McMicken College of Arts & SciencesMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Philosophy

Department of Philosophy


< Back to list

Valerie G Hardcastle

Title: Professor of Philosophy, Psychology, and Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience | Scholar-in-Residence, Weaver Institute of Law and Psychiatry | Director, Medicine, Health, and Society Program | Executive Director, UC LEAF | Affiliated Faculty - Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies |
Office: 201-A McMicken Hall
Tel: 513-556-6334

An internationally recognized scholar, Valerie is the author of five books and over 130 essays. She studies the nature and structure of interdisciplinary theories in the cognitive sciences and has focused primarily on developing a philosophical framework for understanding conscious phenomena responsive to neuroscientific, psychiatric, and psychological data.  Currently, she is investigating the neuroscience of violence and its implications for both our understanding of human nature and the criminal justice system.  She is also trying to figure out whether notions of embodied cognition help or hinder theorizing about consciousness.

She received a bachelor’s degree with a double major in philosophy and political science from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Houston, and an interdisciplinary PhD in cognitive science and philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.  

Research Information

Research Interests

Areas of Specialization: philosophy of neuroscience/biology, philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of psychology, and philosophical implications of psychiatry

Areas of Research Interest: Bioethics/neuroethics, behavioral neuroscience, neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, philosophy of mind 

Areas of Teaching Competence: metaphysics, science studies, feminist philosophy of science

Research Support

  • (Co-PI), Hardcastle, Valerie; Holloway, Stacie; Ghia, Urmila; Kallen, Rachel; Ono, Santa, Leadership, Empowerment, and Advancement for STEM Women Faculty (LEAF) at UC, National Science Foundation. (HRD-1209169), $3.7MM. 09/15/2012 to 08/31/2017. Status: Active.
  • (Fellow), Program in Medical Humanities, University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston. 2015. Status: Active.
  • (Fellow), Philosophy and Psychiatry-Center for Mind, Brain and Cognitive Evolution, Ruhr-University Bochum . 2015. Status: Active.
  • (PI), New Directions in the Study of Mind Fellowship, Templeton Foundation and the University of Cambridge. $52,000. 2016. Status: Active.
  • (PI), Neuroscience in the Courtroom: A Gendered Analysis, Research Division, University of Cincinnati. $8000. 2017. Status: Active.
  • (PI), Hardcastle, Valerie, Extended Cognition and the Value of Neuroscience, John Templeton Foundation. (RG 73416 9637), $.00. 01/01/2016 to 08/01/2017. Status: Awarded.


Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Hardcastle, V.G. (2014) “Looking Back, Looking Forward, and a Challenge,” Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3-4, pp. 7-23.
  • Hardcastle, V.G. (2013) “It Isn’t as Simple as It Seems: Understanding and Treating Psychopathy,” American Journal of Bioethics-Neuroscience
  • Hardcastle, V.G. (2013)  “Neuroethics and the Neuroscience of Violence,” Western Humanities Review, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 26-42
  • Hardcastle, V.G. (2014) “Pleasure Gone Awry:? A New Approach to Understanding Chronic Pain and Addiction,” Review of Philosophy and Psychology. Vol 5, No. 1, pp. 71-85.  DOI: 10.1007/s13164-013-0170-3.
  • Hardcastle, V.G.  (forthcoming) “Would a Neuroscience of Violence Aid in Understanding Moral or Legal Responsibility?” Cognitive Systems Research.
  • Hardcastle, V.G., and Hardcastle, K. (2015) “A New Appreciation of Marr’s Levels:  Understanding How Brains Break,” Topics in Cognitive Science, , Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 259-273.
  • Hardcastle, V.G. (2013) “It Isn’t as Simple as It Seems: Understanding and Treating Psychopathy,” American Journal of Bioethics-Neuroscience, Vol. 4 No. 2:  12-14.
  • Hardcastle, V.G., and Stewart, R.W. (2013)  “Medical Decision-Making Capacity: High Stakes, Complex, and Fluid.”  Journal of Bioethics-Neuroscience, Vol. 4, No. 2: 21-22.
  • Hardcastle, V.G. (2014)  “There Is a Little Bit of Crazy in All of Us: A Commentary on Adam Lankford’s The Myth of Martyrdom,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
  • Hardcastle, V.G. (2014) “Looking Back, Looking Forward, and a Challenge: The Twentieth Anniversary of the Journal of Consciousness Studies,” Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3-4, pp. 7-23.
  • Stewart, R.W., Hardcastle, V.G., and Zelinsky, A.  (2014) “Health Disparities, Social Determinants of Health, and Health Insurance” World Medical and Health Policy. Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 482-492.
  • Hardcastle, V.G., and Hardcastle, C. (2015) “Addiction, Freedom, and Responsibility,” American Journal of Bioethics-Neuroscience, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 19-21.
  • Hardcastle, C., White, E., Kloos, H., and Hardcastle, V.G. (forthcoming), “Heavy Objects and Small Children: Developmental Data in Support of Passive Frame Theory,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Book Chapter

