Fulford Clarendon Associate Professor of Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
University of Oxford
Ph.D. (Philosophy and Neuroscience) Princeton University (2010)
B.A. Pomona College (2005)
My research centers on the role issues, or "questions," play in various aspects of our mental lives including attention, reasoning, and decision-making. With collaborators, I have developed the erotetic theory, according to which the aim of resolving questions is central to how the mind works. This line of inquiry has yielded a theory of our natural reasoning and decision-making capacity that accounts for empirically documented breakdowns like tempting fallacies and framing-effects, but that also explains the possibility of classical rationality. According to the erotetic theory, our minds naturally aim at answering questions as directly as possible, and if we are inquisitive enough in the process, we can get the kind of rationality required for science, philosophy, and classical economic agents as a special case.
Within the Laboratory for the Philosophy and Psychology of Rationality and Decision (LPPRD), we study the mind through formal theories of representational content based on notions like questions and exact truth-making, and we conduct relevant experiments. Among other things, this research has led to the discovery of new framing effects in moral judgment, models of distraction and of delusional thinking, several new tempting reasoning fallacies, and a large-scale computer simulation of how fisherman decision-making interacts with marine ecology.
[January 18, 2017]
POSEIDON Meeting, Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, WA.
Beau Mount joins LPPRD as a post-doc!
[September 10th, 2016]
Keynote Lecture at Poznan Reasoning Week, University of Poznan, Poland.
Presentations at International Conference on Thinking at Brown University, and Cognitive Science Society Meeting, Philadelphia.
[July 27th, 2016.]
“Some reflections on mental models: mind, language, and society.” Talk at Vittorio Girotto Memorial Conference, Birkbeck College, London.
[June 8th, 2016]
Talk at London Judgment and Decision Making seminar, University College London
[June 1-4, 2016]
Presentation at the Society for Philosophy and Psychology Meeting, University of Texas at Austin.
[May 4th -5th, 2016]
Lectures at University of Barcelona/LOGOS
[April 13, 2016]
Ocean Conservancy POSEIDON meeting, New Orleans
Jens Madsen joins LPPRD and the POSEIDON project as a post-doc!