, A. (2021). “An Externalist Solution to the Problem of Common Knowledge” Presented at the University College London Common Knowledge, Common Ground, and Context in Communication London UK
  • Seemann, A. (2020). “What Do We Mean By "Loneliness"?” Presented at the University College London Meeting of the "Loneliness and Isolation in Mental Health Network" London UK
  • Seemann, A. (2018). “Joint Perception, Social Space, and the Limits of the Self” Presented at the"Open Self" Conference Technical University of Berlin
  • Seemann, A. (2018). “The Spatial Structure of Demonstrative Communication” Presented at the University of Milan "Communication and Cooperation" Milan
  • Seemann, A. (2018). “The Public Nature of Perceptual Evidence” Presented at the Valente Center for the Arts and Sciences Valente Research Seminar Waltham, MA
  • Seemann, A. (2017). “Perspective-Taking and the Social Spatial Framework” Presented at the Queen Mary University Joint Action Meeting London, UK
  • Seemann, A. (2016). “Joint Experience, Demonstrative Reference, and Spatial Perception” Presented at the University of London ICOG 3 London, UK
  • Seemann, A. (2015). “Joint Action, Joint Attention, Joint Experience” Presented at the European University Joint Action Meeting Budapest, Hungary
  • Seemann, A. (2015). “Pointing and Demonstrative Reference” Presented at the University of Connecticut Pointing and Gestural Communication
  • Seemann, A. (2014). “Collective Consciousness and the Biology Constraint” Presented at the Bristol University Collectivity Bristol, UK
  • Seemann, A. (2014). “Groups, Explanation, and Collective Understanding” Presented at the University of Copenhagen Thinking About Groups Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Seemann, A. (2014). “The Phenomenology of Face-to-Face Encounters” Presented at the University of Arizona, Tucson Towards a Science of Consciousness Tucson
  • Seemann, A. (2014). “Joint Attention and the Self-Other Distinction” Presented at the University of Lisbon Self and the Social Lisbon, Portugal
  • Seemann, A. (2013). “Joint Attention: A New Approach” Presented at the Gujarat Institute of Technology Cognition, Emotion, and Action Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
  • Seemann, A. (2013). “The Role of Understanding in Demonstrative Reference” Presented at the UC Berkeley Social Ontology Seminar Berkeley CA
  • Seemann, A. (2012). “Against Sharing: Intersubjectivity and Cross-Creature Embodiment” Presented at the University of Manchester Collective Intentionality VIII Manchester UK
  • Seemann, A. (2012). “Against Sharing: Intersubjectivity and Cross-Creature Embodiment” Presented at the University of Ankara Minds, Bodies, Problems Ankara, Turkey
  • Seemann, A. (2011). “The Social Dimension of Perceptual Experience” Presented at the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness Annual Meeting Kyoto
  • Seemann, A. (2011). “Joint Action: A Perception-based Approach” Presented at the University of Vienna Joint Action Meeting Vienna
  • Seemann, A. (2011). “Mental Sharing, Cross-Creature Embodiment, and Mirror Neurons” Presented at the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness Neuroscience Satellite Kyoto
  • Seemann, A. (2011). “Perceptual Experience and the Study of What There Is” Presented at the Shalem Center Psycho-Ontology Jerusalem
  • Seemann, A. (2010). “From Feeling Perception to Joint Action: The Case for Social Externalism” Presented at the University of Basel Collective Intentionality VII
  • Seemann, A. (2010). “Intersubjectivity, Co-Operation, and Moral Agency” Presented at the University of Salamanca Ethics and Emotions
  • Seemann, A. (2010). “Narratives, Selves, and Common Cause Experiences” Presented at the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting
  • Seemann, A. (2010). “Gaze Following, Mirror Neurons, and Attentional Capture” Presented at the Duke University, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Research Meeting Durham, NC
  • Seemann, A. (2010). “Neuroscience: Affectivity, Adaptivity, and Learning in Organizations”
  • Seemann, A. (2009). “Sources of Trust: Feelings, Reasons, and the Participant Stance” Presented at theEthics and Politics Without Borders: The Work of Onora O'Neill British Academy, London
  • Seemann, A. (2009). “The Other Person in Joint Attention” Presented at theJoint Attention: Developments in Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Philosophy of Mind, and Bentley University, Waltham, MA
  • Seemann, A. (2009). “Narrative, Causation, and Action Explanation”
  • Seemann, A. (2009). “The Evaluative Dimension of Self-Awareness”
  • Seemann, A. (2008). “Collectivity, Action, and Feelings” Presented at theCollective Intentionality VI Berkeley, CA
  • Seemann, A. (2007). “Action, Intention, and Narrative” Presented at theNarrative Alternatives to Theories of Mind University of Hertfordshire
  • Seemann, A. (2007). “Joint Attention and Group Membership” Presented at thePhilosophy of Management St. Anne's College, Oxford
  • Seemann, A. (2007). “Joint Attention and Action” Presented at theSocial Ontology Seminar Berkeley, CA
  • Seemann, A. (2007). “Joint Attention, Affective Perception, and Trust” Presented at theUnderstanding Other Minds and Moral Agency College of the Holy Cross; Worcester, MA
  • Seemann, A. (2006). “Collective Knowledge and the 'We'-Perspective” Presented at theSeminar on Social Ontology Berkeley, CA
  • Seemann, A. (2006). “Meanings of 'We'” Presented at theWollheim Society Berkeley, CA
  • Seemann, A. (2005). “Brand Names, Sense, and Reference” Presented at thePhilosophy of Management 05 Oxford
  • Service

