Colin Klein, Philosopher

I am an Associate Professor in the  School of Philosophy at the Australian National University. I am the acting director of the ANU Centre for Philosophy of the Sciences.

Before ANU, I taught at Macquarie University, and before that I spent a year as a visiting research fellow in the Centre for Consciousness at the ANU. My first job was at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  I did my undergraduate degree at Franklin and Marshall College and my PhD at Princeton University. For more information on my work and current projects, please scroll down.

Research Interests

A sampling of my research interests. A full CV is to the left. Click for more information and papers

Philosophy of Cognitive Neuroscience

Can functional neuroimaging help adjudicate between cognitive theories? How should information about the brain affect how we think about the mind? Can direct brain intervention give us answers?


Pain Perception

Pains are imperatives:  the pain of a broken ankle has a content akin to "Don't put weight on this ankle!" Imperativism solves traditional puzzles about pain while shedding light on real-world issues like chronic pain and addiction.


Consciousness

Insects are conscious. Certain kinds of severe brain damage spare consciousness. I and co-authors explore these issues as a means towards dissolving the hard problem of consciousness.


Reduction, Realization, and Computation

Traditional issues in intertheoretic reduction and realization. All of my work is concerned with the ontological commitments that our best theories do (and do not) bring.


Social Epistemology

I am interested in the transmission of information between people and how it can go wrong. I've looked at everything from online forums to Ancient Chinese philosophy


Other Interests

My philosophical interests are wide-ranging. Some bits are harder to categorize than others. I also write op-ed pieces, reviews, and commentaries.



Workshops and Conferences

This contains information about workshops past and forthcoming.

Professional Service

I am involved with professional societies. I help edit journals. That sort of thing.


Philosophy of Cognitive Neuroscience

Theory


"Mechanisms, resources, and background conditions" (2018) Biology and Philosophy 33:36

Published Version


"What do Predictive Coders Want?"  (2018) Synthese 95(6): 2451-2557.
Final Draft | Published Version

Peter Clutton, Stephen Gadsby & Colin Klein "Taxonomising delusions: content or aetiology?" (2017) Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 22(6): 508-527.
Published paper


"Kicking the Kohler Habit," Philosophical Psychology (2007) Vol. 20, No. 5, pp. 609-619.
Penultimate Draft

Neuroimaging-specific

"Decoding the Brain: Neural Representation and the Limits of Multivariate Pattern Analysis in Cognitive Neuroscience." (with J. Brendan Ritchie and David M. Kaplan) forthcoming in BJPS

Online First


"Interpreting the dimensions of neural feature representations revealed by dimensionality reduction'' Erin Goddard, Colin Klein, Samuel G Solomon, Hinze Hogendoorn, and Thomas A Carlson. (2018) Thomas A Carlson, Erin Goddard, David M Kaplan, Colin Klein, J. Brendan Ritchie. Neuroimage 180(A): 88–100

Published paper


"Ghosts in machine learning for cognitive neuroscience: Moving from data to theory" Thomas Carlson, Erin Goddard, David M. Kaplan, Colin Klein, Brendan Ritchie. (2018) Thomas A Carlson, Erin Goddard, David M Kaplan, Colin Klein, J. Brendan Ritchie. Neuroimage 180(A): 88–100
Published Paper


"Brain Regions as Difference-Makers" (2017) Philosophical  Psychology 30(1-2): 1-20.  Published Paper  | Final Draft


"The Brain at Rest: What it's Doing and Why That Matters" Philosophy of Science (2014) 81(5): 974-985
Published Paper | Final Draft


"Cognitive Ontology and Region- versus Network-oriented Analyses" Philosophy of Science (2012) 79(5): 952-960.
Final Draft


"The Dual Track theory of Moral Decision-Making: A Critique of the Neuroimaging Evidence"  Neuroethics (2011) Vol. 4, pp 143-162.
Published Version | Final Draft


