Anthony Blake Nespica 2017-09-13T10:49:27+00:00

Project Description

RESEARCH AREAS:

  • Philosophy of Science

  • History of Science

  • Philosophy of Physics

CONTACT:

  • anespica@uwo.ca

ANTHONY BLAKE NESPICA

Doctoral Student;
Department of Philosophy, Western University

Blake Nespica received his Master’s in Philosophy (Neurophilosophy Track) from Georgia State University, where he held a Brains and Behavior Fellowship from the Neuroscience Institute and was a member of the Jean Beer Blumenfeld Center for Ethics. Prior to that, Blake received his Bachelor’s, with Highest Honors, from the University of California, Santa Barbra, where he studied Biological Anthropology, Evolutionary Psychology, and Human Behavioral Ecology. His current research interests include neuroscientifically informed approaches to representation, consciousness, and values (construed here as mental states the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of which furnishes reasons for action), a variety of issues concerning the relations between scientific theories and the prospect of unifying scientific knowledge, and, most recently, what follows if one takes seriously a “tenseless” view of time (one that holds that past, present, and future all exist together), particularly vis-à-vis causation and the many scientific disciplines and philosophical branches in which it prominently figures.

I’m interested in a number of topics (many of them interconnected) falling within the broad and overlapping ambits of the Philosophy of Science and the Philosophy of Mind. A major preoccupying question of mine is whether epistemology can be not merely naturalized but “neuralized” in a way in which nontrivial criteria for representational success are retained. This project touches upon a variety of issues in the Philosophy of Science concerning reduction, incommensurability, and other intertheoretic and inter-model relations. It is, of course, difficult to comment meaningfully on such matters without having in mind a reasonably well-articulated account of reduction and the sorts of entities that are candidates for standing in such a relation; accordingly, I am also investigating formal (e.g., set- and category-theoretic) constructions of scientific representational vehicles and the continuity, contiguity, and overlap relations into which they variously enter. I am also interested in the alleged multiple realizability of folk mental states and the use—and, frequently, misuse—of appeals to this strange property in arguments against psychophysical reduction. Of late I have also been curious about the possibly far reaching and dramatic implications of the “B-theory” of time, particularly with regard to causation and the seemingly crucial roles it plays in the typing of many functional kinds in the natural and special sciences and in the projection, oft successful, of their models and theories. A final, more distant but not wholly disjoint focus is the prospect of a wholly physicalistic moral realism, and in particular the question of what, if anything, a “reason for action” (in the Humean sense) might consist in should the world turn out to be “physics all the way up.”

MA Thesis:

Nespica, AB. On the Unity and Continuity of Science: Structural Realism’s Underdetermination Problem and Reductive Structuralism’s Solution. Thesis, Georgia State University, 2014. Available: http://scholarworks.gsu.edu/philosophy_theses/151

Commentaries:

Nespica, AB. Commentary on “Causal Compatibilism: A Non-Reductive Physicalist Solution to the Exclusion Problem” by M. Thompson. Phi Sigma Tau Student Philosophy Symposium, GSU.

Instructor of Record:

Spring, 2014, Critical Thinking, Georgia State University (2 courses).

Fall, 2013, Critical Thinking, Georgia State University (2 courses).

Summer, 2013, Critical Thinking, Georgia State University (1 course).