My academic work covers an eclectic mix of interrelated topics and questions. Since 2022 I’ve been doing lab studies using motion capture to analyze how sound is used to control skilled motions. Additionally, I work on the nature of experience (phenomenal consciousness) and how it relates to neural activity in the head. I began by exploring perceptual experience, but in the last few years have expanded to work on memory, dreams, and hallucinations.
- Can ultra low-latency, high-resolution sonification of motion data lead to improved motion control in fast, skilled movements?
- Could what it’s like for you to perceptually experience your environment really be duplicated in a dream, like Descartes thought? I’ve argued maybe not.
- Do dreams involve a feeling of presence, like normal waking perception, or are they more like imagination, which lacks that feeling? I’ve argued that it’s complicated.
- What, exactly, is the feeling of presence (characteristic of normal perception), vs the feeling of pastness (characteristic of memory)? How do these feelings differentiate waking perception, memory, imagination, and dreams?
- What is it that we experience when we hallucinate and dream? I argue that, at least in some cases, we’re experiencing past-perceived objects.
- Is mental time travel real time travel? (yes)
- Does normal sensory perception itself ever involve experience of the past? (I think so.)
- Do you ever experience things not represented by your sensory neural activity? (I argue you do.) Is everything represented in conscious sensory neural activity experienced? (I argue not.)
- How is it that perception makes objects available for thought? Against the dominant tradition, I don’t think it’s by providing information channels which feed mental files.
- Does phenomenal consciousness (i.e., experience) play a role in how perception makes objects available for thought? (Yes, but it’s complicated.)
- 2022. “Reviving the naïve realist approach to memory”, w/ André Sant’Anna, Philosophy and the Mind Sciences
- 2021. “Memory as sensory modality, perception as experience of the past”, Review of Philosophy and Psychology
- 2021. “What blindsight means for the neural correlates of consciousness”, Journal of Consciousness Studies
- 2021. “What makes a mental state feel like a memory: Feelings of pastness and presence”, w/ Melanie Rosen, Estudios de Filosofía
- 2021. “Are there epistemic conditions necessary for demonstrative thought?”, Synthese | preprint
- 2021. “What should the sensorimotor enactivist say about dreams?”, Philosophical Explorations | preprint
- 2021. “Does what we dream feel present? Two varieties of presence and implications for measuring presence in VR”, Synthese | preprint
- 2020. “Some hallucinations are experiences of the past”, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly | preprint
- 2020. “Is mental time travel real time travel?”, w/ Melanie Rosen, Philosophy and the Mind Sciences
- 2019. “The role of experience in demonstrative thought”, Mind & Language | preprint
- 2015. Perceptual Links: Attention, Experience, and Demonstrative Thought, PhD Dissertation
- 2011. “The semantics of indicative mood modal constructions”, MA Thesis
- 2008. “An impromptu visit to Rien-à-Faire: A tribute to Bernard Suits”, w/ M. Andrew Holowchak, Journal of the Philosophy of Sport (Special issue introduction)
I’ve taught philosophy at a wide range of schools, including community colleges, a regional state school, a SLAC, a large public research university, and a small elite university. Here’s a list, organized by the last time I taught the course and where. I never taught it, but for those interested here is a sample syllabus for philosophy of neuroscience.
- Philosophy of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Okanagan (Phil 446, winter 2022) | syllabus
- Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, York University (Cogs/Phil 3750, winter 2021) | syllabus
- Minds, Brains, and Machines, York University (Cogs/Phil 2160, fall 2020)
- The Examined Life, Lebanon Valley College (Phl 110, spring 2018)
- American Philosophy: Pragmatism, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (Phi 280, spring 2017)
- Topics in Moral Theory: Virtue Ethics, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (Phi 235, fall 2016)
- Introduction to Philosophy, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (Phi 030, fall 2017)
- Objectivity in Perception, Rice University (Fwis 129, spring 2015)
- Introduction to Logic, Rice University (Phil 106, summer 2014)
- Introduction to Ethics, Lone Star College (Phil 2306, fall 2011)