I am an assistant professor of philosophy at Barnard College, Columbia University. I received my PhD from NYU in 2009. This semester I am teaching the Barnard senior seminar, and a graduate course with Don Garrett on Spinoza's metaphysics (syllabus).
In March 2015 I was on MSNBC to talk about the color of "the dress": clip
My research is primarily in the philosophy of mind and the history of modern philosophy (esp. the seventeenth century). I also have strong secondary interests in metaphysics, medieval philosophy, and the philosophy of language.
I am currently working on three projects. The first is about how our perceptions manage to provide us with information. I argue that they provide us with information about properties, such as redness, because of the information they provide us about the differences and similarities between objects, thereby reversing the traditional order of explanation. I call this Perceptual Structuralism. The second is about uncertainty and perception. I argue that our perceptions often provide us with probabilistic information. I call this Perceptual Confidence. Like the first project, this project draws heavily on empirical psychology, particularly psychophysics and cognitive psychology. The third project is about the foundations of Spinoza's metaphysics. I hope to unravel his claims about minds, bodies, God, and their essences.
"Anti-Atomism about Color Representation,"
"Triangulating How Things Look,"
"Perceptual Variation and Structuralism,"
"Perceptual Variation and Relativism," draft
"Perceptual Variation and Ignorance," draft
"Perceptual Confidence and Categorization"
"Conception and Causation in Spinoza's Metaphysics,"
"Restricting Spinoza's Causal Axiom,"
"Truth in the Emendation,"
"Two puzzles about Thought and Identity in Spinoza"
"Three Medieval Aristotelians on Numerical Identity and Time," draft
"Descartes and Spinoza on Numerical Identity and Time," draft
"Spinoza on Mind, Body, and Numerical Identity," draft
Review of Valtteri Viljanen's Spinoza's Geometry of Power, British Journal for the History of Philosophy (2013), final
Review of De Rosa's Descartes and the Puzzle of Sensory Representation (with Elliot Paul), Mind (2014), final
Contactjmorrison [at] barnard.edu
Vincent Legeay (Paris 1, committee)
James Schelberg (Johns Hopkins, committee)
Simon Brown (Columbia, committee)
Jorge Morales (Columbia, advisor)
Jeremy Wolos (Columbia, advisor, PhD 2016)