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Kenneth W Williford

Name

[Williford, Kenneth W]
  • Assoc Prof

Professional Preparation

    • 2003 PhD in PhilosophyThe Univeristy of Iowa
    • 2000 MA in PhilosophyThe University of Iowa
    • 1995 BA in PhilosophyUniversity of Texas at Arlington

News Articles

Research and Expertise

  • Research and Scholarly Interests
    Philosophy of Mind, Cognitive Science, Phenomenology, History of Modern Philosophy

Publications

      Book Chapter 2015
      • "Representationalisms, Subjective Character, and Self-Acquaintance" in Open MIND, Thomas Metzinger & Jennifer Windt (Eds.), Frankfurt am Main, MIND Group, 2015

        {Book Chapter} [Non-refereed/non-juried]
      2015

      Encyclopedia Entry 2013
      • "Self-Consciousness" with David Rudrauf and Carissa Philippi for The Encyclopedia of the Mind, Hal Pashler ed., Sage Publications
        {Encyclopedia Entry} [Non-refereed/non-juried]

      Book 2013
      • Ruth Millikan and her Critics, edited by Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury, and Kenneth Williford, Wiley-Blackwell Press
        {Book} [Non-refereed/non-juried]

      Journal Article 2013
      • "Husserl's Hyletic Data and Phenomenal Consciousness" Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 12, pp. 501-519.

        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Book Chapter 2012
      •   "The Paradoxes of Subjectivity and the Projective Structure of Consciousness" with David Rudrauf and Gregory Landini in Consciousness and Subjectivity, Sofia Miguens and Gerhard Preyer (eds.), Ontos Publisher, Heusenstamm b. Frankfurt a. M., pp. 321-353 
        {Book Chapter} [Non-refereed/non-juried]

      Book 2012
      • The Imagination by Jean-Paul Sartre, translated, introduced and edited by Kenneth Williford and David Rudrauf, Routledge Press.
        {Book} [Non-refereed/non-juried]

      Journal Article 2012
      • "Preserved self-awareness following extensive bilateral brain damage", Philippi C, Feinstein JS, Khalsa SS, Damasio A, Tranel D, Landini G, Williford K, Rudrauf D, PLoS ONE, Vol. 7, Issue 8, http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0038413 
        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Book Review 2011
      • Review of Douglas Hofstadter's I am a Strange Loop, Philosophical Psychology 24 (6):861-865
        {Book Review} [Non-refereed/non-juried]

      Book Chapter 2011
      • “Auto-representacionalismo y los problemas de la subjetividad”. In Cuadernos de Epistemología, número 5. Reflexiones en torno a la filosofía de la ciencia y la epistemología, J. Aguirre y L. Jaramillo (eds.). Popayán: Universidad del Cauca, 2011, pp. 39-51.  (Translation of "Self-Representationalism and the Problems of Subjectivity")    
        {Book Chapter} [Non-refereed/non-juried]
      2011
      • "Pre-Reflective Self-Consciousness and the Autobiographical Ego." In Reading Sartre: On Phenomenology and Existentialism, edited by Jonathan Webber, 195-210. Routledge, 2011.
        {Book Chapter} [Non-refereed/non-juried]

      Encyclopedia Entry 2009
      • "Self-Representational Theories of Consciousness." The Oxford Companion to Consciousness, edited by Patrick Wilken, Tim Bayne, and Axel Cleeremans, 583-585. Oxford University Press, 2009.
        {Encyclopedia Entry} [Non-refereed/non-juried]

      Journal Article 2009
      • Williford, Kenneth and Roomet Jakapi. "Berkeley's Theory of Meaning in Alciphron VII." The British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17, no 1 (2009): 99-118.
        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 2007
      • "The Logic of Phenomenal Transparency." Soochow Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (2007): 181-195.
        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Book 2006
      • Self-Representational Approaches to Consciousness, co-edited with Uriah Kriegel, The MIT Press, 2006
        {Book} [Non-refereed/non-juried]

      Book Chapter 2006
      • "The Self-Representational Structure of Consciousness." Self-Representational Approaches to Consciousness, edited by Uriah Kriegel and Kenneth Williford, 111-142. The MIT Press, 2006.
        {Book Chapter} [Non-refereed/non-juried]

      Book Chapter 2005
      • "The Intentionality of Consciousness and Consciousness of Intentionality." Intentionality: Past and Future, edited by Gabor Forrai and Gyorgy Kampis, 143-156. Rodopi, 2005.
        {Book Chapter} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 2004
      • "Moore, the Diaphanousness of Consciousness, and Physicalism." Metaphysica 5, no 2 (2004): 133-153.
        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 2003
      • "Demea’s a priori Theistic Proof." Hume Studies 29, no 1 (2003): 99-123.
        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]
      2003
      • "Berkeley’s Theory of Operative Language in the Manuscript Introduction." The British Journal for the History of Philosophy 11, no 2 (2003): 271-301.
        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]

