Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here People > Emeritus Fellows and Retired Staff

Professor William Lyons

Personal Information
College Photo Name William Lyons
College Address Philosophy,
5th Floor
Arts Building
Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland
Main Department Philosophy
College Title Fellow Emeritus
William Lyons was formerly head of the Department of Philosophy (1985-1995) and Professor of Moral Philosophy (1985-2004) in the School of Mental and Moral Science, Trinity College Dublin. He is now an Emeritus Fellow of Trinity College Dublin and a Member of the Royal Irish Academy.
Selected Publications

Gilbert Ryle (Harvester-Humanities, 1980)

Emotion ( Cambridge University Press, 1980)

The Disappearance of Introspection (MIT, Bradford Books1986)

Approaches to Intentionality (Oxford University Press, Clarendon, 1995)

Matters of the Mind (Edinburgh University Press, 2001)

Socrates and His Clouds (Oberon Books - Modern Plays, 2013)

Wittgenstein - The Crooked Roads (Methuen Drama - Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015)

(As editor) Modern Philosophy of Mind (Everyman, 1995)

Articles (most recent)

‘Researching “The Mind” ’, Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia, vol. IX, no. 3, December 2018, 194-207)

“Gilbert Ryle”, (updated entry), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online, edit. Tim Crane, forthcoming April 2017.

“Philosophy of Mind In Our Time”, in Modern Believing, Vol.57, Issue 2, 2016.

'Gilbert Ryle and Logical Behaviourism' in Philosophy of Mind: The Key Thinkers, edit. Andrew Bailey, Continuum, 2013

'Showing, Not Saying - Filming a Philosophical Genius' in Wittgenstein at the Movies, ed. Béla Szabados and Christina Stojanova, Maryland, Lexington Books - Rowman and Littlefield, 2011

'The Great Apostasy? William James' 1904 Denial of the Existence of Consciousness', Journal of Consciousness Studies, vol. 17, nos. 9-10, 2010, pp. 117-140

'Emotion' in Philosophie der gefüle, ed. Sabine A. Döring, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main, 2009, Teil 1 'Emotionen und ihre Objekte', 83-109; (reprinted from Emotion, Cambridge University Press, 1980).

'Emotion Theories and Concepts (Philosophical Perspectives)', in the Oxford Companion to Emotion and the Affective Sciences, ed. David Sander and Klaus R. Scherer, Oxford University Press, 2009, 144-145.

'Conscience: An essay in moral psychology', Philosophy Vol. 84, no. 4, 2009, 477-494.

'Nothing but the Brain', in David Ohreen (ed.) Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge, God, Mind and Morality, Toronto, Nelson, 2009; (reprinted from William Lyons Matters of the Mind, Edinburgh University Press, 2001).

(With D. Berman) 'The First Modern Battle for Consciousness: J.B. Watson's Rejection of Mental Images', Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 14, no. 11, 2007, pp. 2-26.


Professor Lyons also has an interest in 'Theatre of Thought' drama. His play about Wittgenstein, 'The Crooked Roads of Genius' won the START Chapbooks play competition in 2005 and his play about Heidegger and Arendt, 'The Fir Tree and the Ivy', won the Eamon Keane Full Length Play award in 2006 (now translated into Italian as 'L'Edera e L'Abete'). He also has written an Aristophanic play about Socrates, entitled 'Socrates and His Clouds' (previously 'Nimbus Clouds').

The Premiere and subsequent performances of 'Wittgenstein - The Crooked Roads of Genius', directed by Nicholas Blackburn took place at the Riverside Studios, London, 18th April - 8th May 2011.

The Premiere and subsequent performances of 'Socrates and his Clouds', produced by the Meddlers Theatre Company and directed by Melina Theocharidou, took place at the Jermyn Street Theatre in central London, from 4th - 22nd June 2013.

L'Edera e l'Abete, the Italian translation of William Lyons' play, 'The Fir Tree and the Ivy', about Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger, has just won the Premio Colline di Torino (Testo Teatrale) for 2015. The translation is by Dr Alessio Frenda a recent graduate in Linguistics at TCD.

Aided by a grant from The Raymond Williams Foundation in England in 2015, there is now a German translation of The Fir Tree and the Ivy, entitled "Die Tanne und das Efeu", made by Dr Manfred Welteke, a graduate in philosophy at TCD.