Document Sample
CV Powered By Docstoc
					                                   Joshua Beattie

CONTACT           Department of Philosophy                390 Grand Ave. #3
                  314 Moses Hall #2390                    Oakland, CA 94610
                  University of California                510-759-7641
                  Berkeley, CA 94720-2390


EDUCATION         University of California, Berkeley
                     Fall 1999 to present. Doctorate in Philosophy expected May 2011.
                  University of Chicago
                     Fall 2002 to Spring 2003. Exchange Scholar.
                  Northwestern University
                     Fall 1993 to Spring 1997. B.A. summa cum laude in Philosophy and Biology.

AREAS OF          Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Biology

AREAS OF          Philosophy of Science (general), Philosophy of Language,
 COMPETENCE           Early Modern Philosophy

TEACHING          Continental Philosophy, Philosophy of Art, Logic/Critical Thinking

DISSERTATION      Evolutionary Naturalism and the Normativity of the Mental
                      I argue that mental states are essentially normative, but only in the following
                      sense: relational norms – i.e. norms of rationality, broadly speaking – play an
                      ineliminable role in accounting for the dynamic nature of intentional states.
                      This, I claim, rules out straightforwardly reductive approaches to the mind
                      (including functionalism), but still allows for a suitably demanding
                      naturalism based instead on evolutionary continuity.

                  Committee: John Searle (chair), John Campbell, Terrence Deacon

AWARDS            Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor, UC Berkeley, 2006
                  Dean’s Normative Time Fellowship, UC Berkeley, 2003-2004
                  Regents-Intern Fellowship, UC Berkeley, 2002-2003 (declined for 2003-2004)
                  National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 1999-2002
                  Oliver Marcy Scholar, Northwestern, 1997 (top three students in sciences)
                  Phi Beta Kappa, 1996
PRESENTATIONS   “Assessment-Sensitivity and the Naturalistic Fallacy”
                   Graduate Philosophy Conference on Normativity, Amsterdam, 2008
                “Naturalism without Reduction?”
                   Berkeley-London Graduate Conference, Berkeley, 2005
                Comments on “Davidson on Triangulation” by Will McNeill
                  Berkeley-London Graduate Conference, London, 2004
                Comments on “The Explanatory Roles of Natural Selection” by Patrick Forber
                  Berkeley-Stanford Graduate Conference, Berkeley, 2004
                “Realism and Evolutionary Explanation”
                   Columbia/NYU Graduate Conference, New York, 2002
                   Berkeley-Stanford Graduate Conference, Berkeley, 2002
                “Free Will and Causal Indeterminacy”
                   Berkeley-Stanford Graduate Conference, Stanford, 2001

TEACHING        As Primary Instructor:
                Critical Thinking – Sonoma State, Spring 2012
                Workshop in Clear Thinking – Cal State East Bay, Fall 2011, Spring 2011
                Introduction to Logic – Cal State East Bay, Spring 2011
                Man, God, and Society in Western Literature – UC Berkeley, Summer 2010
                Introductory Logic – UC Berkeley, Summer 2009
                Modern Philosophy – UC Berkeley, Summers 2008, 2007, 2005
                The Nature of Mind – UC Berkeley, Summer 2006

                As Teaching Assistant, UC Berkeley:
                Philosophical Methods (Seth Yalcin), Fall 2009
                Philosophy of Religion (Lara Buchak), Spring 2009
                Man, God, and Society in Western Literature (Bert Dreyfus), Fall 2008
                Philosophy of Language (John Searle), Spring 2008
                Philosophical Methods (Andreas Anagnostopolous), Fall 2007
                Philosophical Methods (Barry Stroud), Fall 2006
                Introductory Logic (Daniel Warren), Spring 2006
                Philosophy of Mind (John Searle), Fall 2005
                Modern Philosophy (Ed McCann), Spring 2005
                Theory of Meaning (John Campbell), Fall 2004
                Merleau-Ponty (Bert Dreyfus), Spring 2002
                Philosophy of Mind (John Searle), Fall 2000

COURSES TAKEN     All at UC Berkeley:
                  Hume (Richard Wollheim), Spring 2001
                  Aristotle’s Philosophy of Nature (Andrea Falcone), Fall 2000
                  Philosophy of Mathematics (Charles Chihara), Spring 2000
                  Free Will and Rationality (John Searle), Spring 2000
                  Thought, Experience, Meaning, and Modality (Barry Stroud), Spring 2000
                  Philosophy of Language (John Searle), Fall 1999
                  After Humanism (Bert Dreyfus/Judith Butler), Fall 1999
                  Philosophy, Politics, and Literature (Hans Sluga/Fred Dolan), Fall 1999
                  First-Year Graduate Seminar (Richard Wollheim/Barry Stroud), Fall 1999

