•  387
    Agentive awareness is not sensory awareness
    Philosophical Studies 172 (3): 761-780. 2015.
    In this paper, I argue that the conscious awareness one has of oneself as acting, i.e., agentive awareness, is not a type of sensory awareness. After providing some set up in Sect. 1, I move on in Sect. 2 to sketch a profile of sensory agentive experiences as representational states with sensory qualities by which we come to be aware of ourselves as performing actions. In Sect. 3, I critique two leading arguments in favor of positing such sensory experiences: the argument from pathology and the …Read more
  •  307
    Agentive phenomenology
    In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    In this chapter we reflect on questions about the nature and sources of agentive phenomenology – that is, the set of those experience-types associated with exercises of agency, and paradigmatically with intentional actions. Our discussion begins with pioneering work in psychology and neuroscience that dates to the early 80s (section 1). As we will see, much of the current work on agentive phenomenology in both psychology and philosophy draws motivation from this work, and the questions it raises…Read more
  •  240
    Intentions and Motor Representations: the Interface Challenge
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2): 317-336. 2017.
    A full account of purposive action must appeal not only to propositional attitude states like beliefs, desires, and intentions, but also to motor representations, i.e., non-propositional states that are thought to represent, among other things, action outcomes as well as detailed kinematic features of bodily movements. This raises the puzzle of how it is that these two distinct types of state successfully coordinate. We examine this so-called “Interface Problem”. First, we clarify and expand on …Read more
  •  182
    On Scepticism about Unconscious Perception
    with J. Berger
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (11-12): 8-32. 2019.
    While there seems to be much evidence that perceptual states can occur without being conscious, some theorists recently express scepticism about unconscious perception. We explore here two kinds of such scepticism: Megan Peters and Hakwan Lau's experimental work regarding the well-known problem of the criterion -- which seems to show that many purported instances of unconscious perception go unreported but are weakly conscious -- and Ian Phillips' theoretical consideration, which he calls the 'p…Read more
  •  139
    Why Reject a Sensory Imagery Theory of Control Consciousness?
    Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (2): 268-272. 2011.
    Mandik (2010) defends a motor theory of control consciousness according to which nonsensory states, like motor commands, directly contribute to the awareness we have of ourselves as being in control of our actions. Along the way, he argues that his theory is to be preferred over Prinz’s (2007) sensory imagery theory, which denies that nonsensory states play any direct role in the generation of control consciousness. I argue that Mandik’s criticisms of Prinz’s theory fall short, but that nonethel…Read more
  •  132
    Unconscious perception and central coordinating agency
    Philosophical Studies 178 (12): 3869-3893. 2021.
    One necessary condition on any adequate account of perception is clarity regarding whether unconscious perception exists. The issue is complicated, and the debate is growing in both philosophy and science. In this paper we consider the case for unconscious perception, offering three primary achievements. First, we offer a discussion of the underspecified notion of central coordinating agency, a notion that is critical for arguments that purportedly perceptual states are not attributable to the i…Read more
  •  106
    Default Hypotheses in the Study of Perception: A Reply to Phillips
    with Jacob Berger
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 28 (3-4): 206-219. 2021.
    Some theorists have recently raised doubts about much of the experimental evidence purporting to demonstrate the existence of unconscious perception. In our (2019) in this journal, we argued some of these considerations are not decisive. Phillips (forthcoming a) replies thoughtfully to our paper, concluding that he is unconvinced by our arguments. Phillips maintains that the view that perception is invariably conscious remains, as he puts it, the “default” hypothesis both within the folk underst…Read more
  •  50
    A cognitive account of agentive awareness
    Mind and Language 32 (5): 545-563. 2017.
    Agentive awareness is one's awareness of oneself as presently acting. Dominant accounts in cognitive science consider agentive awareness to be grounded in the states and processes underlying sensorimotor control. In this paper, I raise concerns for this approach and develop an alternative. Broadly, in the approach I defend, one is agentively aware in the virtue of intending to act. I further argue that agentive awareness is not constituted by intentions themselves but rather first-personal thoug…Read more
  •  49
    The objective of this paper is to characterize the rich interplay between automatic and cognitive control processes that we propose is the hallmark of skill, in contrast to habit, and what accounts for its flexibility. We argue that this interplay isn't entirely hierarchical and static, but rather heterarchical and dynamic. We further argue that it crucially depends on the acquisition of detailed and well-structured action representations and internal models, as well as the concomitant developme…Read more
  •  32
    Evaluating the Case for the Low-Level Approach to Agentive Awareness
    Philosophical Topics 40 (2): 103-127. 2012.
    Agentive awareness is the awareness one has of oneself as acting, or as performing a particular action. Theorists distinguish between high-level , low-level , and integrative approaches to explaining this brand of subjective awareness. In this paper, I evaluate the commitment of both low-level and integrative approaches to the claim that the representations involved in sensorimotor control, specifically as described by the comparator model , contribute in some significant way to agentive awarene…Read more
  •  30
    The modularity of the motor system
    Philosophical Explorations 24 (3): 376-393. 2021.
    In this paper, I make a case for the modularity of the motor system. I start where many do in discussions of modularity, by considering the extent to which the motor system is cognitively penetrable, i.e., the extent to which its processing and outputs are causally influenced, in a semantically coherent way, by states of central cognition. I present some empirical findings from a range of sensorimotor adaptation studies that strongly suggest that there are limits to such influence under certain …Read more
  •  22
    We have all had the experience of everyday mistakes like distractedly pouring orange juice into our cereal bowl rather than the milk, or inadvertently continuing on our regular route home rather than stopping at the store as we'd planned. These so-called "action slips" (Reason 1984a) are characterized as failures to execute one’s intention arising in habitual or highly-learned action sequences. This paper argues that a proper understanding of slips, and thus action more generally, requires an un…Read more
  •  21
    Is there any evidence for forward modeling in language production?
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (4): 368-369. 2013.
    The neurocognitive evidence that Pickering & Garrod (P&G) cite in favor of positing forward models in speech production is not compelling. The data to which they appeal either cannot be explained by forward models, or can be explained by a more parsimonious model
  •  14
    Editorial: “Skilled Action Control”
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3): 469-480. 2021.
  •  10