The Prehistory of Neurophilosophy and Other Issues
Stemming from his graduate work at UCSD in the go-go
nineties, Brian Keeley is still pursuing interests in the philosophy
of neurobiology. In particular, he’s interested in unusual
(from an anthropocentric perspective) sensory modalities, as well
as the concept of a “sensory modality” itself. What
precisely is being claimed when neuroethologists claim that they
have discovered that some fish have an electrical sense? What evidence
is required to settle the debate over whether humans possess a pheromone-sensing
modality (a vomeronasal sensory system)? While visiting at the Center
this fall, he was able to get more deeply into evolutionary criteria
for the predication of sensory modalities. When Brian’s not
thinking deeply about fish, he continues to contemplate fish in
the deep; although he’s not sure he’s ever going to
be able to top last summer’s 5-day scuba adventure on the
outer Great Barrier Reef. The cuttlefish gets his vote for Earth’s
most alien life-form!
One thing related to the work I did at Pitt is that the book collection I was working on is finally out. It might be good to mention that.
After a productive stint as a Visiting Fellow at the Sydney Centre for the Foundation of Science in late 2010, Brian is currently visiting the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal during Spring-Summer 2012. He published "The Agnostic Scientist: The supernatural and the open-ended nature of science” in Will Krieger's Science at the Frontiers: Perspectives on the History and Philosophy of Science, and has recently given talks on the senses at the Southern Society for Philosophy & Psychology, the Pacific APA, and the Centre for the Study of the Senses (London).