Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Office: Administration Building, Room 433
Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 12:00-2:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Ph.D., University of Iowa; M.A., B.A., Colorado State University
I was born in Chicago, IL, and grew up in southeastern Wisconsin. After high school I moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, and earned my B.A. and M.A. in philosophy at Colorado State University. I later received my Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. On the rare occasions when I'm not reading or writing philosophy, I enjoy writing and performing music, weightlifting, camping, hiking and backpacking.
What I Love About Emmanuel:
Having taught at several colleges and universities throughout the years, I can honestly say that Emmanuel is a special place. There is a truly unique culture here; one that creates a warm and communal atmosphere among students, faculty, and staff. When I walk around campus, I feel it. This culture, perhaps more than anything else, helps students develop academically, socially, and professionally, and I love being a small part of that process.
Courses I Teach
- PHIL 2101 - Problems of Philosophy
- PHIL 1201 - Global Ethics
- PHIL 1205 - Health Care Ethics
- PHIL 2201 - Existentialism and the Meaning of Life
Publications & Presentations
- (forthcoming) Accounting for the Specious Present: A Defense of Enactivism, Journal of Mind and Behavior.
- 2016, “Against the Conditional Correctness of Scepticism” South African Journal of Philosophy 35:1, 82-91.
- 2016, “A Non-Representational Understanding of Perceptual Experience” Journal of Mind and Behavior 37, 271-286.
My current research relates to the philosophy of perception, (philosophy of) cognitive science, meta-philosophy, epistemology, and the intersection between the analytic and continental traditions.
I am currently writing a book (scheduled to be published in late 2020) defending a position within the philosophy of perception and cognitive science known as enactivism. The traditional way of understanding visual experience sees it as a kind of unconscious computation, automatically performed by the brain. Thus, the brain is thought to act as a kind of CPU that processes the relevant information, thereby facilitating further perception, thought, and action. Enactivism challenges this. Enactivists claim that visual experience is a fundamentally non-computational skillful action, carried out by an embodied, living organism immersed in its environment, and concerned with its own survival. According to enactivism, the brain is thus not a CPU, but rather an engine that facilitates the various bodily-oriented drives. These drives are acted out automatically (for example, reflexively) and non-cognitively, and visual experience is no different.
Generally speaking, then, much of my research involves fleshing out and defending enactivism as such an alternative, and then exploring the implications it has for traditional philosophy, as well as for cognitive science as it is practiced today. If I am right, many research programs in vision science are fundamentally wrong-headed, precisely because they take the CPU metaphor too seriously. Likewise, many philosophical problems are similarly based on a confusion about the fundamental nature of perceptual experience.