•  61
    This paper explores the use of model organisms in studying the cognitive phenomenon of decision-making. Drawing on the framework of biological control to develop a skeletal conception of decision-making, we show that two core features of decision-making mechanisms can be identified by studying model organisms, such as E. coli, jellyfish, C. elegans, lamprey, etc. First, decision mechanisms are distributed and heterarchically-structured. Second, they depend heavily on chemical information process…Read more
  •  11
    I extend Ainslie's core claims with three cortico-striatal models that respectively subserve the key constructs of resolve, suppression, and routine habit. I show that these models suggest a more dynamical and symbiotic relation among the constructs: there are more ways they interact to reinforce willpower, and the temporal dimension of the interactions can often determine the effectiveness of the reinforcement.
  •  60
    Neurodemocracy: Self-Organization of the Embodied Mind
    Dissertation, University of Sydney. 2017.
    This thesis contributes to a better conceptual understanding of how self-organized control works. I begin by analyzing the control problem and its solution space. I argue that the two prominent solutions offered by classical cognitive science (centralized control with rich commands, e.g., the Fodorian central systems) and embodied cognitive science (distributed control with simple commands, such as the subsumption architecture by Rodney Brooks) are merely two positions in a two-dimensional solut…Read more
  •  39
    This paper focuses on the potential of “equitech”—AI technology that improves equity. Recently, interventions have been developed to reduce the harm of implicit bias, the automatic form of stereotype or prejudice that contributes to injustice. However, these interventions—some of which are assisted by AI-related technology—have significant limitations, including unintended negative consequences and general inefficacy. To overcome these limitations, we propose a two-dimensional framework to asses…Read more
  •  27
    A fundamental task for any prospective cognitive architecture is information control: routing information to the relevant mechanisms to support a variety of tasks. Jerry Fodor has argued that the Massive Modularity Hypothesis cannot account for flexible information control due to its architectural commitments and its reliance on heuristic information processing. I argue instead that the real trouble lies in its commitment to nativism—recent massive modularity models, despite incorporating mechan…Read more
  • How to operationalise consciousness
    with Glenn Carruthers, Sidney Carls-Diamante, Melanie Rosen, and Elizabeth Schier
    Australian Journal of Psychology. forthcoming.
    Objective To review the way consciousness is operationalised in contemporary research, discuss strengths and weaknesses of current approaches and propose new measures. Method We first reviewed the literature pertaining to the phenomenal character of visual and self-consciousness as well as awareness of visual stimuli. We also reviewed more problematic cases of dreams and animal consciousness, specifically that of octopuses. Results Despite controversies, work in visual and self consciousnes…Read more
  •  63
    We present evidence that mainstream Anglophone philosophy is insular in the sense that participants in this academic tradition tend mostly to cite or interact with other participants in this academic tradition, while having little academic interaction with philosophers writing in other languages. Among our evidence: In a sample of articles from elite Anglophone philosophy journals, 97% of citations are citations of work originally written in English; 96% of members of editorial boards of elite A…Read more
  •  145
    Ethicists' courtesy at philosophy conferences
    with Eric Schwitzgebel, Joshua Rust, Alan T. Moore, and D. Justin Coates
    Philosophical Psychology 25 (3). 2012.
    If philosophical moral reflection tends to promote moral behavior, one might think that professional ethicists would behave morally better than do socially comparable non-ethicists. We examined three types of courteous and discourteous behavior at American Philosophical Association conferences: talking audibly while the speaker is talking (versus remaining silent), allowing the door to slam shut while entering or exiting mid-session (versus attempting to close the door quietly), and leaving behi…Read more