Research/Publications

FORTHCOMING BOOKS

Mun, Cecilea. Interdisciplinary Foundations for the Science of Emotion: Unification without Consilience. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Mun, Cecilea (Editor). Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Shame: Theories, Methods, Norms, Cultures, and Politics. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.


PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS



                                                                                                                           

METHOD

I am trained in the Analytic tradition of philosophy, but my philosophical perspectives and insights are also influenced by feminist, continental, and eastern traditions. I take an interdisciplinary approach to philosophy that is founded on the belief that many problems within a specific area of philosophy, along with their solutions, are intimately related to problems and solutions in other areas of philosophy and the sciences. I believe it is important to have or gain a wider perspective on philosophical issues so as not to lose sight of the forest for the trees, although a narrow focus on a particular technical problem may be essential to smoothing out various wrinkles and laying bare a clearer picture of the world as one (or a community) understands it. This approach to philosophy is reflected in my specialization in the philosophy of emotion. Questions about what emotions are, and their significance in our daily lives, are the common strands that bind my broader interests in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of science, epistemology, normative philosophy, feminist philosophy, and the history of philosophy. I also understand my specialization in the area of emotion to be in fact a specialization in the area of the philosophy of mind. My emphasis in focusing on concerns regarding conscious experiences of emotion betrays the influence of my training in feminist philosophy, and my concerns with issues that involve social interactions and public policies. In short, I regard my interest in the philosophy of emotion as a way of pursuing a distinctly feminist research program in the philosophy of mind. As a philosopher of mind, I am especially interested in the Hard Problem of Consciousness, which involve the question of why we are conscious. What is consciousness for or what, if anything at all, do conscious experiences contribute? These are fundamental questions that concern anyone who is interested in the scientific and philosophic study of consciousness. Some physical or material reductionists may challenge the claim that consciousness has anything to contribute at all. Daniel C. Dennett, for example, has argued that consciousness is superfluous. Our survival and flourishing need not require any conscious experience. Only the wetware, daemons, and information that precipitate our actions are necessary for us to do what we do and live as we live. My answer to this question is that consciousness delivers knowledge, and knowing is essential to survival. This is why we have conscious experiences. Although Mother Nature could have evolved beings without conscious experiences, she did not in fact do so. It is at this point that my interest in emotions takes center stage. Not only are emotions rich sources of research in their own right, they also provide a key to understanding the importance or significance of conscious experiences.


GENERAL AREAS OF INTEREST

I have a very wide range of interests and I enjoy thinking about things at various levels of abstraction, from meta-theory to practice. So it is somewhat difficult for me to state exactly what my areas of interests are. I have found that the best way to convey my areas of interests is to give others an idea of what it is that I enjoy doing in research and what it is that ultimately drives me to do what I enjoy doing. In short, I enjoy identifying and solving problems; and I enjoy doing so because this is what needs to be done in order to live a good life. Thus, I have a tendency to be interested in areas of research that not only involve interesting theoretical questions, but may also contribute to developing practical solutions for living a good life. Given this, besides my current work on theories of emotion, I am also interested in the relation between emotions, consciousness, cognition, perception, implicit biases, ethics, and public policies.

AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION AND COMPETENCE

My areas of specialization are philosophy of emotion, philosophy of mind, epistemology, philosophy of science, and moral psychology. As a philosopher of emotion, I am interested in all the various aspects of life that involve emotions. As such, I occupy a unique position which allows me to simultaneously pursue research in several broader areas of interests. It allows me to explore the metaphysics and semantics of natural kinds, to investigate theories of knowledge, justification, truth, and rationality within epistemology and cognitive psychology, to consider theories of intentionality and representation in the philosophy of mind and cognitive psychology, and to address the problem of demarcation and the problem of the under-determination of theory by evidence within the areas of epistemology, philosophy of science, and psychology. I am also competent in Ancient philosophy, focusing primarily on the philosophies of Epictetus, Plato, and Aristotle, as well as the history of Modern philosophy, beginning with Descartes and ending with Immanuel Kant. I am also competent in social and political philosophy. For my M.A. in Philosophy, I researched Maori claims for reparations against the British Crown, and I also have an M.A. in Ethics and Policy Studies. Furthermore, as a minority, woman philosopher, I am especially interested in the intersection of these areas with the concerns of feminist philosophy, which allows me to approach traditional philosophical topics from a multifaceted, situated perspective that is concerned with the practical application of philosophy to solving problems in the real world.