I am an instructor in the Department of Philosophy at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. My research interests are varied, but most of my publications are in Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology, and History of Philosophy. Before coming to KPU, I taught philosophy at York University and Trent University.
I have two PhDs, one in Philosophy of Mind from York University in Toronto and another in Philosophy of Signs from the University of Quebec in Montreal. I wrote Oxford University Press’ annotated bibliography on “Semiotics,” which is arguably the least-known branch of philosophy ending in “-ics.” I did my Post-Doctoral work at the University of Helsinki, where I collaborated on a philosophical project called Diagrammatic Mind: Logical and Communicative Aspects of Iconicity. I am the Founder and Head Coach of the KPU Reason Mapping Team.
My methods are mainly Analytic, but I occasionally venture into American pragmatism and Continental phenomenology, especially when these connect with results in current cognitive science. For instance, my book Consciousness and the Philosophy of Signs, which just came out in soft-cover, applies some of the ideas of C. S. Peirce to debates in philosophy of mind. Most philosophers know Peirce as the founder of American pragmatism, but few know that he also coined the term “qualia,” which is meant to capture the intrinsic feel of an experience. Since pragmatic verification and qualia are usually seen as conflicting commitments, I try to understand how Peirce could (or thought he could) have it both ways. At the biannual Toward a Science of Consciousness conference, my work was the object of a symposium titled “Against Mindless Pragmatism.” That summarizes well (this component of) my work.
My work in technical areas is part of a whole. To overarching aim of my philosophical career is to craft what might be called an “enchanted” secular worldview. As recent events and trends attest, when a society tries to chase away the religious, it comes back galloping. So, as I explain in my most recent book, Myth, Meaning, and Antifragile Individualism, attaining a tenable secular alternative “requires (among other things) a viable theory of values, a viable theory of consciousness, a viable theory of meaning, and a viable theory of aesthetic experience and ritual ” (2020, p. 181; emphasis added).