•  23
    Affective realism, roughly the hypothesis that you “perceive what you feel”, has recently been put forward as a novel, empirically-backed explanation of police shooting errors. The affective states involved in policing in high-pressure situations result in police officers literally seeing guns even when none are present. The aim of this paper is to (i) unpack the implications of this explanation for assessing police culpability and (ii) determine whether we should take these implications at face…Read more
  •  73
    Modularity and the Politics of Emotion Categorisation
    A Tribute to Ronald de Sousa. 2022.
    Empirically-informed approaches to emotion often construe our emotions as modules: systems hardwired into our brains by evolution and purpose-built to generate certain coordinated patterns of expressive, physiological, behavioural and phenomenological responses. In ‘Against Modularity’ (2008), de Sousa argues that we shouldn’t think of our emotions in terms of a limited number of modules because this conflicts with our aspirations for a life of greater emotional richness. My aim in this paper is…Read more
  •  121
    Does the Problem of Variability Justify Barrett’s Emotion Revolution?
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1-21. forthcoming.
    The problem of variability concerns the fact that empirical data does not support the existence of a coordinated set of biological markers, either in the body or the brain, which correspond to our folk emotion categories; categories like anger, happiness, sadness, disgust and fear. Barrett (2006a, b, 2013, 2016, 2017a, b) employs this fact to argue (i) against the faculty psychology approach to emotion, e.g. emotions are the products of emotion-specific mechanisms, or “modules”, and (ii) for the…Read more
  •  267
    The contemporary view of the relationship between conscious and unconscious intentionality consists in two claims: unconscious propositional attitudes represent the world the same way conscious ones do, and both sets of attitudes represent by having determinate propositional content. Crane has challenged both claims, proposing instead that unconscious propositional attitudes differ from conscious ones in being less determinate in nature. This paper aims to evaluate Crane's proposal. In particula…Read more
  •  369
    The “puzzle” of emotional plasticity
    Philosophical Psychology 35 (4): 546-568. 2022.
    The “puzzle” of emotional plasticity concerns making sense of two conflicting bodies of evidence: evidence that emotions often appear modular in key respects, and evidence that our emotions also often appear to transcend this modularity. In this paper, I argue a developmentalist approach to emotion, which builds on Karmiloff-Smith’s (1986, 1992, 1994, 2015) work on cognitive development, can help us dissolve this puzzle.
  •  364
    On Biologising Racism
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. forthcoming.
    To biologise racism is to treat racism as a neurological phenomenon susceptible to biochemical intervention. In 'Race on the Brain: What Implicit Bias Gets Wrong About the Struggle for Racial Injustice', Kahn (2018) critiques cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists for framing racism in a way that tends to biologise racism, which he argues draws attention and resources away from non-individualistic solutions to racial inequality. In this paper I argue the psychological sciences can accommoda…Read more
  •  963
    The New LeDoux: Survival Circuits and the Surplus Meaning of ‘Fear’
    Philosophical Quarterly 70 (281): 809-829. 2020.
    ABSTRACT LeDoux's pioneering work on the neurobiology of fear has played a crucial role in informing debates in the philosophy of emotion. For example, it plays a key part in Griffiths’ argument for why emotions don’t form a natural kind. Likewise, it is employed by Faucher and Tappolet to defend pro-emotion views, which claim that emotions aid reasoning. LeDoux, however, now argues that his work has been misread. He argues that using emotion terms, like ‘fear’, to describe neurocognitive data a…Read more
  •  544
    What Not to Make of Recalcitrant Emotions
    Erkenntnis 87 (2): 747-765. 2020.
    Recalcitrant emotions are emotions that conflict with your evaluative judgements, e.g. fearing flying despite judging it to be safe. Drawing on the work of Greenspan and Helm, Brady argues these emotions raise a challenge for a theory of emotion: for any such theory to be adequate, it must be capable of explaining the sense in which subjects that have them are being irrational. This paper aims to raise scepticism with this endeavour of using the irrationality shrouding recalcitrant episodes to i…Read more
  •  9
    The Objects of Thought, by Tim Crane: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. x + 182, £27.50 (review)
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1): 182-184. 2015.
  •  615
    Does modularity undermine the pro‐emotion consensus?
    Mind and Language 35 (3): 277-292. 2020.
    There is a growing consensus that emotions contribute positively to human practical rationality. While arguments that defend this position often appeal to the modularity of emotion-generation mechanisms, these arguments are also susceptible to the criticism, e.g. by Jones (2006), that emotional modularity supports pessimism about the prospects of emotions contributing positively to practical rationality here and now. This paper aims to respond to this criticism by demonstrating how models of emo…Read more
  •  981
    What can features of cognitive architecture, e.g. the information encapsulation of certain emotion processing systems, tell us about emotional rationality? de Sousa proposes the following hypothesis: “the role of emotions is to supply the insufficiency of reason by imitating the encapsulation of perceptual modes” (de Sousa 1987: 195). Very roughly, emotion processing can sometimes occur in a way that is insensitive to what an agent already knows, and such processing can assist reasoning by restr…Read more
  •  66
    Why the Canberra plan won’t help you do serious metaphysics
    Synthese 195 (11): 4865-4882. 2018.
