First Autism Paper Accepted!

I’m very excited to announce that my “Living with Autism: Quus-ing in a Plus-ers World” has been accepted by Res Philosophica! I argue that there are no predetermined facts about the correct social behavior in new contexts, and so when we autists behave differently than neurotypicals expect we’re not making a mistake. Honestly it might be my favorite publication.

Understanding as Compression in Phil Studies!

My "Understanding as Compression" has just been accepted by Philosophical Studies. In this paper, I present my new account of understanding, where one understands to the extent that one can create more useful information from a more compressed representation/process pair.

In retrospect, I really should have thought of a more clever title.

Explanation Epistemic Side-Effect Effect at SPP

I'll be presenting my paper with Tania Lombrozo “Explanation Classification Depends on Understanding: Extending the Epistemic Side-Effect Effect” at the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology in July.

The conference is in July--the Society is always for Philosophy and Psychology :)

Mechanistic vs. Functional Understanding

Editor Stephen Grimm just signed off on a chapter Tania and I wrote for the upcoming OUP book on Varieties of Understanding, "Mechanistic vs. Functional Understanding". We explore the extent to which research on modes of contrual in psychology suggest that there are different kinds of understanding. (Answer: in some ways yes, and in other ways it's less clear.)

Here's the full reference:

(Forthcoming) Lombrozo, T., and Daniel A. Wilkenfeld. “Mechanistic vs. Functional Understanding.” In  Varieties of Understanding: New Perspectives from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology, edited by Stephen R. Grimm. New York: Oxford University Press.

Youtube Video

My Center for Philosophy of Science youtube profile just went live, with special guest appearances by DeShone Kizer and Rachael. I watched it once and so far only noticed one thing I definitively wish I hadn't said, which for me is a pretty good hit rate. (I can be fairly self-critical.)

If you have trouble with the link, here's the URL:


There's an EEL in Cognition

 “The Explanatory Effect of a Label: Explanations with Named Categories Are More Satisfying,” written by myself, Carly Giffin, and Tania Lombrozo, is forthcoming in Cognition! It turns out that when you name a condition people think it's more explanatory, seemingly because they import all sorts of causal assumptions.

Understanding for Hire

"Understanding for Hire" which puts forward a new epistemic value problem for understanding, then sort of solves it, just got accepted by the Journal for General Philosophy of Science! It is co-written by myself and Christa Johnson.

Moore Foundation

I've just joined as a post-doctoral researcher a team building a groundbreaking course introducing students to scientific and philosophical thinking. People involved include John Campbell, Tania Lombrozo, Alicia Alonzo, and Saul Perlmutter. It's fun getting to discuss science-education with a Nobel Prize winner.