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John Morrison

Title | Organization: 
Assistant Professor | Barnard College

B.A.,  Williams College (2001) 
M.A.,  University of Pittsburgh (2004) 
Ph.D., New York University (2009)


Professor Morrison joined the department in 2009.  He is currently working on three projects.   The first is about how we manage to perceive secondary qualities, such as redness. He argues that we perceive them in virtue of perceiving the differences and similarities between objects, thereby reversing the traditional order of explanation.  He then develops similar explanations of how we perceive objects, kinds, and many primary qualities.  The second is about uncertainty and perception. He argues that our perceptual experiences sometimes assign degrees of confidence. Both of these projects draw heavily on empirical psychology, particularly psychophysics and cognitive psychology. The third project is about the foundations of Spinoza's metaphysics. He hopes to unravel Spinoza's claims about minds, bodies, God, and their essences.
 

Areas of Specialization: 

Philosophy of Mind; Early Modern Philosophy (esp. Spinoza)

Articles / Publications: 

"Colour in a Physical World," Mind (2012)

"Conception and Causation in Spinoza's Metaphysics," Philosophers' Imprint (2013)

"Restricting Spinoza's Causal Axiom,” Philosophical Quarterly (2015)

"Anti-Atomism about Color Representation," Noûs (2015)

"Triangulating How Things Look,” Mind & Language (2015)

"Truth in the Emendation,” The Young Spinoza, Melamed (ed.) (2015)

"Perceptual Confidence,” Analytic Philosophy (2016) 
*Winner of the 2015 Sanders Prize in Philosophy of Mind

"Two puzzles about Thought and Identity in Spinoza,” Cambridge Critical Guide to Spinoza's Ethics, Melamed (ed.)

"Perceptual Structuralism" Noûs, forthcoming

Administrative: 
Colloquium Committee