Luis H. Favela

Luis H. Favela, Ph.D.

Luis Favela is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Central Florida.

He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy and the Life Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, where he concurrently earned a Master's in Experimental Psychology. Prior to Cincinnati, he earned a Master's in Philosophy at San Diego State University and a Bachelor's in English and Philosophy at the University of San Diego.

His research is both philosophical and empirical, residing at the intersection of the cognitive sciences, neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology. Currently, his primary research aim is to demonstrate the suitability of complexity science and dynamical systems theory to provide the appropriate theories and methods for investigating and understanding mind, where 'mind' includes behavior, cognition, and consciousness. His philosophical work centers on issues pertaining to the development and justification of explanations, methods, and theories of the cognitive, neural, and psychological sciences. His experimental work centers on dynamical systems modeling (especially decision making and neural dynamics) and perception-action (especially affordance perception, and sensory substitution and augmentation).

Education

  • Ph.D. in Philosophy and the Life Sciences from University of Cincinnati
  • M.A. in Philosophy from San Diego State University
  • M.A. in Philosophy and the Life Sciences from University of Cincinnati
  • M.A. in Experimental Psychology from University of Cincinnati
  • B.A. in English and Philosophy from University of San Diego

Research Interests

  • Philosophical: AOS: Philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science. AOC: Buddhism, ethics, existentialism, phenomenology.
  • Empirical: Dynamical systems modeling (decision-making and neural dynamics), perception-action (affordance perception and sensory substitution).

Selected Publications

Articles/Essays

Book Reviews

Conference Papers/Presentations

  • Favela, L. H. (2016, April). Consciousness is (probably) still only in the brain even though cognition is not. The Reality of Experience. The Institute for Prospective Cognition and the Society for Mind Matter Research, Illinois State University. Chicago, IL. 
  • Favela, L. H. (2016, April). Crosscutting biology and engineering via fractals. (Re)Engineering Biology: The Emerging Engineering Paradigm in Biomedical Engineering, Systems Biology, and Synthetic Biology. Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Favela, L. H. (2016, April). From the armchair to the street: Phenomenology and the visually impaired. Experimental Philosophy as Applied Philosophy. The 2016 Ratio Conference and 7th Conference of Experimental Philosophy UK. Reading, United Kingdom.
  • Favela, L. H., & Chemero, A. (2015, November). An ecological account of visual “illusions.” 61st Annual Meeting of the Florida Philosophical Association. St. Augustine, FL.
  • Favela, L. H. (2015, May). Extended mind, life, and death. Life and Death: Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives. San Diego, CA. 
  • Favela, L. H., & Amon, M. J. (2015, May). Touch as a unisensory, interaction-dominant sense. Fifth Annual Midwestern Cognitive Science Conference, Mackinac Island, MI.
  • Favela, L. H., & Chemero, A. (2015, April). Preliminary evidence for extended cognitive systems. 106th Annual Meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, New Orleans, LA.
  • Favela, L. H., Coey, C. A., Griff, E. R., & Richardson, M. J. (2014, November). Fractal analysis of spontaneous activity in single neurons (Poster). 44th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C. Abstract published in Program No. 272.06. 2014 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. Washington, DC: Society for Neuroscience, 2014. Online at http://tinyurl.com/SfN2014

  • Favela, L. H., Riley, M. A., Shockley, K., & Chemero, A. (2014, August). Augmenting the sensory judgment abilities of the visually impaired. 122nd Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC. Abstract available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/e553822014-001

  • Favela, L. H., Jinks, A. K., & Chemero, A. (2014, June). Getting a grip on extended cognition. North American Meeting of the International Society for Ecological Psychology, Miami University, Oxford, OH.

  • Favela, L. H. (2014, May). Motivating a nonreductive approach to social cognition. In L. H. Favela (Co-Chair) & A. Chemero (Co-Chair), Why Can’t We Be Friends: Reductive and Nonreductive Treatments of Social Cognition. Symposium conducted at the 26th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco, CA. Abstract published in Program of the 26th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science. San Francisco, CA, 2014. Online at http://tinyurl.com/APS2014-Symposium

  • Favela, L. H., Riley, M. A., Shockley, K., & Chemero, A. (2014, May). Perception-action judgments normally made with vision more accurately made with touch (Poster). 26th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco, CA. Abstract published in Program No. X-143. Poster Sessions of the 26th Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science (pp. 36-37). San Francisco, CA, 2014. Online at http://tinyurl.com/APS2014-X143

  • Favela, L. H. (2014, April). An empirically viable extended cognition. Philosophy Colloquium, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA.

