Photo of Mark Rollins

Mark Rollins

Dean of University College
Professor of Philosophy and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology
PhD, Columbia University
research interests:
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Aesthetics

contact info:

  • Email:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
  • Campus Box 1073
  • One Brookings Drive
  • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
image of book cover

Mark Rollins provides strategic leadership, vision, management, and planning for University College, the continuing education division of Washington University. As dean of University College, Rollins also oversees the Lifelong Learning Institute and the Summer School.

As a professor of philosophy, Rollins has published on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and aesthetics. He is the author of Mental Imagery: On the Limits of Cognitive Science, and his current research is on perception. 

During his nearly three decades at Washington University, Rollins has served on or chaired virtually every major academic committee and held numerous administrative roles, including as a faculty fellow in the Office of the Provost.

Selected Publications

  • The Strategic Eye: Perception and Pictorial Art (in process)
  • Arthur Danto and His Critics ed. M. Rollins, Basil Blackwell, 1993
  • Mental Imagery: On the Limits of Cognitive Science. Yale University Press, 1989 Paperbound edition, January 1992.
  • Begetting Images: Studies in the Art and Science of Symbol Production. eds. M. Rollins and M. Campbell, Peter Lang 1989


Fellow, Center for the Humanities, Oregon State University, spring and summer 1990

Institute on Cognitive Neuroscience, Dartmouth College, summer 1990

Institute for Theory of Knowledge, Council for Philosophical Studies and NEH, Boulder, Colorado, summer 1986

Principal director, James S McDonnell Foundation Grant ($17,000) in support of a conference, “Representation, Realism, and Research,” Heyman Center for Humanities, Columbia University, New York, 1988

Washington University Faculty Summer Research Grants (approximately $5000 each) 1988, 1989,1990, 1992 (partial)

William T. Kemper Foundation Faculty Award (approximately $5000 each) 1995, 2001

David K Siff Award in Philosophy of Science, Columbia University, 1978 First Prize, John Dewey Foundation National Essay Project ($1000) 1979

From our podcast:

Hold That Thought Podcast
Danto and His Critics

Danto and His Critics

Updated and revised, the Second Edition of Danto and His Critics presents a series of essays by leading Danto scholars who offer their critical assessment of the influential works and ideas of Arthur C. Danto, the Johnsonian Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at Columbia University and long-time art critic for The Nation. This text reflects Danto's revisions in his theory of art, reworking his views in ways that have not been systematically addressed elsewhere, features essays that critically assess the changes in Danto's thoughts and locate Danto's revised theory in the larger context of his work and of aesthetics generally, and speaks in original ways to the relation of Danto's philosophy of art to his theory of mind. Rollins connects and integrates Danto's ideas on the nature of knowledge, action, aesthetics, history, and mind, as well as his provocative thoughts on the philosophy of art for the reader.

Mental Imagery: On the Limits of Cognitive Science

Mental Imagery: On the Limits of Cognitive Science

A philosophical study of mental imagery in which Rollins aims to show that there are no logical or methodological reasons why the brain cannot store information in the form of pictures. He proposes a theory of how images function as representations.