Professor Diane Proudfoot

Honorary Associate Professor

School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences


I am Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. I was educated at the University of Edinburgh, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, the University of California at Berkeley (as a Fulbright-Hays Scholar), and the University of Cambridge (as an Andrew Carnegie Scholar). I have held various visiting scholarships/fellowships/professorships, including at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Georgetown University, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. In 2000 Jack Copeland and I founded the online Turing Archive for the History of Computing, which has received the Encyclopedia Britannica Internet Guide Award for Excellence and the Scientific American Sci/Tech Award. We received a Marsden Grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand for research into the philosophical foundations of cognitive and computer science.

Research Interests

  • philosophy and history of Artificial Intelligence, Turing, Wittgenstein, philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of language, and the philosophy and psychology of religion
    My current research is in the philosophy and history of Artificial Intelligence, Turing, Wittgenstein, philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of language, and the philosophy and psychology of religion. I am co-director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing (, the largest web collection of digital facsimiles of original documents by Turing and other pioneers of computing. Most recently I have been working on Turing and the philosophy of Artificial Intelligence.


View all Publications


Book Chapter

  • Proudfoot, Diane and Copeland, Jack (2019). Turing and the first electronic brains: What the papers said. The Routledge Handbook of the Computational Mind. (pp. 23-37) edited by Mark Sprevak and Matteo Colombo. Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Proudfoot, Diane (2013). Can a robot smile? Wittgenstein on facial expression. A Wittgensteinian Perspective on the Use of Conceptual Analysis in Psychology. (pp. 172-194) edited by Timothy P. Racine and Kathleen L. Slaney. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9781137384287

  • Proudfoot, Diane and Copeland, B. Jack (2012). Artificial intelligence. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science. (pp. 147-182) edited by Eric Margolis, Richard Samuels and Stephen P. Stich. New York: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195309799.013.0007

  • Proudfoot, Diane (2012). Software immortals: science or faith?. Singularity Hypotheses: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment. (pp. 367-389) edited by Amnon H. Eden, James H. Moor, Johnny H. Søraker and Eric Steinhart. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-32560-1_18

  • Copeland, B. Jack and Proudfoot, Diane (2012). Turing and the Computer. Alan Turing's Electronic Brain: The Struggle to Build the ACE, the World's Fastest Computer. (pp. 107-148) edited by B. Jack Copeland.. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Copeland, Jack and Proudfoot, Diane (2009). Turing's test: a philosophical and historical guide. Parsing the Turing Test: Philosophical and Methodological Issues in the Quest for the Thinking Computer. (pp. 119-138) edited by Robert Epstein, Gary Roberts and Grace Beber. Berlin, Germany: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-6710-5_9

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Złotowski, Jakub, Proudfoot, Diane and Bartneck, Christoph (2013). More human than human: does the uncanny curve really matter?. HRI2013 Workshop on Design of Humanlikeness in HRI from uncanny valley to minimal design (in conjunction with 8th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, HRI2013), Tokyo, Japan, 3 March, 2013. Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan: Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories.