Upon Reflection, Ep. 8: Reflective Reasoning & Philosophy

On this episode, I read one of my articles from 2021 titled, “Reflective Reasoning and Philosophy” in Philosophy Compass. Both philosophers and cognitive scientists seem to think that philosophical thinking could depend on whether we reason intuitively or reflectively. In this paper, I review the claims, scientific methods, evidence, and what we may need to do to improve our understanding of reflection’s role in philosophical thinking.

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7 Philosophy Reading Lists Of Underrepresented Scholars/Texts

Every semester I begin courses by asking students to close their eyes and imagine a philosopher doing philosophy.

When I ask students to share what they imagined, I get classic stereotypes. “An old guy” says one. “With a beard,” adds another. “Yeah, in a toga!” yells someone in the back. […]


This is unsurprising. In the United States, few students are exposed to philosophy prior to college. So students’ are more likely to rely on stereotypical representations of philosophers—e.g., the Epic Rap Battles of History videos that people continue to send me.

To overcome these stereotypical representations, many instructors have called for a more representative set of philosophers in their courses. Of course, we tend to default to the status quo (e.g., the less representative syllabi that have been circulating for years). So some scholars have done us a favor by creating lists of texts and scholars that are traditionally underrepresented. Below are the lists that I have found so far.

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9 Research Funding Resources

Some colleagues and readers have asked about my experience with grant applications. Perhaps the most common questions is just “Where do I find out about grant opportunities?” That one is fairly straightforward.

As usual, I recommend the automated or passive method: find websites that will crawl the internet for what you seek and then send you emails/notifications when they find it—sometimes called a “saved search”. That way you don’t have to spend days doing something that a bot can do while you do other work. This is how I find research in my areas. It is also how I find many grant opportunities. In this post I’ll share those kinds of grant resources as well as others. I’ll also try to make note of which resources are free to use.

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Two Years Of Time Logs as a Postdoc. and Assistant Prof.

In 2020, I deferred a tenure track job one year to start a postdoc. By Fall 2021, I had started the tenure track position (restructuring the postdoc as an external grant). In this post, I will report my time-logging data for all of 2020 and 2021, which includes my final 7 months of graduate school, about a year as a postdoc, and then a semester as an assistant professor (slash postdoc). I will also discuss how more remote work, less daylight, and a longer commute might have impacted my schedule and well-being (mostly for the worse).

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Non-Western Philosophy of Mind

I have been considering changes to my Philosophy of Mind syllabus. One kind of change would be to include non-Western philosophies and philosophers. So I did what every scholar of our era does when it’s time to venture in to new territory: I asked #PhilosophyTwitter. In this post, I’ll share the results.

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Upon Reflection, Ep. 7: Unreflective Intentions Are Compatible With Free Will

On this episode of Upon Reflection, I read my 2021 paper in Logoi titled, “On Second Thought, Libet-style Unreflective Intentions May Be Compatible With Free Will“. Imagine if I could predict your behavior before you even became conscious of your intention to behave that way. Would this mean that you don’t have free will? I used to think so. In this paper, I explain why I was wrong: my view of free will involved magical thinking.

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Upon Reflection, Ep. 6: Your Health vs. My Liberty (COVID-19 Research Paper)

Welcome to the latest episode of Upon Reflection. This time, I read my paper with Michał Białek, “Your health vs. my liberty: Philosophical beliefs dominated reflection and identifiable victim effects when predicting public health recommendation compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic” (Total N = 998).

As the title suggests we found that complying with public health recommendations didn’t depend on whether people received messaging about identifiable COVID-19 victims or statistical victims in flatten the curve graphs. Rather compliance increased the more that people endorsed an effective altruist principle about reducing harm and the more that they endorsed the truth of scientific theories, but compliance decreased as people valued liberty more than equality. Importantly, we also found that people were less likely to prevent the spread of disease by wearing masks and staying at home if the pandemic was equally deadly, but labeled as a “flu” pandemic—-mostly because they perceived this as less threatening to society. We think this suggests that people’s life-threatening decisions to flout public health recommendations like mask-wearing and staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic was not just about ineffective messaging, but also about their prior philosophical commitments.

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