NOTE: I recently transferred from my own hosting service to the free WordPress.com service, so a lot of the older content on this site is outdated and does not represent my current range of views. Proceed with a grain of salt.
Question: Who are you?
Answer: My name is Gary Williams. In Fall 2014 I’ll be a 4th year grad student in Wash U’s Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology PhD program. I obtained my Masters in Philosophy at Louisiana State University and graduated with honors from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies that focused on philosophy and psychology, with a minor in cognitive science.
My interests are far-reaching and interdisciplinary. That said, my current research is on the philosophical perplexities of disorders of consciousness such as the vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (VS/UWS). The condition presents challenging metaphysical, epistemic, and ethical problems:
<li>What kind of consciousness is missing in VS/UWS patients?
<li>How do we measure consciousness in VS/UWS patients if consciousness is not directly observable? Is it possible to build a “consciousness meter”?
<li>What kind of consciousness should we be looking for?
<li>Which kind of consciousness carries the most moral significance?
Question: Is some of your published research available to read online?
Answer: Yes. The paper I published in Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences defending Julian Jaynes’ theory of consciousness against the objections Ned Block raised in a book review of Origin of Consciousness can be read here. The paper I co-authored and published in Frontiers in Consciousness Research with my good friend Micah Allen (currently, a post doctoral researcher at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London). entitled “Consciousness, plasticity, and connectomics: the role of intersubjectivity in human cognition”, can be read here. My Master’s thesis entitled “Ecological Realism and the Tension of Realism and Idealism in Heidegger’s Thought” can be read here.
Question: How can I contact you?
garystevenwilliams (at) gmail (dot) com