Areas of Specialty: Existential Phenomenology of Mindfulness, Philosophy of Mind (Mind-Body Theory). Consciousness

Areas of Interest: 4E Cognition/Integrated Information Theory, Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Religion, and Socio-Political Philosophy

Miami Dade College

Links to my Miami Dade College classes. (Starting Spring 2023)

Introduction to Philosophy (PHI-2010)

Critical Thinking/Ethics (PHI-2640)

Current Projects

Mr. J's Folk Philosophy

The world of academic philosophy has become clogged and stagnant with high-brow language and theory that keeps philosophy from those who desperately need it - EVERYONE. Academics have also turned the term "folk" into a quasi-slur, and that elitism needs to end. It's time for everyone to have access to philosophy of all sorts.

Mr. J's Folk Philosophy will take many forms, but will be available to everyone in some form:

  • Podcasts

  • Articles

  • Classes online

  • and more...

Merleau-Pontian Conception of Mindfulness

Current project with Dr. Ron McClamrock

In contrasting the internalist perspective of consciousness and 4E phenomenological cognition, Merleau-Pontian phenomenology suggests consciousness is a multi-layered and interactive experience. Through the lens of our consciousness, we gain a metaphysical and epistemic understanding of our world. This independent study investigates advanced aspects of 4E cognition through an existential-phenomenological study of historical and contemporary authors focusing on the phenomenological concept of “mindfulness.”

Ongoing Projects

Phenomenology of Fear & Anxiety: What We Can Learn

Something is phenomenologically fascinating about the experience of fear and anxiety. Fear, in all its forms, has a powerful place in our psychology, and that power can turn fretful angst and mere worry into consuming terror. We can also transmute our fears into objects to be managed through phenomenological and psychological analysis. Dealing with them and how we think about things, rather than allowing fear and worry to become a consuming and unreflective thing that controls the character of how we think and act. This paper recasts the role of anxiety and fear by phenomenologically examining the multifaceted aspect of intentionality contained within an anxious and fearful experience. By moving away from the raw, qualia-based, biological, and fundamental conceptions, this approach uncovers knowledge of our intentional stance toward the world that otherwise gets caught in typical psychological responses of fight or flight. I borrow methodologies from well-known phenomenological sources and illuminate how anxiety and fear interact with our beliefs, desires, and knowledge.

Religious Conversion: A Phenomenal Curiosity

Co-Authored with Dr. Mark Zelcer

In order to characterize religious conversion there must be a preexisting conception of the nature of religion. The conception of religion will then determine what conversion is. That there is no agreed upon definition of religion will not impact the argument, as we explain below. We use, as an example an account of religion due to (Woodberry and Smith) which understands religion as a system of belief, behavior, and belonging. This theoretical structure implies conversion must transform someone in all three ways. We show how standard accounts of phenomenological transformation are all incomplete and do not account for the full or variegated nature of religious expression.

To motivate this conceptual analysis, we will provide some of these previously mentioned historical examples that purport to describe religious conversion; in particular, the wager offered by Blaise Pascal, and the crypto-conversions of the Marranos. We suggest that these cases do not provide adequate accounts of the phenomenon of spiritual conversion. From there, we end. Either conversion does not happen, or one must adjust their theory of religion and ontology accordingly to adequately characterize the conversion phenomenon.

COVID-19 and the Fallacy of 'Race'

It is a widely accepted scientific fact that ‘race’ has no universal or meaningful biological determinate or referent to one particular social group, ethnicity, geographical boundary, or culture within the use of the term. However, ongoing studies of the COVID-19 pandemic by the Centers for Disease Control and individual State Departments of Health are reporting a disparity of mortality among certain ‘races.’ The conflation of this pandemic’s mortality rates and the term ‘race’ might allow for sensational and diversional coverage in the news but comes at the price of severely increasing epistemic injustice surrounding the use of the term. We should move away from using 'race' as a meaningful category and instead focus on the direct causal factors behind the statistical trends.