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 Podcast, 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 of your 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 Podcast, 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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What good is reflective reasoning?


Philosophers and cognitive scientists tend to think that reflective reasoning will improve our judgments and decisions. The idea reflection will lead us to test our judgments by “looking for their coherence with our beliefs about similar cases and our beliefs about a broader range of …issues” a la reflective equilibrium. This sounds intuitively plausible. But is it true? In this post I briefly present some research suggesting that reflective reasoning often, but does not always improve our judgments and decisions.  Continue reading What good is reflective reasoning?

8 Sources Of Morality

What is the source of morality? There are many proposed sources of morality. Here are eight, with links to peer-reviewed resources where you can find out more about each proposed source of morality.

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A Year On The Job Market With A Ph.D. – Some Data

I was on the job market in the Fall of 2019 and the Spring of 2020. I submitted over 280 job applications to universities, governments, companies, think tanks, and grant agencies. After some interviews, job talks, and a few offers, I thought that I would share my experience here (and in this video conversation). If at any point you have questions, then feel free to contact me on your platform of choice; I’ll see if I can answer your question in a future post. Today’s post visualizes data about the job market process from application submission to job offer.

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Upon Reflection Podcast, Ep. 5: Reflective Reasoning For Real People (Dissertation Overview)

Welcome to Upon Reflection. In this episode, I review the major take-aways and findings from my dissertation titled, “Reflective Reasoning For Real People”. I explain what cognitive scientists mean by terms like “reflective reasoning”, how reflection is measured empirically, how reflection can either help or hinder our reasoning, how more reflective philosophers tend toward certain philosophical beliefs, and how reflection may help us retrain our implicit biases.

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