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College of Arts & Sciences

Robert Briscoe

Robert Briscoe in outdoors photo

Professor

Philosophy
Ellis 219
briscoe@ohio.edu


Recent News

Education

Ph.D., Boston University

Research

Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Perception

Research

  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Cognitive Science
  • Philosophy of Perception

Publications

Recent and Upcoming Presentations H3

2017

TBA (invited), University of Antwerp, April 2017. 

2016

TBA (invited), University of Cincinnati, November 2016. 

Comments on Bartek Chomanski's "Visual Spatial Awareness Probably Requires the Awareness of Space," Minds Online, October 2016.

TBA (invited), The Senses and Crossmodal Perception Conference, University of Berne, October 2016.

Comments on Ryan Ogilvie's "Empirical Tests for Perceptual Content," Pacific Division APA , March 2016

"Gombrich and the Dual Content Theory of Pictorial Experience," iCog 3 Sense and Space Conference, University of London,  February 2016.

2015

"Depiction, Pictorial Experience, and Vision Science" (invited), Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature, University of Oslo, October 2015.

"Depiction, Pictorial Experience, and Vision Science"  (invited), Rutgers-Barnard-Columbia Mind Workshop, August 2015.

"Multisensory Integration and Novel Phenomenal Contents" (invited), University of Antwerp, April 2015.

"A Cartography of Multisensory Processes," Pre-SSPP workshop, Loyola University New Orleans, April 2015.

"On Matthew Fulkerson's The First Sense" (invited), author-meets-critics session, Central APA, February 2015.

2014

Comments on Bence Nanay's "Threefoldness," American Society of Aesthetics Annual Conference, San Antonio, October 2014.

"A Deep Resemblance Theory of Depiction," British Society of Aesthetics Annual Conference, St Anne’s College, Oxford, September 2014.

"Seeing-in, Seeing-as, and the Paradox of Gestalt Switching" (invited), Sensuous Non-Perceptual State Workshop III, University of York, June 2014.

“Motor planning, Motor Programming, and the Ventral Stream” (invited), Workshop on Illusions of Self-Consciousness, University of Copenhagen, May 2014.

Comments on John Schwenkler's "Against Perspectivalism," SSPP, Charleston, SC, February 2014. 

Courses (2004-16)

22. Directed Reading: Gualtiero Piccinini’s Physical Computation and Andy Clark’s Surfing Uncertainty (Spring 2016). 

21. Philosophy of Mind (Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Spring 2017) 

I offer this course at both introductory and advanced levels. Topics include theories of mental representation in philosophy and cognitive science (especially connectionism), consciousness, the relationship between language and thought, and embodied/environmentally-situated cognition. Readings by Chalmers, Churchland, Clark, Crane, Dennett, Searle, Tye, and others (Ohio University).

20. Phenomenology Seminar (Fall 2015) 

An upper-level survey of contemporary debates in the philosophy of perception/philosophy of cognitive science concerning the relationship between action, spatial perception, and bodily self-awareness. Readings by Bayne, Clark, de Vignemont, Ehrsson, Evans, Goodale, Mandik, Noë, Pacherie, and others.

19. Philosophy of Perception Seminar (Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Fall 2016) 
A graduate/undergraduate seminar on the philosophy and cognitive science of perception. Topics include the relationship between visual attention and visual consciousness, representationalism, the high-level properties debate, cognitive penetrability, mental imagery, multisensory processing, the importance of studying non-visual sensory modalities, and the role of action in perception. Readings by Batty, Block, de Vignemont, Clark, Fish, Gibson, Macpherson, Marr, Nanay, Noë, O'Callaghan, Prinz, Pylyshyn, Siegel, Smith, and others (Ohio University).

18. Pictorial Representation Seminar (Spring 2013)
An graduate/undergraduate seminar dealing with theories of depiction and pictorial representation. This seminar examines philosophical accounts of depiction put forward by Ernst Gombrich, Nelson Goodman, Richard Wollheim, Dominic Lopes, Robert Hopkins, and others in light of psychological research on pictorial space perception. Questions addressed include: “In which respects, if any, must pictures visually resemble their subjects?,” “Do all figurative pictures perform a representational, i.e., property-attributing function?”, “Is a theory of pictorial experience or ‘seeing-in’ (Wollheim) essential to an account of how pictures depict?”, “What is pictorial space?”, and “How does pictorial experience differ from ordinary seeing ‘face-to-face’?” (Ohio University).

17. Honors Tutorial: Prism Adaptation and Sensory Substitution (Spring 2012)
An undergraduate honors tutorial on prism adaptation and sensory substitution devices. Readings by Bach-y-Rita, Clark, Harris, Held, Hurley, Kiverstein, Noë, Welch and others (Ohio University). 

16. Honors tutorial: Tyler Burge’s Origins of Objectivity (Winter 2012).
An undergraduate honors tutorial on Origins of Objectivity (Oxford, 2010) with a special focus on the relationship between perceptual constancy and objective mental representation (Ohio University). 

15. Honors tutorial: Formal Logic (Fall 2010, Spring 2014) 
An undergraduate honors tutorial in formal logic covering semantics and proof systems for truth-functional and first-order predicate logics. Text: J. Barwise and J. Etchemendy, Language, Proof, and Logic (Ohio University).