Courses

      • PHIL 4388-002 TOPICS IN THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY: Capitalism and its Critics

        This course is a high-level introduction to and survey of the philosophical, social, political, and cultural issues raised by capitalist economic systems.  We will consider the history of Capitalism as well as competing definitions of Capitalism. We will consider different disciplinary approaches to the study of Capitalism (sociology, economic theory, economic history, political economy, critical theory and Ideologiekritik).    We will examine classic and contemporary arguments in favor of and against the various types of capitalist economic arrangements as well as alternatives to Capitalism (traditional economies, varieties of socialism, communism, anarcho-syndicalism). We will devote considerable attention to understanding the elements of capitalist economies (monetary systems & bank-credit money, market exchange, private enterprise) as well as the complex relationships between Capitalism and labor, the state, democracy, politics, culture, individual and social psychology, and the environment.  We will examine the recurrent conflicting visions of Capitalism as, on the one hand, “the End of History”, and, on the other, its own “gravedigger”.  Finally, we will take a close look at the contemporary state of global Capitalism (especially in the US and EU) and its prospects.  Throughout, emphasis will be placed on the methodological, epistemological, ethical and ontological questions surrounding Capitalism. 

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2017 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • PHIL 2300-001 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY

        This course provides an interactive approach to the study of philosophy. Not only will students learn about important philosophical figures, movements, and methodology but they will be encouraged to identify their own philosophical positions and consider how these positions relate to those of the philosophers we’ve studied. Students are also encouraged to consider how particular philosophical issues have been important in their own lives and to discuss philosophical problems with friends and family outside of class. 

        Representative topics covered in this course include epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. Discussion of these topics will give rise to such questions as ‘What do I really know?’, ‘Am I free?’; ‘Am I morally responsible for what I do?’ ‘Is there an afterlife?’ ‘How should I treat others?’ and ‘What should I do with my life?’ 

        At the end of the course, students will be able to explain key philosophical concepts and the positions of major figures and will demonstrate skill in philosophical argumentation. Finally, students will have awareness of their own philosophical positions and the evaluative skills needed for building and improving upon their overall worldview in the future. 

        This course satisfies the University of Texas at Arlington core curriculum requirement in Language, Philosophy & Culture.

      • PHIL 4388-001 Political Violence and Revolution

        This course is a high-level introduction to the philosophical issues raised by political violence in all its forms:  war, revolution, terrorism, economic sanctions, insurgency and counterinsurgency, genocide, ethnic cleansing.  Throughout we will be concerned to to understand the conditions that give rise to political violence and to evaluate various arguments for and against the legitimacy of the use of violence for political aims.  We will also consider non-violent resistance and pacifism in some detail.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2017 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • EDUC 5361-001 INTRODUCTION TO EDUCATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE

        This course is an introduction to educational or pedagogical neuroscience. It provides an introduction to functional neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, brain mapping techniques, lesion studies, and basic conceptual issues in the cognitive sciences.  Applications and connections to pedagogical practice and research are emphasized throughout, and this emphasis guides the selection of material.  Highlighted topics include the neural correlates of attention, memory, pattern-recognition, learning and conditioning, perception, emotion, reasoning and consciousness, as well as differing viewpoints about MBE and the philosophical issues the (multi-)discipline raises.     

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2016 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • PHIL 4388-001 Twentieth Century French Thought

        This course is a high-level introduction to some of the major themes and figures in early to mid 20th century French philosophy (from Henri Bergson (1859-1941) to Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) and Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986)).  Special emphasis is placed on the French reception of the work of three German-speaking philosophers (G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831), Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), and Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)) whose worked deeply marked the development of French philosophy, literary theory, psychoanalytic theory, and social theory in this period.  A separate course will be devoted to post-Sartrean French philosophy (Foucault, Althusser, Derrida, Deleuze, & co.).  This course sets the stage for that one (20th Century French Philosophy, Part II).    

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2016 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • PHIL 2300-001 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY

        This course provides an interactive approach to the study of philosophy. Not only will students learn about important philosophical figures, movements, and methodology but they will be encouraged to identify their own philosophical positions and consider how these positions relate to those of the philosophers we’ve studied. Students are also encouraged to consider how particular philosophical issues have been important in their own lives and to discuss philosophical problems with friends and family outside of class. 

        Representative topics covered in this course include epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. Discussion of these topics will give rise to such questions as ‘What do I really know?’, ‘Am I free?’; ‘Am I morally responsible for what I do?’ ‘Is there an afterlife?’ ‘How should I treat others?’ and ‘What should I do with my life?’ 

