Kathleen Akins

Professor of Philosophy
Chair, Graduate Program

 

Education

  • B.A. (Hons) U. Manitoba
  • Ph.D. Michigan

Areas of Interest

I am interested in virtually all issues in the philosophy of mind as well as the metaphysical and epistemic problems they engender—from the nature of mental representation and intentionality, to colour perception, embedded cognition, cognitive development, the emotions, consciousness and the self. What unifies all of these investigations is a neuro-philosophical approach. I begin any project with the problem as traditionally conceived by philosophy; then I look at what recent neuroscience has unearthed on the topic. The task is then to use the empirical literature to re-conceive of the traditional philosophical problem while at the same time using the philosophical insights to drive forward the experiments in neuroscience. I regard my work as essentially interdisciplinary (although in practice I tend to spend more time reading neuroscience simply because of the sheer volume and complexity of the recent scientific literature).

Current Research Projects

My single largest project is a monograph on colour vision (More Than Mere Colouring: On The Nature of Spectral Vision). This monograph gives a physiological theory of colour vision (here, the methodology was bit inverted—first the philosophical views made me doubt the current neurophysiological interpretation of research results; then those new views about the physiology of colour vision gave rise to quite counter-intuitive conclusions about colour properties and colour phenomenology).

For more information on this and other research projects, please see Dr. Akins' website.

Publications

Please see Dr. Akins' website for publication infromation.