Brian Cantwell Smith

Brian received his B.S. (1974), M.S. (1978) and Ph.D. (1982) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After receiving his doctorate, he held senior research and administrative positions at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre in California, and was an adjunct associate professor in the Philosophy and Computer Science departments at Stanford University. He was a founder and principal investigator of the Stanford-based Centre for the Study of Language and Information, and was a founder and first President of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility.

In 1996 Brian moved to the Indiana University at Bloomington, where he was professor of cognitive science, computer science, philosophy, and informatics, and a fellow of the Center for Social Informatics in the School of Library and Information Sciences. He then moved to Duke University, as the Kimberly J. Jenkins University Professor of Philosophy and New Technologies, and professor of Philosophy and Computer Science.

Brian is the author of more than 35 articles and of On the Origin of Objects (MIT, 1996). His research focuses on the conceptual foundations of computation and information (to be reported in a 7-volume series, entitled The Age of Significance: An Essay on the Origins of Computation and Intentionality, accepted for publication by MIT Press) and on new forms of metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology. A two-volume series of edited papers, entitled Indiscrete Affairs, will be published by Harvard University Press in 2013.

As well as being Professor at the Faculty of Information Studies, Brian is cross-appointed as Professor in the departments of Philosophy and Computer Science and in the Program in Communication, Culture and Technology at University of Toronto at Mississauga. He is also a senior fellow at Massey College, and a fellow of University College.


Faculty of Information
University of Toronto
Professor of Computer Science
Professor of Philosophy


140 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G6, Canada
+1 416.978.3202 (voice)
Pages last produced August 22, 2012.