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

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences

Faculty & Staff Profile

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.  She has recently returned from an extended stint in higher education administration, from which she is still recovering.

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. Date: 09/15/2012 to 08/31/2017. Status: Active.

(Fellow) Program in Medical Humanities, University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston. Date: 2015 Status: Active.

(Fellow) Philosophy and Psychiatry-Center for Mind, Brain and Cognitive Evolution, Ruhr-University Bochum . Date: 2015 Status: Active.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Stewart, R.W., Hardcastle, V.G., and Zelinsky, A.  (forthcoming) “Social Determinants of Health and the Affordable Care Act.” World Medical and Health Law.

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. (forthcoming, 2014) “A New Appreciation of Marr’s Levels:  Understanding How Brains Break,” Topics in Cognitive Science.

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) “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.

Book Chapters

Hardcastle, V.G. (forthcoming) “Pain Processing and the Challenges of Treating Disorders of Consciousness,” D. Bain and M. Brady (Eds.)

Hardcastle, V.G. (forthcoming) “The Ethics of Treating Pain in Patients with Disorders of Consciousness,” in W. Sinnott-Armstrong (Ed.)  New York:  Oxford University Press.


Ono, S. J., and Hardcastle, V.G. (2014) “Networks and the STEM Gender Gap,” Inside Higher Education, 14 April 2014.

Hardcastle, V.G. (2013) “Editor’s Pick: The Journal of Consciousness Studies,” The Philosopher’s Magazine, Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 109-111.

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.

In Press

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.  “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.

Honors & Awards

Senior Fellow, 2015.

Senior Fellow, 2015.