I am a Regular Faculty Member in the Department of Philosophy at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Canada, where I teach philosophy of technology (click here for a free 12-week online course), logic, and other philosophical subjects, including occasional ethics courses in the School of Business and Policy Studies programs. Before coming to KPU, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Trent University. I have a PhD in Philosophy from York University (2014), a PhD in Semiotics from the University of Quebec in Montreal (2008)—Oxford tasked me with writing their entry on that for their Bibliographies in Philosophy series—and I did my Post-Doc at the University of Helsinki (2014–2015). Here is my philosophy tree.
I am the author of Consciousness and the Philosophy of Signs (Springer 2018) and Myth, Meaning, and Antifragile Individualism (Imprint Academic 2020). You can find my published writings and get updated instantly about new pieces on the following web sites:
I am currently writing a new book titled Endangered Experiences: Skipping Newfangled Technologies and Sticking to Real Life. I will be sharing excerpts of that manuscript as it progresses. You can sample email newsletters here and register for more below:
My areas of specialization are in Philosophy of Technology, Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Signs (or Semiotics, to use the term coined by John Locke), with additional areas of competence Ethics, Formal and Informal Logic, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Phenomenology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion, and Metaphilosophy. I believe universities should be built on freedom, rigor, and merit (FRM). Since many universities are ostensibly heading in the opposite direction, I also maintain a career-long side interest in heterodoxy and thinkers who, by choice, temperament, or necessity, operate(d) outside or at the margins of academic philosophy.
My first book, Consciousness and the Philosophy of Signs, which just came out in soft-cover, applies some of the ideas of C. S. Peirce to debates in philosophy of mind. Most philosophers know Peirce as the founder of American pragmatism, but few know that he also coined the term “qualia,” which is meant to capture the intrinsic feel of an experience. Since pragmatic verification and qualia are often seen as conflicting commitments, I try to understand how Peirce could (or thought he could) have it both ways. At the biannual Toward a Science of Consciousness conference, my work was the object of a symposium titled “Against Mindless Pragmatism.” That slogan summarizes well my work.
As current political trends and events attest, when a society tries to chase away the religious, it comes back galloping (often in even less healthy forms). Humans need a large-scale sense of purpose. That need will not go away. So, as I explain in my second book, Myth, Meaning, and Antifragile Individualism, achieving a tenable secular alternative “requires (among other things) a viable theory of values, a viable theory of consciousness, a viable theory of meaning, and a viable theory of aesthetic experience and ritual” (2020, p. 181; emphasis added). It is possible to make such a spiritually satisfying philosophy without superstition and dogma.
I am currently turning my attention to the loss of meaning that ensues when we rely too much on technology and lose sight of our ordinary surroundings and activities. You can sample the preface and introduction of that next book here.
Although I conduct my philosophical inquiries solely in English, I am also fluent in French and Joual (my native tongue). I was born in a working-class family near Montreal. I now reside on the outskirts of Vancouver, with my Chinese partner and our five wonderful children, living a low-tech lifestyle of hearty home cooked meals, logical puzzles at the kitchen table, and nightly Québecois story telling.
On this site, you will find information about my work (along with a bunch of Easter eggs). I leave little bits of myself in every piece I write and every class I teach, so I hope you will enjoy!