Project Description

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Yen-Tung Lee


  • Philosophy of Mind and Cognition

  • Self-Consciousness

  • Bodily Awareness

  • Virtual Reality



PhilPeople profile


Doctoral Student,
Department of Philosophy, Western University

I am currently PhD candidate in Philosophy at Western University. I received both my B.Sc. in Psychology and M.A. in Philosophy at National Taiwan University. My research interests concentrate on Philosophy of Mind and its interface with Virtual Reality and Cognitive Science. As a philosopher, I do research on consciousness, which is highly related to topics about intentionality, phenomenology and the mind-world relationship. As an experimental psychologist, I conduct experiments to investigate bodily experience. The first-hand empirical results help reveal the nature of embodied self. This, I believe, will shed light on the philosophical issues above.

Primarily, I work on the philosophical foundations of virtual reality. My current research consists of three independent projects, all of which follow the approach of technophilosophy. Specifically, I ask philosophical questions about virtual reality and use virtual reality to answer traditional philosophical questions.

First, my doctoral dissertation explores the philosophical foundations of virtual reality, including the metaphysics of virtual objects/properties and the role that human consciousness plays in the virtual contexts. It aims to show that virtual reality is genuine reality and our perception in virtual reality is equally veridical as our ordinary perception.

The second project employs virtual reality to investigate human bodily self-consciousness. It aims to reveal the nature of fundamental bodily experiences, including the sense of ownership, the sense of self-location, and the sense of agency. With the aid of the technology, it is easier to dissect the complex empirical data and probe the essence of each experience divide et impera. My current hypothesis is that the first-person perspective is not so tightly intertwined with these fundamental experiences as we thought.

My third project extends the application of virtual reality to the phenomenological research of embodiment and intercorporeality. In an activity, a subject genuinely experiences her practical possibility and the potential impact of her body on others’ body. This experiential nature also manifests in virtual reality. The project investigates these intersubjective experiences in shared virtual environments, such as e-sport gaming. I believe that the patterns of embodied experience and perceived intercorporeality with teammates in virtual reality are the same as those in the ordinary environments.

*Currently pursuing the Western Certificate in University Teaching and Learning


Fall 2022 Introduction to Philosophy of Mind (One-term; delivered 3 weeks of lectures and in-class discussion, grading)

Instructor: Dr. David Bourget

Teaching Assistant:

Winter 2023 Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge (One-term; guest lecture, grading)

Instructor: Dr. Robert DiSalle

Fall 2021 Introduction to Philosophy (Full year; weekly tutorials, grading)

Instructor: Dr. Dennis Klimchuk

Summer 2021 Reasoning and Critical Thinking (One-term; grading)

Instructor: Dr. Angela Mendelovici

Fall 2020 Reasoning and Critical Thinking (Full year; weekly tutorials, grading)

Instructor: Dr. Angela Mendelovici

Fall 2019 Reasoning and Critical Thinking (Full year; weekly tutorials, grading)

Instructor: Dr. Christopher Viger