About Me

My name is David Colaço.  
My last name also appears as Colaco (without the cedilla). 

I am PhD Candidate at the University of Pittsburgh in the department of History and Philosophy of Science.  

I am also in the graduate training program offered by the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, a joint, interdisciplinary program between Carnegie-Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh.

In my dissertation, I investigate the notion of a phenomenon and its role in scientific practice. I focus on examples from disciplines that target the brain and the mind. I am interested in the design and implementation of experiments in these fields, and how the findings from these experiments facilitate the identification of phenomena. My research highlights the discovery-based, exploratory, and descriptive practices that are critical to the development of theory and method in neuroscience and psychology.  

Along with Kevin Jarbo (Carnegie Mellon University, Psychology), I research spatial decision-making, and the ways in which this process can be affected by moral framing.  This empirical research has been funded by Duke University Summer Seminars in Neuroscience and Philosophy (SSNAP), through support from a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.  More details about this project can be found under 'Links'.

Along with Morgan Thompson (University of Pittsburgh, HPS), I investigate demographic representation in the field of philosophy.  We research the attitudes of participants in introductory philosophy and psychology courses, in order to explore potential differences between the students' impressions of the respective fields, which may relate to the differences in demographic representation in each discipline.  We have received funding from the University of Pittsburgh Central Research Development Fund to pursue large-scale, longitudinal versions of this project.

I also have a standing interest in experimental investigation of traditional philosophical methodology. My research in this area reflects my worries with philosophical thought experiments, and what can be inferred from our judgments of such cases. I also investigate issues relating to the methodology of experimental philosophy itself, from the perspective of philosophy of science.

I received my BA in philosophy from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.