        At the end of the course, students will be able to explain key philosophical concepts and the positions of major figures and will demonstrate skill in philosophical argumentation. Finally, students will have awareness of their own philosophical positions and the evaluative skills needed for building and improving upon their overall worldview in the future. 

        This course satisfies the University of Texas at Arlington core curriculum requirement in Language, Philosophy & Culture.

      • PHIL 4380-001 PHENOMENOLOGY

        Cross listed with PSYC 4359-001 (Topics: Consciousness and Neurophenomenology). This course is a high-level introduction to Phenomenology, a major 20th-century philosophical tradition spearheaded by Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) with roots in 19th-century descriptive and introspective psychology (represented by, among others, Franz Brentano (1838-1917) and William James (1842-1910)) and branches extending into many fields, including the foundations of mathematics, the theory of perception, metaphysics and epistemology, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, and the psychological and neuroscientific study of consciousness.  This course will combine historical and thematic approaches.  We will read both classical and contemporary texts in the field and cover most of the major topics phenomenologists have been preoccupied with (see below).  The course should interest philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience students as well as students concerned with the history of methodological controversies in the natural and social sciences and in literary theory. 

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2016 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours1 Document
      • PHIL 2314-001 Perspectives on Science and Mathematics

        In this course we cover topics and episodes in the history of science and mathematics from a philosophical point of view. We consider the role of philosophical, religious, and other cultural factors in the development of and reactions to the findings of the natural and mathematical sciences.   Ideally, students will come to understand that science has a fascinating history, is underpinned by deep philosophical presuppositions about the nature of knowledge and the nature of reality, and depends upon special social and cultural factors for its continued growth and revision.  The pedagogical usefulness of historical and philosophical material in the teaching of science and mathematics will be emphasized.  The successful student will acquire the ability to skillfully incorporate material from the history, philosophy, and sociology of science into the teaching of science and will also acquire a nuanced understanding of the social and cultural forces that have shaped the history of science and mathematics and continue to affect the development of the sciences today.  

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2015 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • PHIL 4388-002 TOPICS IN THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY: Existentialism

        This course is an advanced survey of existential philosophy (Existentialism), a major 20th century philosophical movement with a considerable influence on the wider culture (including literature, art, film, psychoanalysis, and theology).   Existentialism has roots in the work of 19th century philosophers and writers like Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Dostoevsky as well as roots in the 20th century phenomenological philosophy of Edmund Husserl.  After considering this background, we will focus on the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, whose work is indispensable to an understanding of Existentialism even though he himself disavowed the label, and, above all, the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, who embraced and popularized the “existentialist” moniker and systematized Existentialism in his 1943 tome, Being and Nothingness.  Philosophical themes of focus include these:  consciousness, self-consciousness, personality and personhood, the self, lived experience, negation, subjectivity vs. objectivity, temporality, freedom, responsibility, the individual vs. society, intersubjectivity, sexual ethics, embodiment, contingency, absurdity, despair, meaning, commitment, resistance, rebellion, authenticity, bad faith, suicide, and death.  Along the way, we will also discuss the work of G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, Henri Bergson, Karl Jaspers, José Ortega y Gasset, Alexandre Kojève, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Gabriel Marcel, and Albert Camus. Throughout the course we will be discussing the historical impact of Existentialism, raising questions about its contemporary cultural and philosophical relevance, and considering its specific analyses (of consciousness, intersubjectivity, value, etc.) in the light of present-day philosophical approaches and preoccupations, both “Analytic” and “Continental”.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2015 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • PHIL 2300-001 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY

        This course provides an interactive approach to the study of philosophy. Not only will students learn about important philosophical figures, movements, and methodology but they will be encouraged to identify their own philosophical positions and consider how these positions relate to those of the philosophers we’ve studied. Students are also encouraged to consider how particular philosophical issues have been important in their own lives and to discuss philosophical problems with friends and family outside of class. 

        Representative topics covered in this course include epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. Discussion of these topics will give rise to such questions as ‘What do I really know?’, ‘Am I free?’; ‘Am I morally responsible for what I do?’ ‘Is there an afterlife?’ ‘How should I treat others?’ and ‘What should I do with my life?’ 

        At the end of the course, students will be able to explain key philosophical concepts and the positions of major figures and will demonstrate skill in philosophical argumentation. Finally, students will have awareness of their own philosophical positions and the evaluative skills needed for building and improving upon their overall worldview in the future. 

        This course satisfies the University of Texas at Arlington core curriculum requirement in Language, Philosophy & Culture.

