David Papineau was born in in Como, Italy, and went to schools in Trinidad, Lancashire and London, before spending his teenage years in Durban, South Africa. In 1968 he returned to England to study philosophy as an undergraduate at Cambridge, and completed a PhD there in 1974. He has held academic posts at Reading University, Macquarie University Sydney, Birkbeck College London, and Cambridge University. Since 1990 he has been Professor of Philosophy at King’s College London, and from 2015 he has been spending the second half of each academic year at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
His books include Reality and Representation (1987), Philosophical Naturalism (1993), Thinking about Consciousness (2002) and Philosophical Devices (2012). He was elected President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science for 1993-5, of the Mind Association for 2009-10, and of the Aristotelian Society for 2013-4. He is a frequent contributor to the the popular press and other media in both England and America, covering a wide range of topics, including the philosophical dimensions of sport.