My research focuses on consciousness, perception, colours (and other secondary qualities), concepts (or thinking abilities) and their acquisition, and cognitive development more generally. Here are some themes:
- I think the qualities encountered in perception and sensation ("Galilean qualities" as I like to call them) are not parts of consciousness and that that is important for our understanding of consciousness ("Colour and consciousness" 2007; "A somewhat eliminativist proposal about phenomenal consciousness" 2008; "Two types of qualia theory" 2014; and work in progress).
- I have traced some (unobvious) ways in which cognition is or may be independent of perception ("Lessons for Mary" 2004; "On imagism about phenomenal thought" 2011). But I think that there are some (also unobvious) ways in which cognition depends or can be based on perception ("Hume's missing shade of blue" (in Swedish] 2008; and work in progress).
- Much of my work hovers around the mind-body problem. I find this problem hard, and have yet to come down on either side of the dualism-physicalism divide. I somewhat incline to the latter, but I think physicalism is not easily defended ("Review of Papineau" 2006; "Is the mystery an illusion?" 2008; "How physicalist can—and cannot—explain the seeming 'absurdity' of physicalism" forthcoming; and work in progress).
- I think there is important truth in a classic, "descriptivist" idea that we can think about (many) things only "via their properties" (works in progress).
- There are many, very different "transparency-of-experience" theses, and it is important to keep them apart ("Two types of qualia theory" 2014; "What is the transparency of experience and what follows from it?"(in Swedish 2015), "Visual experience" forthcoming).
- I'm interested in arguments that what we experience, or directly experience in perception is a narrow range of properties and nothing particular ("Visual experience" forthcoming; and work in progress). I'm not sure whether one should accept the premises and therefore the conclusions of these arguments, or reject the conclusions and therefore some premise.
- Every third day I believe that colours are visually complex ("Lessons for Mary" 2004; "Are colours visually complex" 2013).