    Jackson argues that conceptual analysis plays a modest, albeit crucial, role in ‘serious metaphysics’: roughly, the project of demystifying phenomena we take to be mysterious by locating them in the natural world. This defence of conceptual analysis is associated with ‘the Canberra Plan’, a philosophical methodology that has its roots in the works of both Lewis :427–446, 1970, Australas J Philos 50:249–258, 1972) and Jackson. There is, however, a distinction to be drawn between conceptual analys…Read more
  •  658
    Whether we perceive high-level properties is presently a source of controversy. A promising test case for whether we do is aesthetic perception. Aesthetic properties are distinct from low-level properties, like shape and colour. Moreover, some of them, e.g. being serene and being handsome, are properties we appear to perceive. Aesthetic perception also shares a similarity with gestalt effects, e.g. seeing-as, in that aesthetic properties, like gestalt phenomena, appear to ‘emerge’ from low-level…Read more
  •  122
    What is a Negative Property?
    with Sam Baron, Richard Copley-Coltheart, and Kristie Miller
    Philosophy 88 (1): 33-54. 2013.
    This paper seeks to differentiate negative properties from positive properties, with the aim of providing the groundwork for further discussion about whether there is anything that corresponds to either of these notions. We differentiate negative and positive properties in terms of their functional role, before drawing out the metaphysical implications of proceeding in this fashion. We show that if the difference between negative and positive properties tabled here is correct, then negative prop…Read more
  •  40
    Disjunctivism: Contemporary Readings
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2). 2011.
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Volume 89, Issue 2, Page 375-376, June 2011
  •  74
    The Hard Problem & Its Explanatory Targets
    Ratio 29 (3): 298-311. 2016.
    Two decades in, whether we are making any progress towards solving, or even explaining away, what David Chalmers calls the ‘hard’ problem of consciousness is as controversial as ever. This paper aims to argue that there are, in actual fact, two explanatory targets associated with the hard problem. Moreover, this in turn has repercussions for how we assess the explanatory merits of any proposed solution to the problem. The paper ends with a brief exposition of how the present distinction goes bey…Read more
  •  61
    A Representationalist Argument Against Contemporary Panpsychism
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (5-6): 105-123. 2013.
    Consider (i) the humility thesis that we only know the causal natures of the external world and (ii) the thesis we are directly acquainted with the intrinsic natures of our phenomenal experiences. The conjunction of these two theses has motivated a version of panpsychism, which states that the intrinsic nature of all matter is phenomenal. Contemporary panpsychists, such as Lockwood (1991, 1993), Rosenberg (1999, 2004) and Maxwell (2002), have taken it upon themselves to flesh out a plausible sto…Read more
  •  75
    Conceptual Instability and the New Epistemic Possibility
    Erkenntnis 81 (3): 613-627. 2016.
    We tend to think that our concepts are stable in the sense that, whilst their extensions may vary across distinct epistemic scenarios, the reference-fixing conditions by which we discover these extensions remain fixed. This paper challenges this orthodoxy. In particular, it aims to motivate the position that some concepts are unstable in that their reference-fixing conditions themselves vary across distinct epistemic scenarios. Furthermore, it aims to draw out the implications such instability h…Read more
  •  54
    From zombie art to dead art
    Think 15 (43): 25-37. 2016.
    Zombie art, or salvage art, are artworks that are damaged beyond repair, deemed by insurance companies, and removed from the market and stored at claims inventories due to their purported loss of value. This paper aims to make sense of the notion of zombie art. It then aims to determine whether artefacts that fall under this concept retain any aesthetic value, and whether they can genuinely cease being artworks, i.e. be dead art
  •  74
    Ramseyan humility: the response from revelation and panpsychism
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (1): 75-96. 2017.
    David Lewis argues for Ramseyan humility, the thesis that we can’t identify the fundamental properties that occupy the nomological roles at our world. Lewis, however, remarks that there is a potential exception to this, which involves assuming two views concerning qualia panphenomenalism : all instantiated fundamental properties are qualia and the identification thesis : we can know the identities of our qualia simply by being acquainted with them. This paper aims to provide an exposition, as we…Read more
  •  2422
    This essay offers a historical account, as well as an explanation, of the recent rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Maldives
  •  82
    Pleading ignorance in response to experiential primitivism
    Philosophical Studies 163 (1): 251-269. 2013.
    Modal arguments like the Knowledge Argument, the Conceivability Argument and the Inverted Spectrum Argument could be used to argue for experiential primitivism; the view that experiential truths aren’t entailed from nonexperiential truths. A way to resist these arguments is to follow Stoljar (Ignorance and imagination. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006) and plead ignorance of a type of experience-relevant nonexperiential truth. If we are ignorant of such a truth, we can’t imagine or conceive…Read more
  •  733
    A Priori Conditionals and the Conceivability of Zombies
    Philosophical Papers 43 (2): 227-253. 2014.
    (2014). A Priori Conditionals and the Conceivability of Zombies. Philosophical Papers: Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 227-253