I have two main interests:
1. The first concerns our common-sense or "manifest" images of life, consciousness, agency, and intentionality, particularly whether and how they can be brought under the purview of the natural sciences. In "Neurath's Fiberglass Powerboat" [abstract], I sketch a revision of Quine's naturalism about epistemology, intended to bring his picture of science in line with current scientific practice, and push his arguments to their proper conclusions. But this raises problems for the objectivity of epistemic justification. I go on to develop the position in a way that preserves both the manifest character and the objectivity of epistemic justification.
Addressed from the other direction, these issues pose foundational questions about the sciences of agents and minds. Can biology or psychology be pursued without the use of teleological or normative notions? And if not, what does this tell us about the domains of those sciences? Does the involvement of teleology and normativity scotch their status as natural sciences? Can we allow for the (say) teleological characterization of organisms without putting in jeopardy the objectivity and mind-independence of biology?
2. Second, I'm interested in the nature of discovery, proof, and explanation in the cognitive sciences. Currently this has me thinking about the role of representations in cognitive theories: whether they are needed, whether they are defensible, and how exactly they should be understood. In "The Intentional Status of Representations" (in progress) I discuss and evaluate some different ways to understand representations in cognitive theories (particularly with respect to their explanatory role), and ask whether the traditional view, that representations explain cognition, has the explanatory order backwards.
These problems come together in many ways, and together comprise an attempt to make cohesive sense of our various and fragmented perspectives on agents and minds. The questions canvassed here also bring me into contact with other issues in metaphysics, epistemology, cognitive science, and the philosophy of science. E.g., in "Perceptual Discrimination and Quality Space Nominalism" [abstract] I argue for nominalism about color qualities by defending a scientific explanation of color vision, and argue more generally for a "Psychology First" approach to the metaphysics of some domains.