Credentials: Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics
Michael is a graduate student in the philosophy department currently working on his dissertation. His dissertation is focused on the metaphysical relationship between the phenomenal properties of experience and the properties of ordinary physical objects (particularly the brain and central nervous system of conscious beings). There are several other research areas that are central to this relationship including the nature of necessity and related concepts like essence and fundamentality, how our concepts refer to entities in the world, what it means for something to be conscious, and how and whether the mind has causal powers and whether these are the same or different in kind to the causal powers of physical objects. All of these topics are also discussed at some length in his dissertation, with many of the discussions inspired by historical figures in philosophy, particularly Aristotle, the famous Greek philosopher of the 4th century BCE and Nagarjuna, an Indian philosopher of the 2nd century CE. Michael also has interests in applied ethics, particularly environmental ethics, and the foundations of philosophical traditions throughout the world. He has taught (as a TA or the main instructor) several courses in applied ethics, logic, foundational world philosophical traditions, and ancient Greek philosophy. Before coming to UW-Madison, Michael was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic and completed a BA and Masters in philosophy at the University of Cincinnati.