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John Zerilli

Associate Fellow; Research Fellow, June 2019 - April 2021


John Zerilli
Ph.D. (A.N.U.) (2017)
M.A. (Syd.) (2011)
LL.M. (Camb.) (2009)

John Zerilli is a philosopher with particular interests in cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and the law. He is currently a Leverhulme Trust Fellow at the University of Oxford and was previously a Research Fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence.
John was the recipient of a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust scholarship to undertake the Cambridge LL.M. (2008), wrote the highest-ranking thesis of his year at Cambridge (2009), and won the Lucy Firth Prize (valued at $1000) for best publication in philosophy at Sydney University (2010). He has published numerous articles, canvassing law, political economy, philosophy, and cognitive science, and three books, of which the two most recent were released in 2020 and 2021 (The Adaptable Mind, with Oxford University Press; and A Citizen's Guide to Artificial Intelligence, with MIT Press). His published work appears in such journals as Philosophy of Science, Synthese, and Philosophical Psychology.

Selected Publications
• 2021. A citizen’s guide to artificial intelligence (as lead author, with: Danaher, J. et al.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
• 2020. The adaptable mind: What neuroplasticity and neural reuse tell us about language and cognition. New York: Oxford University Press.
• 2020. Explaining machine learning decisions. Philosophy of Science (forthcoming).
• 2020. Algorithmic sentencing: Drawing lessons from Human Factors research. In: Principled sentencing and artificial intelligence, ed. J. Ryberg, J. Roberts & J. de Keijser. New York: Oxford University Press.
• 2020. Artificial intelligence and machine learning: Technical considerations (as lead author, with Weller, A.). In: The law of artificial intelligence, ed. M. Hervey & M. Lavy. London: Thomson Reuters/Sweet & Maxwell.
• 2019. Neural redundancy and its relation to neural reuse. Philosophy of Science 86(5): 1191-1201.
• 2019. Algorithmic decision-making and the control problem (as lead author, with: Knott, A., Maclaurin, J. & Gavaghan, C.). Minds and Machines 29(4):555-578. (
• 2019. Government use of artificial intelligence in New Zealand (with: Gavaghan, C., Knott, A., Maclaurin, J. & Liddicoat, J.). Wellington: New Zealand Law Foundation.
• 2019. The use of algorithms in the New Zealand public sector: A preliminary assessment (with: Liddicoat, J., Gavaghan, C., Knott, A. & Maclaurin, J.). New Zealand Law Journal [2019]: 26-30.
• 2018. Neural reuse and the modularity of mind: Where to next for modularity? Biological Theory 14(1): 1-20.
• 2018. Transparency in algorithmic and human decision-making: Is there a double standard? (as lead author, with: Knott, A., Maclaurin, J. & Gavaghan, C.). Philosophy and Technology 32(4): 661-683. (
• 2017. Multiple realization and the commensurability of taxonomies. Synthese 196(8): 3337-3353.
• 2017. Against the “system” module. Philosophical Psychology 30(3): 235-250.
• 2014. A minimalist framework for comparative psychology. Biology and Philosophy 29(6): 897-904.
• 2013. The Romantic roots of economic rationalism. Arena Journal 41-42: 7-27.
• 2012. The economic imperative. Exeter: Imprint Academic.
• 2008. Accident in the equitable jurisdiction. Journal of Contract Law 24: 112-131.
• 2007. The critical role of theory in practice. Legal Education Review 17: 103-117.
• 2006. Mitigation in a claim for contract damages. Australian Law Journal 80: 799-801.

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