I am a Japanese philosopher and an associate professor of the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, History and Philosophy of Science Program. Before coming to U Tokyo, I was a professor of philosophy of Nanzan University, Nagoya. From 2011 to 2013, I was a visiting research scholar of Philosophy Program at Graduate Center, the City University of New York.
My field of specialization is philosophy of mind, especially the problem of consciousness. I am also working on neuroethics, experimental philosophy, and metaphilosophy.
Recent (International) Activities
“How to Reconcile Neuroscience and Free Will”
Joint Research Seminar: Neurosciences and Free Will, Nanzan University
“Do Sciences of the Mind Threaten Our Freedom? If They Do, How?”
Talk at Neurosciences: Theory, Practice, and Reconfigurations of Free Will at Pontifical Cathoric University of Chile
“How We Judge on Free Will and Moral Responsibility”
Talk at Social Cognitive Science Brown Bag@Brown University
“Free Will is Simple, but Moral Responsibility is Complicated (or so it seems)”
Poster presentation at 3rd Workshop of Experimental Philosophy Group UK
“Do We Really Have the Concepts of Free Will and Moral Responsibility?”
Talk at 38th Annual Meeting of Society for Philosophy and Psychology
I am a philosopher but I have been strongly interested in psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and other empirical sciences. I try to do philosophy in an empirically informed way, but also with rigor of analytic philosophy.
These are the topics I am interested in and have been working on.
This is the theme of my dissertation. Basically I am a physicalist and so I am looking for a plausible naturalistic theory of consciousness. In my dissertation, I defended my rather peculiar version of first order representationalism. I also dealt with the following topics there; how to define physicalism, conceivability argument, knowledge argument, argument from illusion, type-B physicalism, HOR an HOT theories.
Philosophy of Mind (Other Topics)
In my master thesis, I argued about the relationship between folk psychology and scientific psychology. There I tried to defend a kind of naive realism about folk psychology, based on the idea of Daniel Dennett and Terry Horgan. Now I am rather skeptical about this strategy.
I also wrote some papers on theory of mind and embodied mind.
For the last five years or so, I have been working on this topic with people at the University of Tokyo.
My main interest here is the implication of empirical research on human decision-making on the philosophical problem of free will. The issue here is that both our folk conception and more refined philosophical conception of free will do not fit well with the empirical facts about human decision-making and its dysfunctions. It seems almost impossible to find a concept that can deal with all the empirical cases of compromised free will (psychopathy, addiction, etc.) and that can be rightly called the concept of free will. I wrote some papers on free will in general and also on the implication of psychopath study.
I am also interested in the impact of neuroscience research on our society, especially the influence of pseudo-neuroscientific discourse. I also co-authored a book on neuroscience literacy, which deals with the problem of how we should and should not interpret the results of contemporary neuroscience studies.
I am interested in both experimental study itself and its metaphilosophical implication. I am now working on the empirical study on free will and responsibility with my colleagues in Japan. Our study is to see what factor(s) influence our judgment on free will and moral responsibility in ordinary situations.
Here is a handout of my presentation at SPP meeting 2012.
Here is a poster presented at 3rd Workshop of Experimental Philosophy Group UK.
Currently, I am also interested in empirical study of moral psychology and its philosophical significance.
I have a paper or two on the following topics, too; indeterminacy of translation, thought experiments in bioethics, methodology of engineering ethics.
A Little Bit More on Myself
I was born and raised in Kawasaki, Japan, the city located on the south of Tokyo metropolitan area.
I took B.A. at Department of Philosophy, the University of Tokyo and M.A. and Ph.D at Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Then I moved to Nagoya and have been working at Nanzan University since 2006.
Aside from philosophy, I love music (almost everything except classical music and contemporary J-Pop), sports (running and trekking for playing, baseball, football, American football, boxing, and others for watching), detective stories, taking photographs, and buying clothes (a vice hard to quit).
email: ctkykszk at mail dot ecc dot u-tokyo dot ac dot jp