"Images are not the Evidence of Neuroimaging" British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (2010) Vol. 61, pp. 265-278.
Published Version | Penultimate Draft


Chris Mole and Colin Klein "Confirmation, Refutation and The Evidence of fMRI"  In Foundational Issues in Human Brain Mapping (2010), pp99-112.
MIT press


Pain Perception

Articles


"Pain, Care, and The Body: A Response to de Vignemont" forthcoming in Australasian Journal of Philosophy
Older Draft | Online First


Manolo Martínez and Colin Klein" Pain signals are predominantly imperative" Biology and Philosophy 31:283–298. Published Version | Final Draft

"What Pain Asymbolia Really Shows" Mind (2015) 124(494): 493-516.
Published Paper | Final Draft


"The Penumbral Theory of Masochistic Pleasure"  The Review of Philosophy and Psychology (2014) 5(1): 41-55
Published Paper | Final Draft


"Imperatives, Phantom Pains, and Hallucination by Presupposition" Philosophical Psychology (2012) 25(6): 917-928.
Published Paper | Final Draft


"Response to Tumulty on Pain and Imperatives" (2010) The Journal of Philosophy Vol. CVII, No. 10, pp 554-557.

Final Draft


"An Imperative Theory of Pain," The Journal of Philosophy (2007) Vol. CIV, No. 10, pp 517-532.
Penultimate Draft

Book

In Progress

"Imperativism and Degrees of Pain" (with Manolo Martínez) accepted for The Nature of Pain: Hedonic Tone, Motivation, and Non-Human Animals. ed. Michael Brady, Oxford: Oxford University Press (projected)
Current Draft


Consciousness

Invertebrate Consciousness

Andrew Barron and Colin Klein. "What insects can tell us about the origins of consciousness" (2016) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113(18): 4900–4908.
Personal Version | Online Version


Other press coverage here.


Colin Klein and Andrew Barron "Reply to Adamo, Key et al., and Schilling and Cruse: Crawling around the hard problem of consciousness" (2016)
Online Version


Klein, Colin and Barron, Andrew B. (2016) Insects have the capacity for subjective experience. Animal Sentience 2016.100.

(click above for final online version and peer commentary)


Klein, Colin and Barron, Andrew B. (2016) Insect consciousness: Commitments, conflicts and consequences Animal Sentience 2016.153 

Human Consciousness

"Consciousness, Intention, and Command Following in the Vegetative State" (2017) The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68(1): 27-54
Final Draft | Online Version


“Variability, convergence and dimensions of consciousness” (2015) Colin Klein and Jakob Hohwy. In Behavioral Methods In Consciousness ed. Morten Overgaard, Oxford: Oxford University Press: 249–264.

OUP Book Page

Reduction, Realization, and Computation

Reduction and Realization

"Psychological Explanation, Ontological Commitment, and the Semantic view of Theories " New Waves in Philosophy of Mind (2014) ed. Mark Sprevak and Jesper Kallestrup. New York, Palgrave Macmillan: 208-225.
Publisher Website | Final Draft


"Multiple Realizability and the Semantic View of Theories" Philosophical Studies. (2013) 163(3): 683-695.
Published paper | Penultimate Draft


"Reduction without Reductionism: A Defence of Nagel on Connectability" Philosophical Quarterly (2009) Vol. 59, No. 234, pp. 39-53.
Published version


"An Ideal Solution to Disputes about Multiply Realized Kinds," Philosophical Studies (2008) Vol. 140, No. 2, pp. 161-177.
Penultimate Draft

Computation

Consciousness, Cognition, and 'Consciousness and Cognition'" (2019) In Routledge Handbook of the Computational Mind, ed. Mark Sprevak and Matteo Colombo, 297–309.

