Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Director of Graduate Studies, Colloquia (Brown Bag) Coordinator
Spring 2021 Office Hours: Tues. 3 - 4 p.m., Fri. 11 - 12 p.m.
My main interest is in better understanding the mind. Questions about the mind can be metaphysical - What is the relationship between the mind and the body? Do mental events cause physical events? - evolutionary - How did the mind evolve? What is the evolutionary history of the mind? What is the function of the mind? - based in studies of nonhuman animals - Do nonhuman animals have minds? What counts as evidence for the presence of a mind? I'm interested in all of these approaches. To best understand the mind, we need to triangulate, rather than adhere to only one approach.
I am currently trying to finish a book about the project of naturalizing mental content. The first part of the book examines what is probably the most popular option - teleosemantics - a theory which enlists natural selection as a determinant of the content of mental states. I argue that teleosemantics fails for several philosophically interesting reasons. In the second part of the book, I present my own attempt to solve the problem.