      • PHIL 3321-001 PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE

        This course is a high-level introduction to the themes and theories of analytical philosophy of language.  We will cover theories of reference, theories of meaning, and theories of truth.  We will cover the tripartite distinction between semantics, syntax, and pragmatics from a philosophical point of view.  We will discuss general theories about the nature of language and linguistic representation.  We will discuss the complicated relationship between linguistic meaning and psychological meaning.  We will discuss the complicated relationship between logical forms and grammatical forms.  We will discuss the role of the philosophy of language in the history of analytical philosophy, its relation to linguistics, psychology and neuroscience, and its relation to the philosophy of mind and to phenomenology.  Among the philosophers, linguists, and logicians whose work we will read or discuss are Bertrand Russell, Gottlob Frege, Edmund Husserl, Ludwig Wittgenstein, W.V.O. Quine, Alfred Tarski, Rudolf Carnap, J.L. Austin, Paul Grice, Donald Davidson, Hilary Putnam, Saul Kripke, David Lewis, and Noam Chomsky.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2015 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • PHIL 4388-001 Topics in the History of Philosophy: History and Philosophy of Neuroscience

        Cross listed with PHIL 5392-002, PSYC 4361-001, HIST 4388-010

        This course is an advanced introduction to the history and philosophy of neuroscience.  In (roughly) the first half of the course will cover the historical development of the brain sciences (including functional neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurology, neuropsychology, and neuropharmacology) from antiquity to the present, with special attention to the philosophical and cultural ideas that sometimes helped and sometimes hindered scientific progress, and with occasional attention to more recent, related developments in these sciences as well as to relevant perennial philosophical issues.  In (roughly) the second half of the course we will focus on the impact neuroscience (and especially neuropharmacology) is currently having on our self-conception, and on the relation of the brain sciences to long-standing philosophical issues (including the nature of moral judgment, the nature of the emotions, the nature of the self and personal identity, the nature of consciousness and subjectivity, the nature of happiness, and even the “meaning of life”).  We will conclude by considering one neurobiological theory of consciousness (and self) in some detail (Antonio Damasio’s) and by reflecting on the ethical issues that may arise from future (possibly utopian or dystopian) technologies that could enable us to modify mood, enhance cognition, control minds, and create different types of conscious mental states as we see fit.      

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2014 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • PHIL 3317-001 Intermediate Logic

        In this course we cover some of the basic metatheorems of Propositional and First-Order Predicate Logic, the rudiments of Axiomatic Set Theory, First-Order Theories with Identity, Second-Order Logic, and Modal Propositional Logic.  The emphasis will be on the philosophical uses and significance of Logic and the place of Logic in the history of Mathematics and Computer Science. We will also informally discuss Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems, Multivalued Logics, the paradoxes of Self-Reference and Naïve Set Theory, the nature of mathematical proof and axiomatization, and the relation of Logic to the problems of Artificial Intelligence, the Philosophy of Mind, and the Philosophy of Mathematics.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2014 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • PHIL 4388-001 Topics in the History of Philosophy: Buddhist Philosophy

        This course is an advanced introduction to the Buddhist philosophical tradition. We will begin by covering the core doctrines of Buddhism and an outline of the history of Buddhism, from its origins to its major living schools: Theravada, Tibetan, and Zen. The focus of the course will be one the philosophical articulation and defense of the central Buddhist tenets: the no-self doctrine, the ubiquity of suffering, impermanence, dependent origination, altruistic ethics, methods for bringing about the cessation of suffering, the role of meditation, the distinction between conventional and absolute reality, and consciousness and self-consciousness. Throughout, we will relate the discussion to contemporary Western philosophical perspectives.

      • PHIL 4389-002 TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCES: THEORIES OF CONSCIOUSNESS

        This course is an advanced introduction to philosophical, psychological, and neuroscientific approaches to the study of consciousness. Questions to be explored include: What is the relationship between consciousness and the brain? What can we know about consciousness on the basis of introspection? How do we explain the prevalence of dualistic intuitions about consciousness? Can consciousness be explained in a way that is consonant with the contemporary scientific worldview? What should a scientific theory of consciousness look like? What do actual contemporary neuroscientific theories of consciousness propose (e.g., those of Damasio, Edelman, Koch, and Tononi)? What are “altered states” of consciousness and what can we learn about consciousness from them (e.g., dreams, hallucinations, delirium)? What is the relationship between consciousness and perception, consciousness and conceptual thought, and consciousness and unconscious mental processes? Are non-human animals conscious? What is the relationship between consciousness, self-consciousness, and subjectivity? What is the relationship between consciousness and the representation of the body, space, and time? What is the function of consciousness? Does consciousness have causal powers of its own, or is it just an epiphenomenon? What is the relationship between consciousness and free will?

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2013 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours