• Perceiving Agency
    Mind and Language. forthcoming.
    When we look around the world, some things are inert and others are ‘alive’. What is it to ‘look alive’? An account of animacy perception is crucial, both for a proper understanding of visual experience, and for downstream questions about the epistemology of social cognition. I argue that empirical work on animacy supports the view that animacy is genuinely perceptual. We should construe perception of animacy as perception of agents and perception of behavior. My proposal explains how static and…Read more
  • Toolmaking and the evolution of normative cognition
    Biology and Philosophy 36 (1): 1-26. 2021.
    We are all guided by thousands of norms, but how did our capacity for normative cognition evolve? I propose there is a deep but neglected link between normative cognition and practical skill. In modern humans, complex motor skills and craft skills, such as toolmaking, are guided by internally represented norms of correct performance. Moreover, it is plausible that core components of human normative cognition evolved as a solution to the distinctive problems of transmitting complex motor skills a…Read more
  • Enculturating folk psychologists
    Synthese 1-25. forthcoming.
    This paper argues that our folk-psychological expertise is a special case of extended and enculturated cognition where we learn to regulate both our own and others’ thought and action in accord with a wide array of culturally shaped folk-psychological norms. The view has three noteworthy features: it challenges a common assumption that the foundational capacity at work in folk-psychological expertise is one of interpreting behaviour in mentalistic terms, arguing instead that successful mindreadi…Read more