Office: 308 Griffin-Floyd Hall
Phone: (352) 273-1830
Department of Philosophy
330 Griffin-Floyd Hall
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-8545
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1997
Areas of research: Metaphysics, philosophy of mind, physicalism, consciousness, a priori knowledge
I joined the faculty at the University of Florida in 1997 after doing my doctoral degree at Rutgers. My research has been in metaphysics and philosophy of mind, often focusing on the doctrine of physicalism, the claim, roughly, that everything that exists is in some sense ultimately physical in nature. I've also worked on such topics as the nature of intrinsic properties, questions about mental causation, functionalist treatments of the mind, and the role of conceptual analysis and/or a priori knowledge in metaphysics generally. My interest in epistemology and philosophy of religion has grown over the years and I might inflict my musings on such on the academic community in the future.
By way of undergraduate teaching, I regularly teach courses in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion. Recent graduate seminars have included courses on metaphysical grounding, the history of analytic philosophy, physicalism, and the problem of consciousness.
If you are curious about my philosophical views, you can check out my answers to the PhilPapers Survey here. By an astonishing coincidence, you can find out the true positions regarding many of those questions at the same location.
Office hours for Fall 2018:
By appointment only
On research leave
Selected Recent Publications
"Platonistic Physicalism without Tears." Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (9-10): 72-90. 2017.
"Physicality for Physicalists." In a special edition of Topoi edited by Andreas Elpidoru on the topic of the characterization of physicalism. First Online: 14 July, 2016. DOI: 10.1007/s11245-016-9415-y
"Chudnoff on our Awareness of Abstract Objects." Florida Philosophical Review 16 (1): 105-116. Winter 2016. Online at http://philosophy.cah.ucf.edu/fpr/files/16_1/Witmer.pdf.
"Physicalism and Metaphysical Naturalism." Oxford Bibliographies Online. 2015.
"A Simple Theory of Intrinsicality." In Robert M. Francescotti, ed., Companion to Intrinsic Properties. Berlin: DeGruyter, 2014.
Review of Robert Kirk, The Conceptual Link from Physical to Mental (Oxford University Press, 2013). In Analysis Reviews 0, 1-5 (2014).
"Naturalism and Physicalism." Encyclopedia entry in Robert Barnard and Neil Manson, eds., The Bloomsbury Companion to Metaphysics, Bloomsbury Publishing (formerly Continuum), 2012.
Review of Jens Kipper, A Two-Dimensionalist Guide to Conceptual Analysis (Ontos Verlag, 2012). Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. January 11, 2013.
"Stalking the Elusive Physicalist Thesis." Review of Daniel Stoljar, Physicalism (Routledge, 2010). Metascience 21: 71-75. 2012.
Review of Jakob Howhy and Jesper Kallestrup, eds., Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation (Oxford University Press, 2008). Mind 120 (479): 882-888. July 2011.
Review of Timothy Williamson, The Philosophy of Philosophy (Blackwell, 2007). Metaphilosophy (2011) 42: 155-160.
"Necessity, Identity, and A Priori Access." Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2): 241-263. Spring/Fall 2007.
"How To Be A (Sort of) A Priori Physicalist." Philosophical Studies 131 (1): 185-225. October 2006.
Selected Recent or Upcoming Presentations
"Metaphysics and A Priori Vindication."
May 10, 2018. Invited talk at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Comments on Paul Boswell, "There Are No Intrinsic Desires,"
February 2018 at the Central Division, American Philosophical Association. Chicago, IL.
Comments on Zach Blaesi, "Grounding, Physicalism, and the Explanatory Gap."
January 6, 2018. Eastern Division, American Philosophical Association. Savannah, GA. (Presented in absentia.)
Comments on Fermin Fulda, "Three Grades of Naturalistic Involvement."
October 6, 2017. Conference of the Society for the Metaphysics of Science. New York, NY.
Comments on Todd Ganson, "What are Sensory Powers?"
January 7, 2017. Eastern Division, American Philosophical Association. Baltimore, MD.
Comments on Kenneth L. Pearce, "Counteressential Conditionals."
March 3, 2016. Central Division, American Philosophical Association. Chicago, Illinois.
"Physicality for Physicalists."
Invited talk for the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. New York, NY. September 30, 2015.
Comments on Andreas Elpidorou, "Defending Actualist Physicalism."
September 18, 2015. Conference of the Society for the Metaphysics of Science. Newark, NJ.
Comments on Louis deRosset, "The Scrying Game."
April 3, 2015. Pacific Division, American Philosophical Association. Vancouver, British Columbia.
Comments on Alyssa Ney, "Microphysical Causation and the Case for Physicalism."
February 21, 2015. Central Division, American Philosophical Association. St. Louis, MO.
December 28, 2014. Eastern Division, American Philosophical Association. Philadelphia, PA.
November 16, 2013. Florida Philosophical Association. DeLand, FL.
"Determinism and Intervention: Reply to Scott Sehon." With Andreas Falke.
November 4, 2014. Florida Philosophical Association. Tampa, FL.