Courses: Cognitive Science, Epistemology, Ethics, Mathematical Logic, Philosophy and the Human Being, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Psychology, Philosophy of Science, Reason and Argument
Independent Studies & Honors Theses: Character and Situation, Formal Epistemology, Perception, Philosophical Skepticism, Social Construction, Utility and Value in Economics, Values in Science
Program and Course Development
Cognitive Science: I led the development of a new cognitive science program at Siena College, and am currently the director of this interdisciplinary program. The program is designed to help students better understand how the mind works by exploring the nature of cognition, including the representational structures and cognitive processes that underwrite our cognitive capacities, the acquisition and development of these capacities, and the implementation of cognitive structures and processes in both biological and artificial hardware. Students are allowed to develop programs of study that can focus on a wide range of issues (e.g., the limits of artificial intelligence, the philosophy of mind, the nature of visual perception, the role of emotion in moral decision-making, the “hard problem” of consciousness, etc.) using a wide range of methods (e.g., empirical studies of the ontogenetic and phylogenetic development of cognitive abilities, experimental work on the cognitive processes of adults, neuroscientific studies of the neural bases of cognition, computational and robotic research on simulated cognition, and philosophical work on the nature of the mind). And our goal is to provide students with the skills needed to gain access to graduate programs in cognitive science, computer science, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology.
Science, Technology, and Value: I worked on the development of a new philosophy minor in science studies. The minor is specifically designed to appeal to students with major fields of study in the social and natural sciences, as well as students with broad interests in law and public policy. It combines core course in the natural and social sciences with courses designed to provide students with an understanding of the theories and methods used by different scientific approaches to understanding the natural world, together with courses designed to introduce students to traditional theories of normative ethics and to promote critical reflection on the broad set of methodological and normative issues surrounding work in the natural and social sciences, including the ways that technology and technological change affect the texture of human life, social relations, and our relationship to nature.
Minds and Machines: I worked with members of the computer science department on the development of a new course that focuses on emerging computational technologies and what it means to be human in the aged of extended and distributed cognition. The course focuses on the nature of the mind, and in particular, modern computational theories of mind and the enormous range of difficult issues related to how computers and humans represent and process information.