Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Psychology, Philosophy of Neuroscience
Philosophy of Animal Minds, Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Perception, Philosophy of Science, Logic & Computation
Before joining Rice, I was a postdoc in Hong Yu Wong’s Philosophy of Neuroscience Group at the University of Tübingen. I did my PhD in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University, where I also received a Graduate Certificate from the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science. Deeper in the mists of time, I received BA Hons and BSc degrees from the University of Auckland in my home country of New Zealand.
My research interests cluster at the intersection of the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of the cognitive and biological sciences, and are motivated by the fundamental philosophical question: Why did the chicken cross the road? That is, I’m interested in questions about the origins, nature, and mechanisms of phylogenetically basic forms of intentional agency. What distinguishes genuine agents from merely ‘reactive’ systems? What are the conditions for something to be capable of acting for a reason? How can we best articulate the distinction between the intentional states of an agent and the information-processing states of its parts? Philosophy affords a synoptic perspective that allows me to weave together the best available evidence from psychology and neuroscience to address these and related questions.