Dr. James M. Dow

Visiting Assistant Professor

Hendrix College

Philosophy Department

Interdisciplinary Study of the Mind

Raney Building 108

1600 Washington Avenue

Conway, AR 72032

dow@hendrix.edu

501.477.2723 (home)

501.505.1528 (office)

973.903.1683 (cell)

 

 

 

Education

City University of New York, Graduate Center, Ph. D. in Philosophy, 2011.

 

University of Massachusetts, Boston, B.A., in Philosophy (with Honors) and English (with Honors), 2002.

 

Areas of Specialization

Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of the Cognitive Sciences

 

Areas of Competence

Metaphysics and Epistemology, Philosophy of Language, Kant, History of Philosophy, and Ethics

 

Dissertation Title

“Selves and Others:  An Interpersonal Account of Self-Consciousness”

 

Advisor: Jesse Prinz

 

Committee Members:  David Rosenthal, Barbara Montero, Axel Seemann, Michael Devitt

 

Publications

 

(2012)  “On the Joint Engagement of Persons:  Self-Awareness, Symmetry and Person Perception”  Philosophical Psychology  25.1: 49–75

 

Comments and Reviews

 

(2012)  “Self-Consciousness and Concepts” Commentary on Stephane Savannah’s “The Concept Possession Hypothesis of Self-Consciousness.”  Consciousness and Cognition 12  723–724

 

(2011)  Review of Terry Irwin's Development of Ethics Ch. 72 "Kant: Meta-Ethical Questions” Philosophical Review

 

Under Review

 

(Under Review)  “Self-Consciousness and Intersubjectivity:  Mindsharing and the Ability to Ascribe Experiences to Self and Other”  Submitted to Philosophical Topics

 

In Preparation

 

(In Preparation)  “Just Doing What I Do:  Expert Bodily Action, Self-Awareness and Attention” 

 

(In Preparation)  “Intersubjectivity Theory of Folk Psychology” 

 

(In Preparation)  “Subject To Error:  Action, Sense of Agency and Immunity to Error Through Misidentification”

 

Presentations and Talks

 

(2012)  “Subject to Error: Is Anarchic Hand Syndrome a Counterexample to Immunity to Error through Misidentification?” at Toward a Science of Consciousness in Tucson, AZ 

(2011)  “The Nature of Consciousness” at Hendrix College Steel Center for Philosophy

(2011)  “Historical Solutions to the Problem of Other Minds” at Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama (Invited)

(2010)  “Dissolving the Conceptual Problem of Other Minds:  Self-Ascription, Symmetry and Person Perception” at Brooklyn College, Dec. 9th (Invited)

(2010)  “Subject to Error: Is Anarchic Hand Syndrome a Counterexample to Immunity to Error through Misidentification?” at NYU, Nov. 11 (Invited)

(2009)  “Shoegenstein on Self-Ascription and Immunity to Error” at The Wittgenstein Workshop, at The New School for Social Research, October 29

(2009)  “They are One Person, They are Two Alone: Self-Ascription, Identification and Person Perception” at Joint Attention at Bentley University, October 2 (Refereed)

(2009)  “Against Cognitive Descriptivism:  Self-Ascription, Identification and the Subject Principle” at Perception, Action and Consciousness at University of South Alabama, September 26 (Refereed)

(2009)  “They are One Person, They are Two Alone: Self-Ascription, Identification and Person Perception” at The Cognitive Science Symposium, CUNY Graduate Center, September 25

(2009)  “Just Doing What I Do:  Expert Action, Reflection and Self-Ascription” at The Varieties of Experience Conference at the University of Glasgow, July 7–8 (Refereed)

(2009)  “Keeping Humpty Dumpty on the Wall:  A Critique of Brandom’s Inferential Reliabilism” at The University of Waterloo Graduate Conference on Epistemology, April 30–May 1

(2008)  “Self-Consciousness, Self-Activity and the Agency of the Thinking Subject” at The 3rd International Conference on Philosophy, June 2–5, Athens, Greece (Refereed)

(2007)  “Self-Consciousness Ain’t in the Head” at The Cognitive Science Symposium, CUNY Graduate Center, November 9

(2007)  “Self-Consciousness Ain’t in the Head” at Cognition: Embodied, Embedded, Enactive, Extended, University of Central Florida, October 20–24 (Refereed)

 

Teaching Experience  (Full responsibility for all aspects of courses: syllabus development, lecture-discussions, assignments, exams and grading)

 

Visiting Assistant Professor, Philosophy Department Hendrix College, Conway, AR 2011–Present

 

Scheduled for 2012-2013

 

Introduction to Philosophical Questioning                             Fall 2012

Journeys:  Freshman Seminar                                                Fall 2012

Self-Consciousness                                                                 Fall 2012

 

Environmental Philosophy: Permaculture Living                  Spring 2013

Epistemology: Objectivity of Perception                                 Spring 2013

Evolution of the Mind                                                              Spring 2013

 

2011-2012

 

Metaphysics                                                                            Spring 2012

Modern Philosophy                                                                 Spring 2012

Philosophy of Psychology (Consciousness)                            Spring 2012

 

Introduction to Philosophical Questioning                             Fall 2011

Philosophy of Mind                                                                 Fall 2011

Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence                                         Fall 2011

 

Lecturer, Philosophy Department  Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY Spring, 2011

 

Ethics                                                                                      Spring 2011

 

Lecturer, Philosophy Department Brooklyn College, NY: 2005–2011

 