                  Global Justice (Samuel Scheffler), Fall 2007
                  Meaning and Understanding (Barry Stroud), Fall 2006
                  Concepts (Hannah Ginsborg), Spring 2006
                  Brandom’s Making It Explicit (John MacFarlane), Spring 2006
                  The Autonomy of the Phenomenal (Mike Martin), Fall 2005
                  Intentionality (Alva Noë), Fall 2005
                  Context-Sensitivity in Semantics (John MacFarlane), Spring 2005
                  Scientific Explanation and Scientific Realism (Branden Fitelson), Spring 2004
                  Consciousness and Life (Alva Noë), Fall 2003
                  Hume’s Naturalism (Janet Broughton), Fall 2003
                  Pictorial Representation (Richard Wollheim), Spring 2001
                  Poetics of Metaphor (David Hills), Fall 2000
                  Personal Values and Social Justice (Samuel Scheffler), Fall 2000
                  Confused Reference (John MacFarlane), Fall 2000

                  At University of Chicago:
                  Philosophy of Biology (William Wimsatt), Winter 2003
                  Evolution of Mind & Morality (Robert Richards), Winter 2003
                  Philosophy, Photography, Film (James Conant), Winter 2003
                  Philosophy of Science (John Haugeland), Fall 2002
                  Thought, Community, Environment (Jason Bridges), Fall 2002
                  Workshop: Evolutionary Processes (William Wimsatt), Fall 2002
                  Workshop: Philosophy of Mind (Jason Bridges), Fall 2002 – Winter 2003

SERVICE           Organized Berkeley philosophy department dissertation seminar, 2006-2007
                  Berkeley-Stanford-Davis (formerly Berkeley-Stanford) Graduate Conference:
                     Referee, 2005-2008
                     Co-editor of conference proceedings, 2002

LANGUAGES    English (native speaker)
             Spanish (reading and speaking proficiency)
             French (reading and speaking competence)

             John R. Searle                               Lara Buchak
             Willis S. and Marion Slusser Professor       Assistant Professor
               Of Philosophy of Mind and Language         Philosophy
             Philosophy                                   U.C. Berkeley
             U.C. Berkeley                                510-296-5932

             John Campbell                                Jennifer Eagan
             Willis S. and Marion Slusser Professor       Professor
             Philosophy                                   Philosophy and Public Affairs
             U.C. Berkeley                                Cal State East Bay

I examine the following plausible and oft-defended line of thought:
        (1) Rationality is a normative phenomenon.
        (2) Intentionality essentially depends on rationality-facts, so it too is a normative
        (3) Normative phenomena resist naturalistic treatment.
        So, (4) the normative aspect of intentionality precludes a fully naturalistic account of the
I believe the conclusion is mistaken, and my dissertation is an attempt to show this by means of a
clarification and assessment of claims (2) and (3).
Unlike many of those who resist the above line of thought, I think (2) can be adequately defended. Its
defense depends, in my view, on sufficiently appreciating the dynamic character of intentionality. That is,
as worldly conditions and conceptual repertoires change, so too does the intricate causal network in
which intentional states figure. A purely causal-dispositionalist theory, however, is unable to say
anything about these changes and why they take place; it must simply be updated to take account of
them. It is here that the essential role of rationality considerations comes in: the development of an
intentional state’s causal profile tracks the development of its rational profile. In other words, the
dispositionalist must await a verdict on a given connection’s rational status before knowing whether to
include it in a state’s defining causal repertoire. (An analogy: a purely dispositionalist approach is akin to
defining a biological species in terms of its current structural features, when a species is in fact a dynamic
entity whose characteristic structural features change over time).
If (2) is defensible, then the problem must lie in claim (3). That said, I do not attempt to overturn (3) by
offering, as others have, a naturalistic account of normativity or rationality as such (e.g. expressivism); in
my view, the prospects for a naturalistic account of intentionality are independent of this more general
issue. I focus, instead, on two key ways in which (3) is underspecified: first, it needs to be said precisely
what is required for a “naturalistic” treatment of some phenomenon, and second, it needs to be said
precisely how normativity comes into play in a given instance. Once these details are properly filled in, I
claim, (3) is false for the case at hand.
On the first point, I argue that the standards for naturalistic explanation must be less demanding than
full reductionism but more demanding than the “naïve” naturalism of many anti-reductionists. I claim
that evolutionary continuity provides the proper naturalistic measure: a phenomenon must be shown to
have arisen through a seamless course of evolutionarily explicable transitions. This yields a robust
explanatory requirement, but one that is flexible enough to handle cases to which reductionism is ill-
suited (like intentionality). Moreover, this brand of naturalism quite clearly calls for an interdisciplinary
approach, as I believe naturalism should. In this case, that approach depends on continuing
investigation into the evolution of cognition and the brain.
As for the second point, I think the tendency to give (2) a strongly metaphysical reading must be
resisted. That is, intentional states should be seen not as fundamentally normative entities (as when
beliefs are equated with states of commitment), but as causal entities that are essentially approximations
to a dynamic normative ideal. The involvement of that ideal is enough to rule out straightforward
reductions – the failure of dispositionalism has already been mentioned, and similar considerations can
be used to support a broader anti-reductionist thesis – but the more modest naturalistic demand of
evolutionary continuity can still be met. This requires an account of our capacity to construct and utilize
normative models in our thinking. If it can be shown how we acquired the ability to run through
various courses of reasoning and behavior off-line, and to have the results of that feed back and modify
our cognitive dispositions, then we can make sense of our having intentional states, i.e. dynamic causal
states that approximate to and are in some sense guided by a normative ideal. I cannot claim to tell the
whole naturalistic story, but I hope to have made the project look tractable.

Shared By: