Short CV/Education and training

  • Joëlle Proust was recruited in 1976 as a researcher at French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in the domain of the history and philosophy of logic. Her comparative history of logical truth won her the CNRS bronze medal (Questions of Form, Minnesota Press, 1989). From 1990 on, Proust expanded her area of philosophical interest from logic to mind. She addressed the question of how to naturalize representational capacity. She then studied action awareness, its impairments in schizophrenia, and the structure of mental agency, a question often viewed with suspicion in cognitive science and in the naturalistic philosophy of mind. Using a control view of action, she analyses metacognition as a crucial functional ingredient in mental action (e.g. controlled remembering, perceiving, reasoning), whose functional equivalent for bodily action is motor control through anticipatory sensory feedback. She assembled an interdisciplinary, 7-team ESF- EUROCORE project (2006-9), aimed at exploring the phylogeny and ontogeny of metacognition, and its relations with consciousness. In 2010, Proust was awarded an advanced grant by the European Research Council in order to study the sensitivity of Western and Eastern children and adults to different epistemic norms such as intelligibility, truth, coherence, relevance and consensus, as displayed in their metacognitive evaluations. Proust was a co-founder of several scientific societies, such as SOPHA (the Society for Analytic Philosophy in the French language), HOPOS (The International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science), ESAP (the European Society for Analytic Philosophy), and ESPP (the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology).

Selected publications

  • Books

  • Philosophy of Metacognition: mental agency and self-awareness, Oxford: Oxford University Press, in preparation.

  • Beran M., Brandl, J., Perner, J. & Proust, J. (Eds.), The Foundation of Metacognition Oxford: Oxford University Press. In press.

Journal articles

  • Thinking of oneself as the same, Consciousness and Cognition, 2003, 12, 4, 495-509.

  • Metacognition and metarepresentation : is a self-directed theory of mind a precondition for metacognition ? Synthese, 2007, 2, 271-295.

  • Epistemic agency and metacognition: an externalist view, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society. 2008. vol. CVIII, 3, 241-268.

  • Metacognition. 2010. Philosophy Compass. 5, 11: 989-998.


  • Agency in schizophrenia from a control theory viewpoint, in W. Prinz & N. Sebanz (Eds.), Disorders of volition, Cambridge, MIT Press, 2006, 87-118.

  • Rationality and metacognition in non-human animals, in S. Hurley & M. Nudds (Eds.), Rational Animals?, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006, 247-274. What is a mental function?, in : A. Brenner & J. Gayon (Eds.), French Philosophy of Science, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Springer, 2007.

  • Is there a sense of agency for thought ? in L. O?Brien & M. Soteriou, (Eds.), Mental Actions, Oxford, Oxford University Press. 253-279.

  • Metacognition in conversation, in I. Wachmuth & G. Knoblich, (dirs.), Embodied communication, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2008, 329-356.

  • The representational basis of brute metacognition: a proposal. In: R. Lurz, (Ed.), Philosophy of Animal Minds: New Essays on Animal Thought and Consciousness, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009, 165-183.

  • Mental acts as natural kinds, in: T. Vierkant, A. Clark, J. Kieverstein (Eds.) Decomposing the Will. Oxford: Oxford University Press. In press.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Institut Universitaire de France (jury), since 2012

  • Scientific council of the exhibit about the brain, Musée de la Villette, Paris (member), 2012 – 2014

  • Advisory Board of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology

  • Scientific board of the ASSC conference June 2012 University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Additional interests

  • Development of videogames aimed at enhancing metacognitive abilities in children and young adults


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