Keith Allen
Senior Lecturer



After studying in Cambridge and University College London, I started at York in 2007. One main focus of my current research is the philosophy of colour. In a Naïve Realist Theory of Colour (Oxford University Press, 2016) I defend a naïve realist (or ‘primitivist’) theory of colour, according to which colours are mind-independent properties of objects that are distinct from those described by science. My work on colour is part of a wider interest in the philosophy of perception. I also work on related questions in the history of philosophy, including theories of ideas in the early modern period and the work of the phenomenologist Merleau-Ponty. I mostly teach philosophy of mind and history of philosophy, and I am currently Deputy Director of the Humanities Research Centre.

University roles

  • Deputy Director of the Humanities Research Centre
  • Research Champion for Culture and Communication (2018-19)



I work primarily on the philosophy of perception (especially colour), early modern philosophy, phenomenology, and the philosophy of philosophy. I welcome enquiries from potential research students wanting to work in these areas.


I am currently working on the relationship between naïve realist theories of perception and science, with a particular interest in a position that I call transcendental naïve realism.


Other teaching

I mostly teach courses relating to philosophy of mind and the history of philosophy.

External activities


  • Member of SPIN (Sense Perception in the North), a network of philosophers of perception at York, Leeds, and Durham.
  • Co-Director (with Robert Stern) of CHi-Phi (Centre for the History of Philosophy).
Keith Allen (c) Ian Martindale (

Contact details

Dr Keith Allen
Senior Lecturer

Tel: 01904 323255