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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Vision for Action and the Contents of Perception

I have now uploaded a copy of this paper on vision for action and the contents of perception to my website. The paper is forthcoming in Journal of Philosophy.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Call for Book Proposals: Studies in Brain and Mind

Studies in Brain and Mind is a Springer book series. It covers all areas in which philosophy and neuroscience intersect: philosophy of mind, philosophy of neuroscience, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of psychiatry, neurophilosophy, and neuroethics.

Under the previous editor, John Bickle, the series published several high quality books. The series is now being relaunched with a new Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Gualtiero Piccinini, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Psychology, and Editorial Board:

Berit Brogaard (UM St Louis)
Carl Craver (Wash U)
Eduoard Machery (Pitt)
Oron Shagrir (Hebrew University in Jerusalem)
Mark Sprevak (Edinburgh U)

The series aim to publish technical books for an academic audience of graduate students and up. The new editor and the board see the series as a great opportunity for the field, providing a venue for specialists as well as junior authors. Some high quality book projects are too specialized or their authors are too junior for other publishers. Studies in Mind and Brain fills this gap. The hope is to make Studies in Brain and Mind an excellent addition to the development of interdisciplinary research in philosophy and neuroscience.

Every book published in the series will be available simultaneously in print and as an e-book in SpringerLink. If a library has purchased the Springer e-book package, visitors of the library are able to download these PDF’s for free or order a paperback for Euro: 24.95 / USD 24,95.

The series aims for a high level of clarity, rigor, novelty, and scientific competence. Book proposals and complete manuscripts of 200 or more pages are welcome. Initial proposals can be sent to Gualtiero Piccinini at

For more information, see the Series website or contact Dr. Piccinini.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Virtue Epistemology and Other Spring 2011 Courses

I have had a few inquires about the courses I am teaching this semester. This is a re-posting of the list. I have added the virtue epistemology course description.

1. Sexual Ethics (Big lecture course, freshmen and sophomore, satisfies the GEN ED requirement and the humanities requirement, cross-listed with the gender studies program)

2. Virtue Epistemology (upper-level undergraduate and graduate course in philosophy)

3. Biological Bases of Behavior (graduate course in neuropsychology)

Course description for virtue epistemology:

Unlike other directions in epistemology, virtue epistemology takes epistemology to be a normative discipline. On this view, epistemology is a central component of value theory. The opposing position in epistemology is naturalized epistemology that proposes to abandon the classical project of analyzing knowledge and to look at how people actually reason and form beliefs and memories instead. The key concepts of virtue epistemology are the concepts of the intellectual role model and intellectual virtues. Epistemic norms, epistemic values and epistemic reasons are derivative concepts, typically defined in terms of the concepts of an intellectual role model or intellectual virtues. In this course we will evaluate a range of virtue-theoretical approaches to epistemic concepts. Our aim is to reach a level of expertise at which we can determine whether some form of virtue epistemology both can withstand all the classical challenges in epistemology and is empirically sound.

Graduate Admissions

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am now director of graduate studies and the chair of the admissions committee. So, if you have any questions about applying to the graduate program at UM-SL,feel free to send me an email:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Synesthesia and Savant Syndrome

Synesthesia is sometimes connected with special talents. For example, some people with synesthesia are excellent artists or good with numbers. Some have what is called 'savant syndrome'. Savant syndrome is often accompanied by autism but it can also be acquired after an accident or an assault or by (what seems to be) sheer coincidence. If you think you have a special talent that was not the result of years of training, or you think you have synesthesia and a special talent, you may qualify for our research project about synesthesia and savant syndrome. To find out if you qualify, take the survey linked to below, or send an email to: You need not live in St. Louis to participate.

Click here to take the survey

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Call for Papers, Philosophy of Mind Graduate Conference


6th Annual Gateway Graduate Conference, April 8-10, 2011

The Philosophers’ Forum at the University of Missouri, St. Louis invites submissions of high quality graduate student papers to our 6th annual Gateway conference. This year’s topic is Introspection, broadly construed. Possible areas relevant to this topic include philosophy of mind, cognitive science, philosophy of science, epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of religion.

Keynote Speaker:

Eric Schwitzgebel (UC-Riverside)

Extended Submission Deadline: March 1, 2011

Submission Guidelines:

Please prepare your paper for blind review by sending two separate attachments to 2011UMSLGRAD@GMAIL.COM:

First attachment, the cover letter:

author’s name
title of paper
institutional affiliation
contact information (email, phone number, mailing address)
word count
an abstract of the paper (less than 500 words)

Second attachment, the paper:

Suitable for a 25-30 minute presentation (less than 4,500 words, should not contain any personal information

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Report on Acquired Synesthesia and Savant Syndrome

I just finished an initial report on a case of acquired synesthesia and savant syndrome. The report is available here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Accidental Genius

Here is a follow-up news clip about a subject I work with, who has synesthesia and savant syndrome. The first news clip can be found here.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Synesthesia Water Color

Alex Heim, a synesthete who also has migraine auras, just sent me this water color of one of his synesthetic auras. The second picture is the water color digitally superimposed on a picture to show how the colors are in front of his vision but not blocking it out. The second picture was also created by Alex Heim.