What was your dissertation title and topic?
Knowing what it’s like. The knowledge argument against physicalism.
What, if anything, about the UCLA department’s culture and approach to philosophy has influenced your intellectual approach?
The emphasis on depth and precision; the application of formal logic to all philosophical issues.
How have your philosophical interests changed since you were at UCLA?
They haven’t changed much. I am still working mostly on the issues I wrote my dissertation about. I’ve written on other topics and expect to continue to do so. But my interests at UCLA were pretty broad.
What was your first job or endeavor after leaving UCLA?
Professor, The University of Alabama
If your current career is inside of academia, what’s your favorite course to teach right now? Do you have a recent publication you’d like to mention?
I like teaching logic and philosophy of mind.
A recent publication: The Structure and Dynamics Argument Against Materialism. Nous 50, 2016: 794–815.
I’ll also take the opportunity to plug a couple of books I cowrote a few years ago with Robert J. Howell, which I think are kind of fun: A Dialogue on Consciousness; and The God Dialogues; both on OUP.
Any all-time favorite philosophical articles or books you would recommend? Any new discoveries?
- Saul Kripke, Naming and Necessity.
- Frank Jackson, Epiphenomenal Qualia (with 1995 postscript).
- Monty Furth’s paper on Parmenides (I forget the title, but it’s a classic).
- Part III of Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons.
- David J. Chalmers, The Character of Consciousness.
- Peter Singer, Famine, Affluence, and Morality.