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Expertise Areas: Ideology and Culture: Racism and Sexism
D.V.M., Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science, Colorado State University, 2014
B.A. Equivalent, Biology, Metropolitan State College of Denver, 2002-2006
Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1994
M.A., Philosophy, University of Houston, 1987
B.A., Philosophy, University of Houston, 1985
"Tempos of eternity: music, volition, and playing with time," invited chapter for forthcoming book Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain, eds. Marcos Nadal, Joseph P. Huston, Luigi Agnati, Francisco Mora, and Camilo José Cela-Conde, Oxford University Press, 2013.
Description: How is it that some works of music, the most temporal of all art forms, can elicit an experience of timelessness? This essay explores three such pieces, by Messiaen, Lauridsen, and Chico Marx, respectively. The effects of these works can be explained only if subjective time is more complex than usually thought; it may include not only sensation but also a purposive stance, particularly involving the anticipation that is crucial to music. Drawing from Schopenhauer, Huron, Merleau-Ponty, and recent neurophysiological data, this chapter introduces an account of how music can profoundly alter our experience of time's passage. One implication is that time perception may originate not from a single "counter" or oscillation, but from the interaction of at least two kinds of rhythmic biological processes, perhaps one associated with motility or volition, and one associated with perception. Such an approach may also clarify the remarkably enduring gifts of Clive Wearing as described by Oliver Sacks.
Manuscripts In Progress:
Towards New Metaphors for Subjectivity (Forthcoming)
Description: To replace the old hypostatizing Cartesian notion of the soul while avoiding the inadequate metaphor of computer software, we can turn to the very different vocabulary of physiology, especially processes involving patterns through time, homeostasis, and interacting and balancing forces. This approach can accommodate our intuitions about human subjectivity while remaining grounded in empirical science, and can also allow room for carefully limited, reasonable inferences about the experiences of less complex vertebrates.
Rethinking The Role of Philosophy (Forthcoming)
Description: Academic western philosophy is in danger of becoming irrelevant as more and more topics split off from the old "natural philosophy" to be addressed by specialized new disciplines. Philosophy has been defined variously as a set of texts, a set of questions, or a set of skills, but many of the canon's texts are increasingly of historical interest only, and many of the questions have been exported to other disciplines. Nonetheless, philosophy remains vitally important, not only to philosophers and students of philosophy, but to many other disciplines in the sciences as well as humanities, fine arts, and law. Familiarity with intellectual history allows theorists to identify tacit inherited assumptions in their fields, and familiarity with traditional answers to philosophical questions permits researchers to avoid repeating errors of the past, as well as providing valuable conceptual vocabularies. The skills of rigorous conceptual analysis are needed in any field in which abstract theory drives the questions. The "philosopause" of many mid-career research scientists can sometimes lead to unwarranted metaphysical speculation, but actually points to a legitimate interdisciplinary need, as well as the dual-discipline possibilities permitted by our increasing longevity. I suggest that academic philosophy develop new roles for double-degrees and for collaboration with people who are already experts in other fields, to fill out intellectual history background, to hone conceptual analysis and theory-building skills further, and to promote creativity. All participating academics, including the philosophers, would benefit immensely.
PHIL 3500: Ideology and Culture: Racism and Sexism