I am an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) at the Department of Philosophy and Classics, and the Director of the Medical Humanities Program at UTSA. I am also the recipient of UTSA's Lutcher Brown Fellowship which is awarded to select newly tenured faculty who have demonstrated an outstanding record of excellence in their scholarly activities and commitment to student success.
My work is in philosophy of science/medicine/psychiatry, philosophy of mind/cognitive science, bioethics and more recently the ethics of Artificial Intelligence. It is heavily informed by feminist and social epistemology. I also have interests in philosophy of space and space exploration and recently taught a course --"the first university philosophy course taught fully in the metaverse"-- on Philosophy and Science of Space Exploration (PoSE) with my colleague Chris Packham. Here is a nice review of the course in San Antonio Express News.
I have spent Spring 2022 as a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science at University of Pittsburgh. I am a faculty partner at the Collaborating Centre for Values-based Practice in Health and Social Care at St. Catherine's College at the University of Oxford. I am also an honorary research fellow at the Center for Olfactory Research and Applications at the Institute of Philosophy at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK. I am the Poster Forum chair for the 2022 Philosophy of Science Association Meeting in Pittsburgh.
Currently I am working on a manuscript, Reclaiming the Self in Psychiatry: Centering Personal Narratives for a Humanist Science (under contract with Routledge), in which I make a case for including the self as an explicit target of research in scientific psychiatry in order to develop humanistic care practices in the clinic and beyond -- practices that help persons with mental disorders flourish. Empirical research on psychopathology and first person narratives are central to this work.
My co-edited book (2021), The Handbook of Psychotherapy Ethics was recently published by the Oxford University Press, with an international group of psychologists, philosophers, and psychiatrists. It offers a thorough analysis of the pressing ethical issues that emerge in an increasingly multicultural, diverse, divergent, and digital space of psychotherapy.
I also co-edited (2019) The Bloomsbury Companion to Philosophy of Psychiatry, with Robyn Bluhm, which is intended to serve as a textbook in philosophy of psychiatry, offering an introduction to philosophy of psychiatry by mapping it on to the traditional areas of philosophy. You can find a review of it here. A paperback copy was published in 2022.
Another co-edited book (2017), Extraordinary Science and Psychiatry: Responses to the Crisis in Mental Health Research, with Jeffrey Poland, adopts a Kuhnian approach to make sense of the existing research landscape in psychiatry. Some reviews can be found here and here.
I enjoy doing public philosophy:
My work on the health applications of Artificial Intelligence Technology was recently featured in the NPR, Metro, Guardian, and LA School Report.
An interview with the San Antonio Express News on end of life care decisions can be read here.
Chris Tomlinson's coverage of my work on the use of AI for monitoring employees in the Houston Chronicle or my contributions to Rachel Kraus's discussion about the (empty) promises of the health and wellness apps might also interest you.
Other work on the ethics of using AI to treat mental disorders was covered by the MIT Technology Review and also here. You can also hear some of its main ideas on a podcast here, recorded by Sarah Audrey at Université du Québec à Montréal.
Check out my reflections on AI and Mental Health, Health Disparities in COVID-19 Triage Protocols, and Tele-psychiatry Ethics and the COVID-19 Pandemic.
A piece on the self published in Aeon Magazine can be found here.
Some of my early work on the distinction between grief and depression was featured in a Wired article, here, in the context of understanding COVID-19 related mental distress.
More on my life and research can be found in a recent SCI PHI-Philosophy of Science Podcast interview here, and here on PSAGACITY: new media for new ideas in the philosophy of psychiatry. Follow me on twitter.
Note: The subtitle of this website is inspired by the following quote from Janet Frame's autobiography.
From the first place of liquid darkness, within the second place of air and light, I set down the following record with its mixture of facts and truths and memories of truths and its direction always toward the Third Place, where the starting point is myth.
(Frame 2008/1982, 3)