Michael Barkasi

philosopher and cyclist


I’m an academic philosopher who works on perception. My research focuses on our perceptual experience of the world (phenomenal consciousness) and how it relates to the neural activity in our heads. I integrate work from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and philosophy to investigate the nature of our experience, how it reveals the world to us, and its relation to sensory neural activity.

I currently live in Toronto, and for the fall 2020 semester I’ll be teaching at York University. I recently finished a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Network for Sensory Research in the Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto. In that position I worked with Mohan Matthen. I completed my Ph.D. in philosophy at Rice University in 2015, working under Casey O’Callaghan. Although I grew up in a small town in southeast Pennsylvania, about an hour northwest of Philadelphia, I think of Houston (where I spent my twenties doing my PhD) as my adopted hometown.

In my spare time I’ve raced at various velodromes around North America. At different times I’ve called Alkek in Houston, T-Town in Pennsylvania, and Mattamy in Ontario my home track. While living in Allentown and racing at T-Town I also spent some time coaching in some of the track’s youth cycling programs and selling bikes at a local bike shop. Nowadays I mostly race around my living room or balcony on a set of rollers.

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