Prof Michael Wheeler
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University of Stirling
United Kingdom


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Prior to joining the Stirling Philosophy Department in 2004, I held teaching and research posts at the Universities of Dundee, Oxford, and Stirling (a previous appointment). My doctoral work was carried out at the University of Sussex.

I have given invited papers at symposia and conferences all over the UK, and in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and the USA. Symposia specifically on my work have been organised by philosophy departments at the Goethe University of Frankfurt, the Free University of Amsterdam, and Tilburg University.

I am currently Co-I on The History of Distributed Cognition', a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary project spanning Edinburgh, Durham, Oxford and Stirling, and Classics, English, History and Philosophy. Our project partner is the National Museums of Scotland. I am also scientific consultant on the John Templeton Foundation funded project ‘Knowledge Beyond Natural Science' (Principal Investigator Crispin Wright, Stirling). I held previous AHRC awards for individual research leave and for a series of interdisciplinary seminars on ‘The Interactive Mind' as part of the Council's programme of strategic initiatives. I was also a steering committee member of ‘Cognitive Futures in the Humanities', an AHRC funded network with the goal of bringing cognitive science and the humanities into productive interaction.

I have acted as external examiner for Doctoral theses at the University of London (6 theses), the University of Edinburgh (6), the University of Sussex (5), the University of Oxford (1), the University of Sheffield (1), the University of York (1), the Open University (1), Kent University (1), Macquarie University (1), and the University of Melbourne (1).

Research Interests:

My primary research interests are in philosophy of science (especially cognitive science, psychology, biology and artificial intelligence) and philosophy of mind. I am also interested in developing philosophical ideas at the interface between the analytic and the continental traditions in philosophy.

My current research is focussed on two areas.

1. The nature of, and the prospects for, so-called 4E (embodied-embedded-extended-enactive) approaches to cognition, with a particular interest in the subtle and complex ways in which human beings intimately couple with technology to transform, enhance, and sometimes impede, cognitive performance;

2. The apparent tension between naturalism and transcendentalism, as that tension affects attempts to bring phenomenological thought into productive contact with cognitive science.

I have co-authored papers with researchers in philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, artificial life and linguistics. I have been a member of collaborative research projects involving disciplines other than my own (including archaeology, architecture, art and design, artificial intelligence, artificial life, classics, computer science, English, history, music and psychology). Some of these projects have involved contributions from non-academic stakeholders in research (including the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, the National Museums of Scotland, and representatives from the computer and Web industries). I was involved in a collaborative project in which artificial life simulation techniques were used to investigate the evolution of honesty in animal communication systems.

Employment History:

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