University of Cincinnati
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2011
Terre Haute, Indiana, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Philosophy of Cognitive Science
  •  230
    From Desire to Subjective Value: On the Neural Mechanisms of Moral Motivation
    Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 7 (1): 1-26. 2014.
    Increasingly, empirically minded moral philosophers are using data from cognitive science and neuroscience to resolve some longstanding philosophical questions about moral motivation, such as whether moral beliefs require the presence of a desire to motivate. These empirical approaches are implicitly committed to the existence of folk psychological mental states like beliefs and desires. However, data from the neuroscience of decision-making, particularly cellular-level work in neuroeconomics, i…Read more
  •  93
    Three proponents of the Canberra Plan, namely Jackson, Pettit, and Smith, have developed a collective functionalist program—Canberra Functionalism—spanning from philosophical psychology to ethics. They argue that conceptual analysis is an indispensible tool for research on cognitive processes since it reveals that there are some folk concepts, like belief and desire, whose functional roles must be preserved rather than eliminated by future scientific explanations. Some naturalists have recently …Read more
  •  61
    Two faces of representation: on the neuroscience of folk psychology
    Biology and Philosophy 28 (3): 523-539. 2013.
    Much work in contemporary philosophy of mind and neurophilosophy hinges on the concept of ‘representation,’ but that concept inherits a problematic ambiguity from neuroscience, where scientists may distinguish between cognitive and physiological levels of representation only tacitly. First, I explicate two potentially distinct senses of representation corresponding to these levels. I then argue that ambiguity about the nature of representation in philosophy of mind is problematic for at least on…Read more
  •  56
    Psychiatry should not seek mechanisms of disorder
    Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 38 (4): 189-204. 2018.
    What kind of thing is a psychiatric disorder? At present, this is the central question in the philosophy of psychiatry. Answers tend toward one of two opposing views: realism, the view that psychiatric disorders are natural kinds, and constructivism, the view that disorders are products of classificatory conventions. The difficulties with each are well rehearsed. One compelling third-way solution, developed by Peter Zachar, holds that disorders are practical kinds. Proponents of this view are le…Read more
  •  41
    Should Ethics Courses Be More Practical?
    Teaching Ethics 15 (2): 349-368. 2015.
    Philosophy courses are now regularly under fire from educators, administrators, politicians, and financially overextended students and parents demanding shorter and more economically fruitful college degree programs in a climate of economic austerity. Yet, perhaps in the face of a number of high- profile ethical violations in the business and professional world, many of these groups have been calling for more, and more effective, pre- and professional ethics education. This paradoxical call for …Read more
  •  26
    What Is the Proper Content of a Course in Professional Ethics?
    Teaching Philosophy 41 (2): 151-173. 2018.
    What is the proper content of a course in professional ethics, such as business ethics, engineering ethics, or medical ethics? Though courses in professional ethics have been present in colleges and universities for decades, the question remains largely unsettled, even among philosophers. This state of affairs helps to sustain and even exacerbate public misconceptions about ethics and professional ethical training in higher education. I argue that the proper content of such courses remains a pot…Read more
  •  21
    'Folk psychology' is a term that refers to the way that ordinary people think and talk about minds. But over roughly the last four decades the term has come to be used in rather different ways by philosophers and psychologists engaged in technical projects in analytic philosophy of mind and empirical psychology, many of which are only indirectly related to the question of how ordinary people actually think about minds. The result is a sometimes puzzling body of academic literature, cobbled toget…Read more
  •  12
    From desire to subjective value: what neuroeconomics reveals about naturalism
    Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 7 (1): 1. 2014.
  •  10
    One of the dominant traditions in normative ethics is characterised by the attempt to develop a comprehensive moral theory that can distinguish right from wrong in a range of cases by drawing on a philosophical account of the good. Familiar versions of consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics have emerged from this tradition. Yet such theories often seem to lack the resources needed to evaluate the broader contexts in which moral dilemmas arise, which may cause them to encourage moral com…Read more