Joe Cruz

Philosophy & Cognitive Science
Williams College
Hollander Hall, 85 Mission Park Drive, Williamstown, MA 01267

My philosophical areas of specialization are epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of cognitive science. In cognitive science, my research is in neural network modeling, embodied cognition, and cognitive development.

BA Williams College (in Philosophy), Williamstown, MA, 1991
Ph.D. University of Arizona (in Philosophy and Cognitive Science), Tucson, AZ, 1999


e-mail: jcruz at williams dot edu
Office: Hollander Hall 306 
.| ..(413) 597-2484

r e s e a r c h

t e a c h i n g


p u b l i c
..l e c t u r e s

— "Why There Is No Mind/Body Problem" - TEDx Williams, Winter 2014. 

— "Knowing One's Mind" - Campus faculty lecture, Spring 2007. Podcast, transcript, and Powerpoint presentation

p u b l i c a t i o n s

— "Parsimony and the Triple System Model of Concepts" (2011, with Safa Zaki) (Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33(2)).

— "Is There Reason for Skepticism?" - (2010) In Knowledge and Skepticism (O'Rourke and Campbell, eds.). (Powerpoint presentation here)

— "The Chimerical Appeal of Epistemic Externalism" (2004, with John Pollock) - In The Externalist Challenge (Richard Schantz, ed.).

— "Epistemology" and "Simulation Theory" (2003) - Entries in the Nature Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science (the latter written with Bob Gordon).

— "Mindreading: Mental State Ascription & Cognitive Architecture" (Mind & Language, 13(3), 1998).

— "Simulation and the Psychology of Sociopathy"(Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 20(3), 1997).



Office Hours Spring 2014: Mondays 2:30-4, Tuesdays 1:15-2:30 and by appointment

Things I am thinking about (feel welcome to ask me about them)

irrationality; skepticism; meditation; eliminativism/mind as mechanism; Faulkner; neural constraints on cognitive explanations; Kant's schematism; animal cognition; Hume; reducing animal suffering; stream of consciousness literature; sports and embodied cognition; ultra light weight bike touring; concepts

c u r r e n t
..c o u r s e s

Perception and Reality
— Philosophy of Mind

r e s o u r c e s
..f o r ..s t u d e n t s

— Introduction to metaphysics and epistemology writing tutor
— Introduction to
moral philosophy writing tutor

p r e v i o u s
...c o u r s e s

Skepticism & Relativism Tutorial
Minds, Brains & Intelligent Behavior - An Introduction to Cognitive Science
The Embodied Mind: Meditative Practices, the Mind Sciences, and the Philosophy of Mind (co-taught with Georges Dreyfus)
Introduction to Metaphysics & Epistemology (PHIL 102)
Introduction to Moral & Political Philosophy (PHIL 101)
Skepticism & Relativism
Tutorial on David Hume
History of Modern Philosophy
Philosophy of Language & Philosophy of Mind
Contemporary Epistemology (and a slightly different tutorial version)
Philosophy and Animal Life
Skepticism Seminar
Current trends in Cognitive Science
Tutorial on Consciousness
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
Philosophical Naturalism
Philosophy of Psychology
Relativism & Truth
Foundations & Methods of Cognitive Science
A History of Psychology
Winter Study in Morocco

a d v a n c e d
...s t u d e n t s...a d v i s e d

John Morrison '01 (PhD, NYU; Assistant Professor, Columbia/Bard). Philosophy thesis - "Contextualism and the Neglected Question of Context"

Katharine Baker '02 (Cambridge University History and Philosophy of Science)

Ezra Goldschlager '02 (Yale Law)

Laura Zuckerwise '04 (Rutgers Department of Philosophy and NYU Law)

Jennifer Misyak '05 (Cornell Department of Psychology). Cognitive science independent project - "Developmental Delay to Theory of Mind in Autism"

Paul Sonenthal '05 (Johns Hopkins Medical School). Philosophy thesis - "The Role of the Observer in Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics"

Julianne Shelby '06 (Cambridge University Cognitive Neuroscience). Cognitive Science thesis - "Theories Naturalized"

Anna Edmonds '07 (University of Michigan Department of Philosophy). Philosophy thesis - "Abandoning the Truth Aim: A reevaluation of the the aim of belief and the goal of cognition"

Joanna Korman '07 (Brown University Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences). Cognitive Science independent project - "A Distinctive Epistemology of Social Contents"

Rachel Schneebaum '09 (University of Arizona Department of Philosophy). Philosophy thesis - "Re-Reading the Problem of Consciousness"

Allison Hansen-Decelles '10. Philosophy thesis - "The Animal-Famine Argument"

Zoe Jenkin '12 (Harvard Philosophy). Philosophy thesis - Conceptual Change and the Analytic Synthetic Distinction

Contemporary Theories of Knowledge, (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999) a book co-authored with the late John Pollock a friend, mentor, and collaborator. This is a treatise on our own positive view as well as an epistemology primer. This second edition contains substantial new sections on the methodology of epistemology, epistemic naturalism, normativity, and cognitive science.
Table of Contents & Preface

s h o r t e r
...p i e c e s

Comments on work by Justin Fisher, prepared for the SPP meeting 2006. 

Comments on work by Cummins et al., delivered at the SPP meeting 2005.

Comments on work by Whit Schonbein, delivered at the SPP meeting 2001.

Comments on work by Karsten Stueber, delivered at the Central APA Meeting 2001.

Comments on work by Paul Churchland, delivered at a conference in honor of Alvin Goldman, 2001. 


p o p u l a r...a u d i e n c e...p h i l o s o p h y

— "Knowledge and Reasons" (2013) Philosophy Now. Vol 96, May/June, 19-22. 

p e r s o n a l


p r o f e s s i o n a l



Expedition Cycling Blog


Past contributor to The Public Humanist, a blog project by the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities 

Past Secretary/Treasurer and ex-officio executive committee member for The Society for Philosophy & Psychology

Past Board member of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities