•  117
    Sonic Pictures
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. forthcoming.
    Winning essay of the American Society for Aesthetics' inaugural Peter Kivy Prize. Extends Kivy's notion of sonic picturing through engagement with recent work in philosophy of perception. Argues that sonic pictures are more widespread and more aesthetically and artistically important than even Kivy envisioned. Topics discussed include: the nature of sonic pictures; the nature of sounds; what we can (and more importantly, cannot) conclude from musical listening; sonic pictures in film; beatboxing…Read more
  •  129
    Comic Impossibilities
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 78 (4): 547-558. 2020.
    Argues for the controversial and initially counterintuitive thesis that theatrical magic (that is, the performance of conjuring tricks) is a form of standup comedy.
  •  30
    Fallibility for Infallibilists
    In Johan Gersel, Rasmus Thybo Jensen, Søren Overgaard & Morten S. Thaning (eds.), In the Light of Experience: Essays on Reasons and Perception. pp. 161-185. 2018.
    Infallibilism is the view that knowledge requires conclusive grounds. Despite its intuitive appeal, most contemporary epistemology rejects Infallibilism; however, there is a strong minority tradition that embraces it. Showing that Infallibilism is viable requires showing that it is compatible with the undeniable fact that we can go wrong in pursuit of perceptual knowledge. In other words, we need an account of fallibility for Infallibilists. By critically examining John McDowell’s recent attempt…Read more
  •  291
    The primary aim of this paper is to argue that the value of understanding derives in part from a kind of subjective stability of belief that we call epistemic resilience. We think that this feature of understanding has been overlooked by recent work, and we think it’s especially important to the value of understanding for social cognitive agents such as us. We approach the concept of epistemic resilience via the idea of the experience of epistemic ownership and argue that the former concept has …Read more
  •  48
    Sounds fully simplified
    Analysis 79 (4). 2019.
    In ‘The Ockhamization of the event sources of sound’ (2013), Roberto Casati, Elvira Di Bona, and Jérôme Dokic argue that ‘ockhamizing’ Casey O’Callaghan’s account of sounds as proper parts of their event sources yields their preferred view: that sounds are identical with their event sources. This article argues that the considerations Casati et al. marshal in favor of their view are actually stronger considerations in favor of a quite different view: a variant on the Lockean conception of sounds…Read more
  •  30
    The enjoyment of negative emotions in the experience of magic
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40. 2017.
    Theatrical magic is designed to elicit negative emotions such as feelings of vulnerability, loss of control, apprehension, fear, confusion, and bafflement. This commentary suggests that the DISTANCE-EMBRACING model proposed by Menninghaus et al. can help us to understand how the experience of magic can be aesthetically pleasurable, not despite, rather thanks to, some of the strong negative emotions it provokes.
  •  641
    Magic: The Art of the Impossible
    In David Goldblatt, Lee B. Brown & Stephanie Patridge (eds.), Aesthetics: A Reader in the Philosophy of the Arts, Routledge. pp. 373-379. 2017.
    An introduction to the philosophical study of theatrical magic.
  •  344
    Understanding “Understanding” in Public Understanding of Science
    with Joanna K. Huxster, Matthew Slater, Victor LoPiccolo, Jeffrey Bergman, Mack Jones, Caroline McGlynn, Nicolas Diaz, Nathan Aspinall, Julia Bresticker, and Melissa Hopkins
    Public Understanding of Science 28 1-16. 2017.
    This study examines the conflation of terms such as “knowledge” and “understanding” in peer-reviewed literature, and tests the hypothesis that little current research clearly distinguishes between importantly distinct epistemic states. Two sets of data are presented from papers published in the journal Public Understanding of Science. In the first set, the digital text analysis tool, Voyant, is used to analyze all papers published in 2014 for the use of epistemic success terms. In the second set…Read more
  •  164
    Attempts to Prime Intellectual Virtues for Understanding of Science: Failures to Inspire Intellectual Effort
    with Joanna Huxster, Melissa Hopkins, Julia Bresticker, and Matthew Slater
    Philosophical Psychology 30 (8): 1141-1158. 2017.
    Strategies for effectively communicating scientific findings to the public are an important and growing area of study. Recognizing that some complex subjects require recipients of information to take a more active role in constructing an understanding, we sought to determine whether it was possible to increase subjects’ intellectual effort via “priming” methodologies. In particular, we asked whether subconsciously priming “intellectual virtues”, such as curiosity, perseverance, patience, and dil…Read more
  •  866
    Perceptual presence
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (4): 482-502. 2009.
    Plausibly, any adequate theory of perception must (a) solve what Alva Noë calls 'the problem of perceptual presence,' and (b) do justice to the direct realist idea that what is given in perception are garden-variety spatiotemporal particulars. This paper shows that, while Noë's sensorimotor view arguably satisfies the first of these conditions, it does not satisfy the second. Moreover, Noë is wrong to think that a naïve realist approach to perception cannot handle the problem of perceptual prese…Read more
  •  293
    What We Hear
    In Richard Brown (ed.), Consciousness Inside and Out: Phenomenology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Experience, Springer Studies in Brain and Mind. 2014.
    A longstanding philosophical tradition holds that the primary objects of hearing are sounds rather than sound sources. In this case, we hear sound sources by—or in virtue of—hearing their sounds. This paper argues that, on the contrary, we have good reason to believe that the primary objects of hearing are sound sources, and that the relationship between a sound and its source is much like the relationship between a color and its bearer. Just as we see objects in seeing their colors, so we hear …Read more
  •  44
    The Experience of Magic
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (3): 253-264. 2016.
    Despite its enduring popularity, theatrical magic remains all but ignored by art critics, art historians, and philosophers. This is unfortunate, since magic offers a unique and distinctively intellectual aesthetic experience and raises a host of interesting philosophical questions. Thus, this article initiates a philosophical investigation of the experience of magic. Section I dispels two widespread misconceptions about the nature of magic and discusses the sort of depiction it requires. Section…Read more
  •  187
    A Nonrepresentational Approach to Perception
    In Georg Bertram, Robin Celikates, Christophe Laudou & David Lauer (eds.), Expérience et Réflexivité, L'harmattan. pp. 45-54. 2011.
    This paper challenges the common assumption that perceptual episodes are bearers of representational content by developing a naïve realist theory of perception that can account for a number of central perceptual phenomena.
  •  114
    Analysis 72 (2): 244-251. 2012.
    In Consciousness Revisited: Materialism without Phenomenal Concepts 2009, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, Michael Tye claims that seeing can occur independently of seeing-that. Call this The Independence Claim (TIC). Tye supports this ‘general point’ by appeal to cases of ‘ubiquitous error’ (2009: 95). In this article, I show that this strategy fails: it is guilty of a certain blindness to how things look