Photo of Ron Mallon

Ron Mallon

Chair and Professor of Philosophy and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology
Director of Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program
PhD, Rutgers University
research interests:
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Cognitive Science
  • Experimental Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science and Social Science
  • Social and Political Theory
  • Ethics

contact info:

mailing address:

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

Professor Mallon's current research interests include social constructionist claims and the role that culturally transmitted moral rules play in moral reasoning.​

Selected Publications

  • Mallon, R. (2016).  The Construction of Human Kinds. Oxford University Press.
  • Mallon, R. (2016.) “Experimental Philosophy.” Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology, ed. Herman Cappelen, John Hawthorne, and Tamar Szabó Gendler.
  • Mallon R. “Stereotype Threat and Persons” (2016) Implicit Biases.  Ed. Michael Brownstein and Jenny Saul.  Oxford University Press.
  • Mallon, R. (2015.) “Social Construction and Achieving Reference.” Noûs.
  • Nichols, S., Á. Pinillos, and R. Mallon.  (Forthcoming.)  “Referential Ambiguity.”  Mind.
  • Mallon, R.  (2015.) "Performed Categories, Self Explanation and Agency.”  Philosophical Studies.
  • Mallon, R.  (2013.) “Was Race Thinking Invented in the Modern West?”  Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (Part A) Volume 44, Issue 1, March 2013, pp. 77–88.
  • Mallon, R. and J. Doris (2013). The Science of Ethics. Blackwell Companion to Ethics. H. LaFollette and I. Persson. Oxford, Blackwell.
The Construction of Human Kinds

The Construction of Human Kinds

Ron Mallon explores how thinking and talking about kinds of person can bring those kinds into being. Social constructionist explanations of human kinds like race, gender, and homosexuality are commonplace in the social sciences and humanities, but what do they mean and what are their implications? 

Mallon understands socially constructed kinds as the real, sometimes stable products of our cognitive and representational practices, and he suggests that reference to such kinds can figure in our everyday and scientific practices of representing the social world. The result is a realistic, naturalistic account of how human representations might contribute to making up the parts of the social world that they represent.

Philosophy: Traditional and Experimental Readings

Philosophy: Traditional and Experimental Readings

Recently, the fields of empirical and experimental philosophy have generated tremendous excitement, due to unexpected results that have challenged philosophical dogma. Responding to this trend, Philosophy: Traditional and Experimental Readings is the first introductory philosophy reader to integrate cutting-edge work in empirical and experimental philosophy with traditional philosophy.

Featuring coverage that is equal parts historical, contemporary, and empirical/experimental, this topically organized reader provides students with a unique introduction to both the core and the vanguard of philosophy. The text is enhanced by pedagogical tools including commentary on each reading and chapter, study questions, suggested further readings, and a glossary.