  • Hardcastle, V.G. (forthcoming) “’The Horrid Doubt’: Naturalism and Evolutionary Biology,” in K.L. Clark (Ed.) Blackwell Companion to Naturalism. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Hardcastle, V.G. (forthcoming) “Pain Processing and the Challenges of Treating Disorders of Consciousness,” D. Bain and M. Brady (Eds.)
  • Hardcastle, V.G. (in press, 2016) “Minimally Conscious States and Pain: A Different Approach to Patient Ethics,” in W. Sinnott-Armstrong (Ed.) Finding Consciousness: The Neuroscience, Ethics, and Law of Severe
    Brain Damage. New York:  Oxford University Press, pp. 207-225.
  • Hardcastle, V.G. (2015) “Seeing the Forest: The Social Determinants of Mental Health,” G. Gala and D. Moseley (Eds.) Philosophy and Psychiatry: Problems, Intersections and New Perspectives.  New York: Routledge, pp. 265-271.
  • Hardcastle, V.G. (2015) “Thinking about the Brain: What is the Meaning of Neuroscience Knowledge and Technologies for Capital Mitigation?,” E.C. Monahan and J.J. Clark (Eds.) Mitigation in Capital Cases: Understanding and Communicating the Life-Story.  American Bar Association.
  • Hardcastle, V.G. (in press) “Diversion Courts, Traumatic Brain Injury, and American Vets.” N. Vincent (Ed).  Neuro-Interventions and the Law: Regulating Human Mental Capacity.  New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Hardcastle, V.G.  (forthcoming) “Pain and Suffering,” in M. Solomon and H. Kinkaid  (Eds.) Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Medicine.  New York: Routledge.
  • Hardcastle, V.G.  (forthcoming) “Modeling Pain in Philosophy,” J. Corns (Ed.) Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain. New York: Routledge


  • Ono, S. J., and Hardcastle, V.G. (2014) “Networks and the STEM Gender Gap,” Inside Higher Education, 14 April 2014.
  • Novelli, L., and Hardcastle, V.G. (2014) “Changing the Gender Equation in STEM Fields,” Cincinnati Business Courier, 20 June 2014.
  • Hardcastle, V.G.  (2014) “UC Professor Says It&39;s Time for Courts to Recognize and Respond to Brain Injured Warriors,” WCPO Cincinnati.
  • Hardcastle, V.G. (2015) “Facts, Not Fear, Must Guide UC Policing,” Cincinnati Enquirer. 16 September 2015.

In Press

  • Hardcastle, V.G., and Hardcastle, C.  (forthcoming) “Addiction, Chronic Illness, and Responsibility,” Ideas y Valores.


  • Critical Review.The Neuroscience of Freedom and Creativity:  Our Predictive Brain. Joaquin M. Fuster (2013) Journal of Mind and Behavior (in press).