Jesse J. Prinz
City University of New York, Graduate Center
Distinguished Professor, Philosophy Pogram
Director, Committee for Interdisciplianry Science Studies
Director, CUNY Philosophy Lab
affiliation: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
(still an adjunct there); Washington University in St. Louis
Visiting positions: Humboldt University in Berlin, Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, The University of London, California Institute of Technology, University of Maryland at College Park
I work primarily in the philosophy of psychology, broadly construed. I am interested in how the mind works. I think philosophical accounts of the mental can be fruitfully informed by findings from psychology, the neurosciences, anthropology, and related fields. My theoretical convictions are unabashedly empiricist. I hope to resuscitate core claims of British Empiricism against the backdrop of contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive science.
Current Research Topics
At present, my major research projects are focused on three topics: the relationship between morality and the self; the role of psychology in constructing the world; and the role of emotions in art.
Main Research Areas
Below is a list of some of my research interests. If you click on the header, you will get a thesis statement. For further elaboration, see the linked papers. These papers are not intended as the most careful defenses of the theories that I favor. I chose them because they state those theories concisely. For more thorough developments, see the books. For other papers, consult the CV link.
"The Return of Concept Empiricism"
"Regaining Composure: A Defense of Prototype Compositionality"
"Which Emotions Are Basic?"
"A Neurofunctional Theory of Consciousness"
"Mental Pointing: Phenomenal Knowledge Without Concepts"
"Is Consciousness Embodied?"
"When is Perception Conscious?"
"The Emotional Basis of Moral Judgment"
"Can Moral Obligations Be Discovered Empirically?"
"The Normativity Challenge: Why Traits Won't Save Virtue Ethics"
"Is Empathy Necessary for Morality?"
Sample papers (on moral natism--more topics soon):
"Against Moral Nativism"
"Is Morality Innate?"
"Resisting the Linguistic Analogy (A Reply to Hauser, Cushman, and Young)"
"The Role of Emotion in Aesthetic Judgment"
"Emotion and Aesthetic Value"
"When is Film Art?"
Vagueness: "Vagueness, Language, and Ontology"
Modularity: "Is the Mind Really Modular?"
Perception: "Beyond Appearances: The Content of Sensation and Perception"
Social construction: coming soon
External Sites with Papers
The Moral Self. New
University Press (in
Works of Wonder: A
Theory of Art. Oxford: Oxford University
Press (in production).
The Conscious Brain.
New York: Oxford University Press (in press).
Nature. London: Penguin / New York: Norton
The Emotional Construction of Morals. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2007).
Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion. New York: Oxford University Press (2004).
Furnishing the Mind: Concepts and Their
Perceptual Basis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (2002).