Final Draft


"Olympia and Other O-Machines" Philosophia (2015) 43(4): 925-931
Final Draft | Published Version


"Two Paradigms for Individuating Implementation"
The Journal of Cognitive Science (2012) 13(2): 167-179.
Final Draft


"Dispositional Implementation Solves the Superfluous Structure Problem" Synthese (2008) Vol. 165, No. 2, pp. 141-153
Penultimate Draft | Published Version

Social Epistemology

Online Work

My work on online social epistemology is the focus of the ARC Discovery Project DP190101507 "Trust in a Social and Digital World" with Mark Alfano


"Topic modeling reveals distinct posting patterns within an online conspiracy forum." Colin Klein, Peter Clutton, Vince Polito (2018) Frontiers in Psychology 9: 189.

Published Version


"Pathways to conspiracy: the social and linguistic precursors of involvement in Reddit's conspiracy theory forum." Colin Klein, Peter Clutton, and Adam Dunn.

PsyArXiv Version


Traditional


Jessica Isserow and Colin Klein (2017) "Hypocrisy and Moral Authority" Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12(2): 191-222.


Esther Klein and Colin Klein “Wang Chong’s epistemology of testimony”  (2016) Asia Major Third Series, 29(2): 115–147.
Link to website



Other Interests

Hard to categorize papers

Esther Klein and Colin Klein "Did the Chinese Have a Change of Heart?" (2012) Cognitive Science 36(2): 179-82.
Published Version


Anthony Chemero, Colin Klein, and Will Cordeiro.  "Events as Changes in the Layout of Affordances." (2003) Ecological Psychology.  15(1), 19-28.
Published Version


Public Engagement

"Online conspiracy theorists are more diverse (and ordinary) than most assume"
The Conversation


"Gay-identifying AI tells us more about stereotypes than the origins of sexuality"
The Conversation


"What it is like to be a bee: insects can teach us about the origins of consciousness"

The Conversation Article



Reviews and Commentary


Review of Philosophy and Computing: Essays in Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind, Logic, and Ethics ed. Thomas Power. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (May 2018)

Published Version


"Precaution, proportionality and proper commitments.", commentary on Johnathan Birch's  " Animal sentience and the precautionary principle".

Animal Sentience

Review of Tense  Bees and Shell-Shocked Crabs: Are Animals Conscious? by Michael Tye. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (April 2017).

Published Version


Review of Reliability in Cognitive Neuroscience: A Meta-Meta-Analysis by William Uttal. (2015) Philosophical Psychology 28(4): 606-609
Published Version


Review of Engineering the Next Revolution in Neuroscience: The New Science of Experiment Planning by Alcino J. Silva, Anthony Landreth, and John Bickle. (2014) Philosophy of Science 81(3): 486-489.
Published Version


Review of Brain Imaging: What it Can (and Cannot) Tell us About Consciousness by Robert G. Shulman. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (June 2013)
Published Version


Review of Explaining the Brain by Carl F. Craver Mind 121 (481): 165-169. (2012)
Published Version


"Critical Notice: Cognitive Systems and the Extended Mind by Robert Rupert" (2010) The Journal of Mind and Behavior Vol 34 No 3&4.
Published Version | Penultimate Draft


"Redeployed Functions Versus Spreading Activation: A Potential Confound" (2010) Commentary on "Neural reuse: A fundamental organizational principle of the brain" by Michael L. Anderson. Behavioral and Brain Sciences Vol. 33, pp. 280-281
Final Draft

Workshops & Conferences

Past


"Animal Sentience: Pushing the Boundaries" 17 August 2018, The Australian National University (sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy of the Sciences)


"Conspiracy theories, delusions and other 'troublesome' beliefs" 10-11 August 2017, Macquarie University


"Reshaping the mind: New work on cognitive ontology" 9-10 June 2016, Macquarie University


"The Feeling of Suffering" 18-19 February 2016 Macquarie University

(Jointly sponsored  and run by the John Templeton Foundation via the Value of Suffering Project and the Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics (CAVE) at Macquarie University)


"Predictive Coding, Delusions, and Agency" 15 May 2015, Macquarie University (Sponsored by the Research Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics (CAVE) at Macquarie University)

Professional Service