Prof. Dean Zimmerman

Dean Zimmerman grew up in Mankato, Minnesota, where he remained for his undergraduate years at Mankato State University (now Minnesota State University), majoring in Philosophy, English, and French. At Brown University, he received a masters and Ph.D. in philosophy. Zimmerman has taught at the University of Notre Dame, Syracuse University, and Rutgers University, where he is now an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies.

Zimmerman is founding editor of Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, and has co-edited several other volumes: The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), Metaphysics: The Big Questions (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 1998; 2nd ed., 2007), Persons: Human and Divine (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2007), and Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2007). He is the organizer of a workshop called “Metaphysical Mayhem”, which now meets biennially; this summer, the Mayhem will convene for the tenth time. His publications include over thirty articles in scholarly journals and books, as well as encyclopedia entries, introductions, and book reviews for journals and literary supplements. He gave the 2004 Dasturzada Dr.Jal Pavry Memorial Lectures in Oxford University, and a Jowett lecture at Oxford in 2006.

Zimmerman's current research includes an exploration of the metaphysics of human persons, emphasizing the difficulties confronting the more flatfootedly materialistic accounts of our nature; and the defence of an "A-theory" of time (according to which there is a "privileged present"), with special attention to God's relationship to the temporal order.

Selected Publications

  • “Two Cartesian Arguments for the Simplicity of the Soul”, American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 3 (July, 1991), pp. 217-226. [Reprinted in Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings, edited by David Robb and Timothy O’Connor (New York: Routledge, 2003), pp. 15-29].

  • “Theories of Masses and Problems of Constitution”, The Philosophical Review, Vol. 104, No. 1 (January, 1995), pp. 53-110.

  • “Theology and Tense” (with Roderick M. Chisholm), Noûs, Vol. 31, No. 2 (June, 1997), pp. 262-265.

  • “The Compatibility of Materialism and Survival: The ‘Jumping Elevator’ Model”, Faith and Philosophy, Vol. 16, No. 2 (April, 1999), pp. 194-212.

  • “God Inside Time and Before Creation”, in God and Time, ed. by Greg Ganssle and David Woodruff (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 75-94 [Posted, with corrections, at:].

  • “Material People”, in Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics, edited by Michael J. Loux and Dean W. Zimmerman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 491-526.

  • “Should a Christian Be a Mind-Body Dualist?”, in Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion, ed. by Michael Peterson and Ray Van Arragon (Malden, Mass.: Basil Blackwell, 2004), pp. 315-27.

  • “The A-theory of Time, the B-theory of Time, and ‘Taking Tense Seriously’”, Dialectica, Vol. 59, No. 4 (2005), pp. 401-57.

  • “Dispatches from the Zombie Wars” (review of Gregg Rosenberg, A Place for Consciousness; and Daniel Dennett, Sweet Dreams), The Times Literary Supplement, No.5378 (April 28, 2006), pp. 8-9.