• New Labels for Old Ideas: Predictive Processing and the Interpretation of Neural Signals
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (3): 517-546. 2020.
    Philosophical proponents of predictive processing cast the novelty of predictive models of perception in terms of differences in the functional role and information content of neural signals. However, they fail to provide constraints on how the crucial semantic mapping from signals to their informational contents is determined. Beyond a novel interpretative gloss on neural signals, they have little new to say about the causal structure of the system, or even what statistical information is carri…Read more
  • Rethinking naive realism
    Philosophical Studies 176 (3): 607-633. 2019.
    Perceptions are externally-directed—they present us with a mind-independent reality, and thus contribute to our abilities to think about this reality, and to know what is objectively the case. But perceptions are also internally-dependent—their phenomenologies depend on the neuro-computational properties of the subject. A good theory of perception must account for both these facts. But naive realism has been criticized for failing to accommodate internal-dependence. This paper evaluates and resp…Read more
  • Perceiving Smellscapes
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2): 203-223. 2020.
    We perceive smells as perduring complex entities within a distal array that might be conceived of as smellscapes. However, the philosophical orthodoxy of Odor Theories has been to deny that smells are perceived as having a distal location. Recent challenges have been mounted to Odor Theories’ veracity in handling the timescale of olfactory perception, how it individuates odors as a distal entities, and their claim that olfactory perception is not spatial. The paper does not aim to dispute these …Read more
  • Neuroclassicism is the view that cognition is explained by “classical” computing mechanisms in the nervous system that exhibit a clear demarcation between processing machinery and read–write memory. The psychologist C. R. Gallistel has mounted a sophisticated defense of neuroclassicism by drawing from ethology and computability theory to argue that animal brains necessarily contain read–write memory mechanisms. This argument threatens to undermine the “connectionist” orthodoxy in contemporary ne…Read more
  • Naïve realism and phenomenal similarity
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1-18. forthcoming.
    It has been claimed that naïve realism predicts phenomenological similarities where there are none and, thereby, mischaracterizes the phenomenal character of perceptual experience. If true, this undercuts a key motivation for the view. Here, we defend naïve realism against this charge, proposing that such arguments fail (three times over). In so doing, we highlight a more general problem with critiques of naïve realism that target the purported phenomenological predictions of the view. The probl…Read more