Publications

Published

  • “Emotion’s Role in the Unity of Consciousness”, Philosophical Psychology (forthcoming)

In this work I argue that emotion plays a key role in ensuring a unified perspective on the world. In particular, while many thoughts and feelings surface onto consciousness, it is not clear how they get combined into a unified point of view or what’s it’s like to be you at any given time. While many philosophers argue that reason or higher-order cognition plays a key role in delineating our point of view, I argue that higher-order cognition plays a subsidiary role to lower-level emotion in delineating a unified perspective on the world. That is, empirical findings reveal that affect functions akin to attention in organizing our conscious experience and dictating what is actionable. As a result, split-brain patients (patients who have suffered losses to the unity of their higher-order cognition but retain undamaged emotional centers in the brain) manage to retain a unified phenomenal and agential perspective on the world.

Under Review

  • “Mindreading, Emotion-Regulation, and Propositional Attitudes”

In this work I argue that instead of functioning to accurately represent mental states, high-level mindreading (or the process of attributing propositional attitudes to ourselves and others) functions to regulate involuntary low-level interpersonal emotions. Theorists interested in folk psychology commonly accept that people coordinate their lives via mindreading or explaining and predicting mental states in terms of propositional attitudes like beliefs and desires. The main debate has centered on the mechanisms behind these epistemic abilities (i.e., mindreading is accomplished either by some theoretical or simulative mechanisms, or some combination of the two). Nevertheless, while granting that mindreading evolved to facilitate social coordination, theorists have underappreciated that the main obstacles for navigating the ingroup/outgroup divide are emotional and not epistemic in kind. I outline converging empirical findings to show how various mechanisms of mindreading secure unique emotion-regulatory benefits. While theorizing fosters emotional insulation by “reframing” or “reappraising” affective cues when mindreading outgroup members; simulation fosters feelings of interpersonal intimacy while mindreading ingroup members, as well as feelings of diachronic continuity while mindreading the self.

  • "Emotion's Role in Cultivating Agential Skills and Moral Deliberation"

Refereed Conference Presentations

"Agential Skills and Self-Control”

  • Colloque de Recherche en Philosophie Series, University of Neuchâtel (2020) (invited)
  • Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology (2020)
  • NYU-Columbia Graduate Conference (2019)

“Mindreading, Emotion-Regulation, and Propositional Attitudes”

  • European Society for Philosophy and Psychology (2018)
  • St. Louis University Graduate Conference (2018)
  • APA Central Division (2018)

“The Role of Emotion in Moral Reasoning”

  • Cognitio Affective Minds: The Cognitive Science of Emotions and Affects (2017)
  • Omaha Workshop in the Philosophy of Emotion (2017)

“Emotion’s Role in the Unity of Consciousness"

  • Society for Philosophy and Psychology (2017)
  • University of Missouri Graduate Conference (2017)
  • Waterloo PGSA Graduate Conference (2016)

“Tracking Intentionalism and the Phenomenology of Mental Effort”

  • APA Eastern Division – Symposium (2017)
  • Southeast Graduate Philosophy Conference (2016)
  • UAPA 9th Annual Philosophy Graduate Conference (2016)
  • Australasian Association of Philosophy (2013)