Philosophy researcher FSU

Meet David Rose: Dean's Postdoctoral Scholar at FSU

David Rose is a Dean’s Postdoctoral Scholar here at Florida State University. I’ve had the privilege of working with him on research projects, and he actually introduced me to FSU’s Experimental Philosophy Research Group. He’s been beyond helpful to me as I’ve entered the realm of philosophy related university research. David Rose is a very accomplished member of the Florida State University Philosophy Department and it’s important that he be recognized. 

Her Campus (HC): So, to begin, tell me a little bit about your academic background. 

David Rose (DR): I did my undergraduate work in philosophy and psychology at Ohio University.  From there, I went to Carnegie Mellon University where I earned a M.S. in logic, computation and methodology. I did my PhD in philosophy at Rutgers University.

HC: Very impressive. You have a really extensive background in the field of philosophy. Being so, what are some misconceptions you think people have about philosophy as a whole?

DR: When people ask me what I do and I answer "philosophy", one question I tend to get is, "What's your philosophy?”. Several years ago, I had a friend at a conference also comment on getting this kind of response. He said it is like asking a geologist, "What's your geology?".

HC: Interesting, it seems as though people take the field of philosophy for granted and don’t see it as being sufficient enough to study in a general way. Speaking of taking the field for granted, what makes the work and research that comes out of the Florida State University Philosophy Department valuable?

DR: One thing that makes the research coming out of FSU incredibly valuable is that the kind of work being produced is on a wide variety of topics. I think this kind of diversity and openness to the kinds of issues pursued and taken seriously is very valuable.

HC: I agree. It seems as though the department is willing to tackle all sorts of unique topics, including those of moral responsibility, intention, free will, and other crucial topics in philosophy. Would you say that you have a favorite philosopher and why are they your favorite?

DR: I suppose if I had to dig in and pick a favorite, I would have to go with Aristotle. That's mainly because one central line of my own research focuses on the role of teleological considerations - or thinking about things in terms of purposes - in our ordinary worldview. This kind of focus on teleology plays a very important role in some of Aristotle's own work and I think he correctly captured a central way we think about the world.

Dodd Hall FSUDodd Hall is home to FSU's Philosophy Department & the beautiful Heritage Museum (pictured).

HC: Aristotle is one of the philosophers whose works I’m currently studying in my classes - I really enjoy his work too. Since it’s Women’s History Month, I felt I should throw this question in: do you think philosophy is a male-dominated field? Do you ever foresee this changing?

DR: Philosophy has, for a long time, been male-dominated. But there have been some very important, ongoing efforts to change this. 

HC: I agree with you. I think the first step towards changing this is recognizing that philosophy is indeed dominated by men. To end, what do you think is the most difficult philosophical question to answer?

DR: If I had to settle on just one, I would say this: How does the brain give rise to conscious experience? This has proven very difficult for philosophers and scientists alike. 

If you’re interested in exploring a discussion related to the most difficult philosophical question David mentioned, you can take a look at a Scientific American article that mentions it here.

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