My philosophical research is focused on the nature of consciousness and its relation to affect. Affect is constantly conditioning our interactions with the world. By recognizing the pervasive influence of affect on our experience, we can make headway on understanding the nature of consciousness by integrating the insights of affective neuroscience into our conceptual frameworks for understanding consciousness. My research is both cross-cultural and interdisciplinary. From the cross-cultural perspective my focus has been on the early Indian Buddhist philosophy of the Pāli Tipiṭaka and its commentaries. The Tipiṭakais the canon of texts of the Therāvada Buddhist tradition of South Asia. Empirically, I have been working in the domains of affective neuroscience and the psychology of attention.


Smith, S.M. (2020) “A Pāli Buddhist Philosophy of Sentience: Reflections on Bhavaṅga Citta” in Sophia, online first edition.

Smith, S.M. (2020) “Paying Attention to Buddhagosa and Pāli Buddhist Philosophy” in Philosophy East and West Vol. 69, No. 4: 1125-51.

Smith, S.M. (2019) “Phenomenal Overflow, Bodily Affect, and Some Varieties of Access” in Review of Philosophy and Psychology, Vol. 10, No. 4: 787-808.

Smith, S.M. (2019) “A Buddhist Analysis of Affective Bias” in Journal of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 47, No. 1: 15-85.

Smith, S.M. and Thompson, E. (2015) “Searching for Affect: From William James to Neurophenomenology” in Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, Vol. 2, No. 1: 19-23. Commentary on Miskovic et al. (2015)

In progress and under review:

Pain as the Scaffolding of the Lifeworld
The Affectively Embodied Perspective of the Subject
The Subjective Character of Experience from an Embodied Point of View
The Epistemic Role of Consciousness from a Practical Point of View
Content and Perspective in the Making of Consciousness