Peter V. Forrest

I am a philosopher working in the philosophy of mind, specifically on consciousness, intentionality, and the relationship between the two.  I have secondary interests in philosophy of cognitive science (esp. thought and concepts, and the cognition/perception divide), philosophy of psychiatry (esp. schizophrenia), metaphysics (esp. causation and laws of nature), epistemology, and philosophy of religion.

My current area of research focuses on several fundamental and interconnected questions about phenomenal consciousness. First, I am interested in the scope of phenomenal consciousness: how far beyond the sensory-perceptual paradigms does phenomenal character extend in our mental lives?  Second, is the relation between the phenomenal character of an experience (i.e. what it feels like for the subject) and its intentional content (i.e. what it is about or represents) uniform across experiences of different kinds; or does the nature of the relation differ depending on the kind of experience in question?  Many philosophers hold that phenomenology is essentially and intrinsically intentional.  I think such views are promising, but it is an open question whether the reasons for accepting them generalize from sensory-perceptual experience to other kinds of conscious experience: e.g., agentive, moral, aesthetic, emotional, and cognitive experience.  Might the relationship between phenomenal character and intentional content look different for these different kinds of experience?  Third, I wonder whether consideration of various types of non-sensory conscious experience can help shed light on how we should conceive of phenomenal consciousness in the first place, and whether our current conceptions of the target phenomenon are adequate.

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Contact me: peter.v.forrest (at)