Existence, Knowledge and Values (Freshman Writing Learning Community)

 

Spring 2005, Fall 2005, Spring 2006, Fall 2006, Spring 2007, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Intersession 2011, Spring 2011

 

Philosophy of Mind                                                                 Spring 2010

 

Philosophy of Cognitive Science                                             Fall 2009

 

Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence                                         Spring 2010, Spring 2011

Business Ethics                                                                       Fall 2006

 

Lecturer, Philosophy Department Drew University, Madison, NJ 2006–2011

 

Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology                      Fall 2008, Spring 2009

 

History of Ancient Philosophy                                     Fall 2006

 

Senior Seminar in Philosophy of Mind—

Mind and World: Intentionality                                               Fall 2007

 

Philosophy of Language                                                         Fall 2009

 

Problems of Metaphysics                                                        Spring 2010

 

Epistemology                                                                           Fall 2010

 

Senior Seminar in Philosophy of Mind—

Selves and Others                                                                   Spring 2011

 

Writing Fellow, Philosophy Department Brooklyn College, NY: 2007–2009

 

Philosophy Writing Resource Book: A Collection of Writing Handouts

 

Leader of Faculty Workshops: 

                        “Responding to Student Writing”

“Writing to Learn:  Low-stakes Writing to Engage with Course Content”

“Designing Writing Assignments”

“Teaching Avoiding Plagiarism Not Merely Avoiding Punishment”

“Using Writing to Read Difficult Texts”

 

Research Assistant to Michael Devitt and Saul Kripke, Philosophy Dept. CUNY Graduate Center, NY: 2003–2004

 

Professional Service

Consciousness and Cognition, Reviewer

Routledge Philosophy of Mind, Reviewer

Palgrave New Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science, Reviewer

Consciousness Online, Reviewer and Commenter, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Metapsychology Online, Reviewer

Executive Committee, CUNY Graduate Center (2005–2007)

Member of Hendrix College Committee for Center for Neuroscience and the Study of the Mind

 

References

Jesse Prinz, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, CUNY Graduate Center

            Email:  jesse@subcortex.com

David Rosenthal, Professor of Philosophy and Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Concentration in Cognitive Science, CUNY Graduate Center

            Email: davidrosenthal@nyu.edu

Barbara Montero, Professor of Philosophy, CUNY Graduate Center

            Email: bmontero@gc.cuny.edu

Axel Seemann, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Bentley University

            Email: aseemann@bentley.edu

 

Teaching References

Lawrence Schmidt, Chair of Philosophy, Hendrix College

            Email:  schmidt@hendrix.edu

Emily Michael, Deputy Chair and Professor of Philosophy, Brooklyn College

            Email:  emichael@brooklyn.cuny.edu

Erik Anderson, Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy, Drew University

            Email: eanderso@drew.edu

Matt Moore, Chair and Professor of Philosophy, Brooklyn College

            Email:  matthewm@brooklyn.cuny.edu

 

Graduate Courses (Audited*)

 

Psychological Reality of Language, Michael Devitt

Philosophy of Mind, David Rosenthal

Philosophy of Language, Saul Kripke and Paul Horwich

Teaching Philosophy, Steven Cahn

Advanced Logic, Richard Mendelsohn

Nothing, Stephen Grover

Epistemology, Michael Levin

Philosophy of Art, Steven Ross

Kant’s Ethics, Sibyl Schwarzenbach

Metaphysics, Claudine Verheggen

Systematic Metaphysics, Doug Lackey

Ethics, Stephan Baumrin

Representing Mental States, Christopher Peacocke

Kant, Arnulf Zweig

Consciousness, Thought and Language, David Rosenthal

Mind and Reality, Alice Crary and Richard Bernstein

Self: Metaphysics and Phenomenology, Galen Strawson

The Platonic-Aristotelian Conception of the Good, Claudia Barrachi

Reference, Michael Devitt

Quine and Sellars on Thought and Language, David Rosenthal

Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit*, Doug Lackey

Kant and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind*, Beatrice Longuenesse and Christopher Peacocke

Bodily Awareness*, Barbara Montero

 

Dissertation Abstract

 

My dissertation presents an argument for the claim that awareness of oneself and awareness of others is symmetrical and mutually dependent.  On a traditional account of self-consciousness, individuals can be aware of themselves even though they have never been aware of individuals like themselves.  First, I provide an analysis of self-consciousness as the self-ascription of experiences that shows that if a subject is to be able to think “I am experiencing F,” then he must be able to ascribe experiential predicates, e.g., “b is F,” “c is F,” to arbitrarily distinguishable individuals.  Second, I argue that what follows from this is that in order for one to be self-conscious, one must be able to identify oneself as a subject of experience.  However, the traditional account of self-ascription holds that self-ascriptions do not involve identification of a subject, because ‘I’ is immune to error through misidentification.  Contrary to universal opinion, I argue that self-ascriptions are not immune to error through misidentification.  Third, I argue that the identification of the subject of self-ascription is only possible given the perception of oneself as a person among persons, which I call the Persons Theory.  The Persons Theory provides us with a genuinely unique account of awareness of other minds that differs from two extant accounts of mental state attribution—  the simulation theory and the theory-theory.  According to the Persons Theory, rather than imagination or thought, perception of persons enables the self-ascription and other-ascription of experiences.  I elucidate interactions between subjects in joint perception, action and emotion that are pivotal for self-awareness.  An implication of the theory is that awareness of oneself and awareness of others develops in tandem and involves interaction between persons.