About

I am a Philosopher who completed my PhD in the joint Philosophy programmes at the University of St Andrews and the University of Stirling (Scotland). I taught philosophy for 5 years at the University of Stirling. I live in Minnesota (US).

Castles & Crusades RPG table-top role-playing:
I am an avid gamer, having played Dungeons & Dragons since 1980. After running a D&D Forgotten Realms campaign for 26 years (1992-2018), I’ve switched to Castles & Crusades running my own home brew world with a feel of the High Middle Ages (c.1200), drawing a lot on folklore (e.g. Norse, Celtic). The Old School Revival/Renaissance (OSR), represents, for me, what a tabletop RPG should be, and I have returned to that style of gaming – rules light, many options, rulings over rules, with challenging and gritty game play.

My Philosophical Personal Interests:
Developing a philosophical worldview of meaning and value inspired by – broadly speaking – Continental Phenomenology, American Pragmatic Naturalism, Existential Philosophy/Psychotherapy, and Enactive/Embodied Cognition.

PhD Thesis:
A Phenomenological-Enactive Theory of The Minimal Self. I argued that a ‘self’ does exist (unlike some who claim it is an illusion). I examined the minimal conditions of Selfhood by drawing on Phenomenology and Enactivism. The Self is based in corporeal, dynamic, kinaesthetic movement, rather than static, linguistic concepts (it is based in a type of processual metaphysics). Additionally, affects (moods, feelings, and emotions) play a vital role in the self (something which has been sorely neglected in the past). A narrative self also exists, but it is a higher-order addition which is based in – and continually influenced by – the minimal bodily and affective self. Thinkers who influenced my PhD research: Dan Zahavi, Shaun Gallagher, Evan Thompson, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Daniel N. Stern, and Matthew Ratcliffe. Classic influences include: Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Martin Heidegger.

If you are interested in exploring the idea of the ‘minimal’ (sense of) self in more detail, then please consider taking a look at my PhD Thesis: http://research-repository.st-andrews.ac.uk/handle/10023/6043

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