I hold a PhD in the metaphysics of consciousness. My research aims to push beyond the limits of the physical sciences and presents a new model for thinking about consciousness that takes our subjective inner world of experience and embodiment as an important source of data. This presents an innovation in philosophy as well as a theoretical underpinning for understanding experiences in expanded consciousness and embodied states, that can feed into practices such as psychedelic therapy, breathwork and so on.
I work to bridge the gap between the metaphysical vision we develop in academia and the practices of expanded states of consciousness and embodiment, creating and establishing a much needed dialogue between the two.
I regularly give talks and workshops on my research and I am in the process of publishing various sections of it. Below you can find the abstract for my PhD thesis.
I develop an alternative model for thinking about the nature of consciousness and how it may fit with the physical world, which I call Perspectival Neutral Monism. This features a commitment to a revised version of neutral monism (Mach, 1886; Russell, 1921; Coleman, 2017), together with a neutral (non-mental) notion of perspectives modelled on enactivism (Thomson, 2007).
Methodologically I proceed by casting a set of fresh eyes on, thus questioning, commonly adopted notions and assumptions such as the ‘physical’/’phenomenal’ distinction, whether these constitute ontological categories, whether we should adopt a physical conceptual scheme as a privileged description of reality, and whether we should assume an ontological hierarchy for investigating consciousness.
First, I expand the notion of neutrality beyond the orthodox Neither and the Both to the idea of an infinite multitude, which can only be wholly captured from a perspective-free position. Second, I argue that the distinction between phenomenal and physical concepts is based on the availability of two distinct and limited perspectives, subjective and objective, and that these concepts pick out properties as differently encountered from the two perspectives. Third, I develop a neutral notion of perspectives modelled on the enactive approach, whereby “occupying a perspective” is neutral because it involves the organism as whole (all those processes and states that we can capture with phenomenal and physical vocabularies). Neutral perspectives then explain how the phenomenal and the physical obtain in a neutral reality, following the enactivist idea that an organism narrows-down the environment into her world of significance on the basis of its specifications. I thus argue that a neutral subject narrows-down the neutral multitude into experience and the physical world on the basis of her limitations.
I conclude that the model seems to have the potential to coherently weave together the phenomenal and the physical within a neutral ontology.