I’m an academic philosopher who works on the nature of perception. I’m interested in perceptual experience. Often it’s just referred to as consciousness. When you look around, there’s something it’s like, from your inner point of view, for you to perceive what’s out there. A camera, in contrast, is dark on the inside as it takes pictures. It lacks perceptual experience. The focus of my work is on how neural activity in the brain relates to perceptual experience. Specifically, I’m interested in two questions: Is what we experience simply what’s represented by the brain? And, can sensory interaction with the world itself directly affect experience? To answer these questions I draw on work from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and philosophy.
“The role of experience in demonstrative thought”, Mind and Language, Feb 3 2019.
"Conscious blindsight—but still unconscious sight", Presentation, the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, July 10-13 2019
“What should the externalist say is missing from dream experience?”, Presentation, the workshop Dreams, Hallucinations and Imagination, Feb 23-24 2019.
“The role of visual representations in seeing”, Presentation, the American Philosophical Association Central Division Meeting, Feb 20-23 2019.
Currently I’m a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Network for Sensory Research in the Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto Mississauga. In that position I work with Mohan Matthen. I completed my Ph.D. in philosophy at Rice University in 2015, working under Casey O’Callaghan. I grew up in a small town in southeast Pennsylvania, about an hour northwest of Philadelphia, before moving to Houston for my Ph.D. I currently live in Mississauga, Ontario.
I can be reached at michael.barkasi [at] utoronto.ca.