•  11
    Is Synchronic Self-Control Possible?
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology. forthcoming.
    An agent exercises instrumental rationality to the degree that she adopts appropriate means to achieving her ends. Adopting appropriate means to achieving one’s ends can, in turn, involve overcoming one’s strongest desires, that is, it can involve exercising synchronic self-control. However, contra prominent approaches, I deny that synchronic self-control is possible. Specifically, I draw on computational models and empirical evidence from cognitive neuroscience to describe a naturalistic, multi…Read more
  •  28
    Can Hierarchical Predictive Coding Explain Binocular Rivalry?
    Philosophical Psychology. forthcoming.
    Hohwy et al.’s (2008) model of binocular rivalry (BR) is taken as a classic illustration of predictive coding’s explanatory power. I revisit the account and show that it cannot explain the role of reward in BR. I then consider a more recent version of Bayesian model averaging, which recasts the role of reward in (BR) in terms of optimism bias. If we accept this account, however, then we must reconsider our conception of perception. On this latter view, I argue, organisms engage in what amounts …Read more
  •  92
    The Neuroscience of Moral Judgment: Empirical and Philosophical Developments
    with Joshua May, Clifford I. Workman, and Hyemin Han
    In Felipe De Brigard & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (eds.), Neuroscience and Philosophy, Mit Press. forthcoming.
    We chart how neuroscience and philosophy have together advanced our understanding of moral judgment with implications for when it goes well or poorly. The field initially focused on brain areas associated with reason versus emotion in the moral evaluations of sacrificial dilemmas. But new threads of research have studied a wider range of moral evaluations and how they relate to models of brain development and learning. By weaving these threads together, we are developing a better understanding o…Read more
  •  6
    I describe a suite of reinforcement learning environments in which artificial agents learn to value and respond to moral content and contexts. I illustrate the core principles of the framework by characterizing one such environment, or “gridworld,” in which an agent learns to trade-off between monetary profit and fair dealing, as applied in a standard behavioral economic paradigm. I then highlight the core technical and philosophical advantages of the learning approach for modeling moral cogniti…Read more
  •  69
    This paper presents an empirical solution to the puzzle of weakness of will. Specifically, it presents a theory of action, grounded in contemporary cognitive neuroscientific accounts of decision making, that explains the phenomenon of weakness of will without resulting in a puzzle.