Who I am

I am a philosopher working at Northern Illinois University where I am a Professor and previously served as the Graduate Adviser for our MA Program. Prior to NIU, I taught at Illinois Wesleyan University, for ten years, after graduating from Rutgers University, where I worked with Jerry Fodor (Adviser), Barry Loewer and Steve Stich. You can get in touch with me at carl.gillettATgmail.com or cgillettATniu.edu.
 
Overall, my research areas are the philosophy of mind/psychology, the philosophy of science, and metaphysics, but I also have interests in the philosophy of neuroscience and philosophy of religion. I have published in all of these areas in a variety of journals including Analysis, The Journal of Philosophy, Faith and Philosophy and Nous, amongst others. (You can find a link to a recent CV below). I have three large scale research projects that I continue to pursue, I outline them separately below though they are deeply intertwined.


Reduction, Emergence and the Structure of Nature
Recently, I completed a long term project on reduction and emergence in nature (CUP, 2016) building on a long series of papers. The book reconnects with scientific debates over reduction and emergence suggesting these discussions are closer to the deeper issues, and live positions, of our times. An abstract for the monograph is found here:
 
(2016, Cambridge University Press)

 
Scientific Composition and Compositional Explanation
In order to engage scientific debates over reduction and emergence, you need to understand compositional explanations in the sciences and hence their compositional concepts. I therefore have a long standing interest in scientific composition and a long series of papers about it, whether the "realization" between properties, the "part-whole" relations of individuals or the "implementation of processes. And I am now completing a connected, co-written, monograph on compositional explanation, and composition, in the sciences. (In the summer of 2014, along with my co-writer Ken Aizawa, I was a Visiting Fellow of the Explanatory Power project at Essen-Duisberg University, Germany. In Essen, I worked with Ken on our co-written monograph about scientific composition, explanation and methodology.) Here is an abstract of the ongoing monograph co-written with Ken Aizawa:

(In progress, co-authored with Ken Aizawa and under contract with Blackwell)
  
Recently, Ken and I also edited an anthology seeking to draw into contact the various philosophers writing, in a variety of traditions and areas of philosophy, on "vertical" relations and the explanations they back:

Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground
(2016, co-edited with Ken Aizawa, Palgrave MacMillan)


The Neuroscience Revolution, What You Are and Human Nature
I am also now firmly embarked on another long term project focussed on the foundations of neuroscience and its implications for human nature. In the Spring semester of 2015, I was a fellow of the Durham Emergence Project working on emergence in cognitive neuroscience bringing together my earlier work on emergence/reduction in the sciences with my new project focused on the foundations of neuroscience and human nature. This new work on the neuroscience revolution, and its implications, was jump-started during 2013-2014 when I was lucky to be a Distinguished Research Fellow at the University of Notre Dame's Institute for Advanced Study. At NDIAS, I worked on my new project focussed on the foundations of neurscience and human nature (or "what we are" as philosophers now put it). My CV lists a number of published papers that have resulted from this work, though I have a substantial body of research from presentations, and classes, that I intend to publish in the next couple of years.



Papers Grouped Thematically I have some thematic groups of papers. (These are final drafts).