Our research partnerships expand the scope of the Western Institute for Advanced Study, building on collaborations with experts engaged in empirical research, the development of practical applications, and the philosophical evaluation of theoretical findings.
Asger Kirkeby-Hinrup works in interdisciplinary consciousness studies, at the intersection between the philosophy of mind, psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. In particular, AKH focuses on how to assess and compare theories of consciousness on the basis of their respective empirical support. One focus of this work is to investigate the capacity for theories of consciousness to account for representation and misrepresentation. AKH has also contributed to the debates on free will, by identifying a role for positive reinforcement in the exercise of introspection and decision-making. Moving forward, a major aim of this effort is to explore the biophysical and psychological constraints on representational accuracy and the factors which enable and limit the exercise of free will.
Currently, AKH is concerned with evaluating theories of consciousness in terms of their predictive value and explanatory power. In particular, AKH examines the interaction between arguments from the conceptual domain and arguments based on empirical evidence from psychology, neuroscience, and the cognitive sciences. A natural extension of this research program is to evaluate the philosophical efficacy of the new theoretical framework that has emerged from the first Grand Challenge hosted by the Western Institute for Advanced Study. A promising avenue of collaborative research currently being undertaken is the exploration of overlap and compatibility of this new theoretical framework for perception, cognition, and decision, in comparison with other theories of consciousness - including Integrated Information Theory, Global Neuronal Workspace Theory, SOMA and REFCON.
AKH received his Masters in Philosophy from Aarhus University in Denmark and his Ph.D. in Theoretical Philosophy from Lund University in Sweden. AKH teaches Philosophy of Mind at Lund University and pursues an interdisciplinary research program in collaboration with researchers at both Lund University and Aarhus University.
Find out more about AKH's research program and publications here.