My first book, Consciousness and the Philosophy of Signs, which just came out in soft-cover, applies some of the semiotic 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 usually 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.

My technical contributions to the philosophical LEMM fields (Language/Logic, Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Mind) also contribute at a remove to my overarching aim, which is to craft an enchanted atheist worldview. 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). I would like to add bricks to that edifice.

Myth, Meaning, and Antifragile Individualism

I am currently working on my next book and a bunch of new articles. In the meantime, you can find all of my published writings on the following web sites (which allow one to get updates whenever new publications are released):