I’m very glad to be introducing Matthew Fulkerson, who will contribute several featured posts at the Brains blog beginning this week. Matt is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, where he has taught since 2012. Prior to that he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto under the direction of Mohan Matthen. His blogging will focus on his recent book The First Sense: A Philosophical Study of Human Touch (MIT, 2013), as well as his ongoing work on the philosophy and cognitive science of the senses.
I reviewed Matt’s book in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews a few months ago, noting the way it reveals how philosophical reflection on touch “can be enriched considerably if [philosophers] look to the best experimental research on their subject, drawing on the many ways in which, as Fulkerson puts it, ‘facts about the functional and informational organization of sensory systems . . . illuminate the nature and content of sensory experience, and often in surprising ways’.” The prospects for this kind of cross-disciplinary reflection are evident throughout Matt’s research, which recently has come to include subjects like affect and the nature of suffering.