    Department Service


  • Committee Chair for Lecturer Search Committee 2021 - Present
  • Major Advisor 2021 - Present
  • Committee Member for Sabbatical Committee 2020 - Present
  • Committee Chair for Lecturer Search Committee 2023 - 2024
  • Committee Chair for TT Search Committee 2021 - 2022
  • Assurance of Learning Champion for Bentley University 2016 - 2019
  • LSM Advisor 2014 - 2019
  • Champion! for Assurance of Learning 2017 - 2018
  • Major/Minor Advisor 2016 - 2017
  • Interim Department Chair for Bentley University 2016 - 2016
  • University Service


  • Committee Member for Research Council 2022 - Present
  • Committee Member for PhD Council 2020 - Present
  • Department Chair for Philosophy Department 2020 - Present
  • Committee Member for Sabbatical Committee 2019 - Present
  • Committee Chair for Research Council, Bentley Website Research Portal 2023 - 2024
  • Conference/Workshop Organizer for Valente Humanities Seminar 2022 - 2023
  • PhD Council Committee: Academic Standards 2019 - 2019
  • PhD Council 2018 - 2019
  • Salary&Benefits 2017 - 2019
  • Member for University Senate 2017 - 2019
  • Committee Member for Academic Standards - 2015
  • Task Force Member for Honors Programme 2011 - 2011
  • Advisory Board, Valente Center 2007 - 2011
  • Professional Service


  • Chairperson for Valente Research Seminar 2022 - Present
  • Committee Member for Conference Organisation Committee 2021 - Present
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer for Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2021 - 2021
  • Conference Organisation Committee 2020 - 2021
  • Conference/Workshop Organizer for Conference Organisation 2021 - 2021
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer for Journal of Consciousness Studies 2020 - 2020
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer for Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 2020 - 2020
  • Reviewer, Journal Article for Human Development - 2014
  • Reviewer, Journal Article for Journal of Consciousness Studies - 2014
  • Reviewer, Journal Article for New Ideas in Psychology - 2014
  • Reviewer, Journal Article for Philosophical Psychology - 2014
  • Reviewer, Journal Article for Review of Philosophy and Psychology - 2014