About

I am a Lecturer in Philosophy at Open University.

From 2015-2017, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Cambridge, as part of the project New Directions in the Study of Mind (funded by the John Templeton Foundation, and led by Prof. Tim Crane).

Prior to this, I was a Lecturer at Lehigh University, and before that at University of Otago. My Ph.D, obtained in 2012, is from University of Sydney.

 

Current Research

My research, broadly speaking, lies at the intersection of Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science. I am interested in how Philosophy can develop, as well as draw on, ideas in Cognitive Science. At present, I have two separate, though related, research projects. One is in Philosophy of Perception, and the other in Philosophy of Emotion. In both instances, I am interested in what new ways of understanding the cognitive architecture of the mind might tell us about our preconceived notions in these sub-fields. E.g. contra orthodoxy, are perceptual experiences “cognitively penetrated” by higher-level cognitive states, like beliefs?’ Similarly, are “irrational” emotions ones that are cognitively impenetrable? As part of my research, I explore the significance of these questions, as well as answers to them. I am especially interested in the ways they might inform clinical practice in Psychology and Psychiatry.

 

Past Research

I cut my philosophical teeth in Australia, both at University of Sydney and Australian National University, where I worked on issues in Metaphysics and Philosophy of Language, as well as Philosophy of Mind. My doctoral dissertation, completed whilst visiting New York University, was on the “hard” problem of consciousness: the problem of explaining how and why physical processing gives rise to experiences with a phenomenal character. During this time, my interests lay in the philosophical methodology employed to investigate the mind, e.g. the Canberra Plan and Two-Dimensional Semantics, as well as the topic of phenomenal consciousness itself. My early articles defend a physicalist conception of the mind, and critique the conceptual and linguistic frameworks employed to argue against physicalism.