•  271
    Analog and digital, continuous and discrete
    Philosophical Studies 155 (1): 117-131. 2011.
    Representation is central to contemporary theorizing about the mind/brain. But the nature of representation--both in the mind/brain and more generally--is a source of ongoing controversy. One way of categorizing representational types is to distinguish between the analog and the digital: the received view is that analog representations vary smoothly, while digital representations vary in a step-wise manner. I argue that this characterization is inadequate to account for the ways in which represe…Read more
  •  244
    Get the Latest Upgrade: Functionalism 6.3.1
    Philosophia Scientae 17 (2): 135-149. 2013.
    Functionalism is a popular solution to the mind–body problem. It has a number of versions. We outline some of the major releases of functionalism, listing some of their important features as well as some of the bugs that plagued these releases. We outline how different versions are related. Many have been pessimistic about functionalism’s prospects, but most criticisms have missed the latest upgrades. We end by suggesting a version of functionalism that provides a complete account of the mind
  •  75
    Is Consciousness a Spandrel?
    with Zack Robinson and Gualtiero Piccinini
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2): 365--383. 2015.
  •  38
    Toward Analog Neural Computation
    Minds and Machines 28 (1): 77-91. 2018.
    Computationalism about the brain is the view that the brain literally performs computations. For the view to be interesting, we need an account of computation. The most well-developed account of computation is Turing Machine computation, the account provided by theoretical computer science which provides the basis for contemporary digital computers. Some have thought that, given the seemingly-close analogy between the all-or-nothing nature of neural spikes in brains and the binary nature of digi…Read more
  •  30
    Continuous Neural Spikes and Information Theory
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (3): 647-667. 2020.
    Can information theory be used to understand neural signaling? Yes, but assumptions have to be made about the nature of that signaling. The traditional view is that the individual neural spike is an all-or-none phenomenon, which allows neural spikes to be viewed as discrete, binary pulses, similar in kind to the signals in digital computers. Under this assumption, the tools of information theory can be used to derive results about the properties of neural signals. However, new results from neuro…Read more
  •  23
    Analog Computation and Representation
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. forthcoming.
  •  16
    The Moral Psychology of Guilt (edited book)
    Rowman & Littlefield International. 2019.
    Philosophers and psychologists come together to think systematically about the nature and value of guilt, looking at the biological origins and psychological nature of guilt, and then discussing the culturally enriched conceptions of this vital moral emotion.
  •  4
    Changes in Events Alter How People Remember Recent Information
    with Khena M. Swallow, Deanna M. Barch, Denise Head, Derek Holder, and Jeffrey M. Zacks
    Observers spontaneously segment larger activities into smaller events. For example, “washing a car” might be segmented into “scrubbing,” “rinsing,” and “drying” the car. This process, called event segmentation, separates “what is happening now” from “what just happened.” In this study, we show that event segmentation predicts activity in the hippocampus when people access recent information. Participants watched narrative film and occasionally attempted to retrieve from memory objects that recen…Read more