14. Honors tutorial: Language and Thought (Fall 2010)
An undergraduate honors tutorial on the relationship between language and thought. Readings by Tomasello, DeLoache, Povinelli, and others. Discussion meetings took place once a week (Ohio University).

13. Seminar on Ruth Millikan’s Varieties of Meaning (Winter 2010)
A graduate seminar on Ruth Millikan’s Varieties of Meaning (MIT, 2004). Other readings include recent papers by Millikan on externalism in the philosophy of language (Ohio University). 

12. Philosophy of Cognitive Science Seminar & Honors tutorial (Spring 2009)
A graduate/undergraduate seminar focusing on two major, highly interdisciplinary areas of inquiry in the philosophy of cognitive science: our biologically based and uniquely human ability to make sense of one another in psychological terms (aka “social cognition” or “theory of mind”) and the relationship between perceptual awareness of space and bodily action. Texts for part one: Michael Tomasello’s Origins of Human Communication (2008) as well as readings by Davidson, Dennett, Schwitzgebel, and others. Texts for part two: readings by Clark, Goodale, Grush, Jackendoff, Marr, Noë, and others (Ohio University). 

11. Directed Reading: Philosophy of Color (Spring 2009) 
A graduate-level tutorial on recent work in the philosophy of color. Readings by Churchland, Cohen, Hilbert, and others. Discussion meetings took place once a week (Ohio University).

10. Philosophy of Perception Seminar: Seeing & Thinking (Spring 2008)
An intermediate level seminar focusing on the recent debate about nonconceptual content in the philosophy of perception. After a careful examination of John McDowell’s Mind and World, the course examines competing philosophical conceptions of the representational content of visual perception, the role of inference in visual processing, and the relation between visual awareness and visually guided action. Additional readings by Clark, Davidson, Kanizsa, Millikan, Peacocke, Pylyshyn, Rock, and others (Loyola University Honors Program).

9. Tutorial: Connectionism & the Mind (Spring 2008)
An undergraduate-level tutorial on connectionism and its implications for philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Text: W. Bechtel and A. Abrahamsen, Connectionism and the Mind, 2nd ed., 2002 as well as additional readings (Loyola University).

8. Epistemology: Other Minds and Other Kinds of Minds (Spring 2006-Spring 2008)
An interdisciplinary, undergraduate-level course focusing on the problem of other minds/other kinds of minds. Topics include psychological explanation and social cognition, autism as a form of “mind-blindness” (Baron-Cohen), the role of language in acquiring a “theory of mind,” and philosophical approaches to mental representation in non-human animals. Readings by Baron-Cohen, de Villiers, Davidson, Dennett, Frith, Heck, Malcolm, Tomasello, Tye, and others (Loyola University Honors Program).

7. Philosophy of Mind: Consciousness & Visual Experience (Fall 2006)
An upper level course in the philosophy of mind focusing on the so-called “hard problem” of consciousness. Topics include the mind-body problem, epiphenomenalism, representationalism about qualia, the relation between visual attention and visual consciousness, Dennett’s “multiple drafts” theory of consciousness, and Noë’s “enactive” account of visual perception. Readings by Chalmers, Dennett, Dretske, Jackson, Noë, Peacocke, Rensink, and others (Loyola University).

6. Minds & Machines (Fall 2007, Spring 2008) 
An intermediate level course in the philosophy of mind dealing with the problem of mental representation in relation to recent work in cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Topics include: Turing machines, connectionism, the relationship between language and thought, and embodied/environmentally-situated cognition. Readings by Churchland, Clark, Crane, Dennett, Searle, and others (Loyola University).

5. Logic (Spring 2004-Winter 2011)
An intermediate level graduate/ undergraduate course in formal logic covering semantics and proof systems for truth-functional and first-order predicate logics. Text: J. Barwise and J. Etchemendy, Language, Proof, and Logic, 2002. (Boston University, Loyola University, Ohio University).

4.  Introduction to Philosophy/Fundamentals of Philosophy  (Fall 2006-Fall 2016)
An introductory level undergraduate course surveying core topics and themes in the Western philosophical tradition. Topics covered include: the mind-body problem, personal identity, freedom of the will, the theory of justice, and the nature of art (Loyola University, Ohio University).

3. Critical Thinking (Spring 2006, Spring 2007)
An introductory level undergraduate course focusing on the acquisition of critical thinking skills. After an introduction to the logical and non-logical fallacies, students are assigned between 50-100 pages of reading per meeting and are quizzed on their comprehension of content and argumentation at the beginning of each class. Texts include: Crimes Against Logic (Whyte), The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Pollan), Collapse (Diamond), and No Logo (Klein), as well as selected articles. This course was taught as a topically organized alternative to the traditional, textbook-based approach to critical thinking (Loyola University).

2. Tufts Undergraduate Research Grant Program Supervised Study (Summer 2005)
Supervised an undergraduate student in an intensive summer study of recent work on change blindness, visual attention, and visual consciousness in philosophy, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience. Readings by Dennett, Dretske, Lamme, Noë, Rensink, Simons, Tye, and others. Discussion meetings took place once a week (Tufts University).

1. Introduction to Philosophy: Personal Identity & the Mind-Body Problem (Fall 2004, Spring 2005)
An introductory level undergraduate course thematically organized around two topics: personal identity and the mind-body problem. Readings by Plato, Descartes, Locke, Hume, and others. The course was designed to meet a university undergraduate intensive writing requirement (Tufts University).


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