Miscellaneous Publications

Awards

Fellowships

Activities

Courses

Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
11527 PHI2010 Introduction to Philosophy Face2Face Tu,Th 1:30PM - 2:45PM Not Online
No Description Available
18771 PHI3930H Hon Special Topic Face2Face Tu,Th 4:30PM - 5:45PM Not Online
No Description Available
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
81673 PHI2010H Honors Intro to Philosophy Face2Face Tu,Th 4:30PM - 5:45PM Not Online
No Description Available
81674 PHI2010H Honors Intro to Philosophy Face2Face Tu,Th 12:00PM - 1:15PM Not Online
No Description Available
81111 PHI3320 Philosophy of Mind Web Web Not Online
No Description Available
Course Number Course Title Mode Session Date and Time Syllabus
50919 PHI2108 Critical Thinking Web A Web Available
Catalogue description: The logic of conversation, informal fallacies, and reasoning about human action.

Detailed description: This is an introductory course in critical thinking. It assumes that the student does not have prior knowledge of different types of reasoning, methods of interpretation, or forms and fallacies of argument. The primary objective of the course is to help the student be a better thinker both in their schoolwork and in their lives outside the classroom. Although the student will have some exposer, this course is not about formal logic, how people think, or how to win a debate. What this course will expose the student to are general rules of argumentation, how to organize one’s position in regard to a topic, and argumentative fallacies. Upon completion of the course, the student ought to have improved their ability to clearly and coherently express their thoughts and identify arguments and fallacies. Everyday thoughts, discussions, and decisions do not have to be called “arguments” to be such. The ability to pick the good ideas and opinions from the bad ones is a skill that can be learned. These are the skills you will begin to learn in this course.
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
10941 PHI3323 Minds & Machine: Phil Cog Sci Web Web Available
Catalogue description: Assumptions undergirding research in Cognitive Science.

Detailed description: The purpose of this course is to provide a broad introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Cognitive Science. As an interdisciplinary field, the material covered will be from various disciplines such as artificial intelligence, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology. Cognitive Science includes a great deal of both theoretical and empirical work. As such, this course will allow students to gain experience in analyzing and evaluating theories in Cognitive Science and determining whether or how a contemporary issue in Cognitive Science could be addressed empirically.
10433 PHI5340 Res Methods in the Cog. Sci Face2Face W 6:00PM - 8:50PM Available
Catalogue description: Interdisciplinary research methods in the cognitive sciences.

Detailed description: The purpose of this course is to provide a broad introduction to the research methods utilized in the cognitive sciences. As an interdisciplinary field, the cognitive sciences incorporate theories and methods from various disciplines such as computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology. The primary goal of this course is to strengthen students’ understanding of the investigative frameworks, methods, and theories underlying the cognitive sciences. To achieve this goal, students will first be provided with a foundation for research in the cognitive sciences. First, they will learn the general nature of scientific explanations, methods, and theories. Second, students will evaluate the target of investigation in the cognitive sciences by discussing responses to the question, “What is cognition?” Third, students will learn some of the historical foundations and experimental methods in the cognitive sciences. With these fundamentals in place, students will then learn and assess a variety of specific disciplinary approaches to the investigation and understanding of cognition that have contributed to the cognitive sciences, for example, those from neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology.
Course Number Course Title Mode Date and Time Syllabus
81904 PHI2010H Honors Intro to Philosophy Face2Face Tu,Th 1:30PM - 2:45PM Available
Catalogue description: Inquiry into the meaning and justification of fundamental ideas and beliefs concerning reality, knowledge, and values; application to relevant topics in ethics, religion, and politics.

Detailed description: The word ‘philosophy’ comes from the ancient Greek word for “love of wisdom.” Many of the sciences of today—e.g., biology, physics, psychology, etc.—began as philosophy, and were called “natural philosophy.” One way to think of philosophy historically is as the place where investigations of the world begin when we are not even sure what are the right questions to ask. When the theories and methods begin to get clear, then that part of human inquiry is sometimes carved off and becomes a discipline on its own. So, in one sense, philosophy is where other disciplines begin, but in another, it is also the most general of disciplines. As one philosopher put it, “The aim of philosophy...is to understand how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term” (Wilfrid Sellars, 1912-1989 CE). Typical topics of study in philosophy include ethics (“What is the right or wrong thing to do?), mind (“How do my thoughts relate to my brain?”), and ontology (“What is it to be?”).
Since philosophy has such a deep history (dating at least to around 500 BCE), has been practiced in many forms around the world (e.g., African, ancient Greek, Buddhist, etc.), and covers just about any topic worthy of attention (e.g., god, knowledge, logic, politics, etc.), it is impossible to introduce all of philosophy in a single course. As such, this course will introduce philosophy by means of a sampling of some of the big problems in philosophy, for example: “Can computers have minds,” “Do non-human animals have rights,” “Does a god exist,” “What is knowledge,” and “What is the meaning of life?” By taking the big problems approach, along the way we will discuss some of the big names in philosophy (e.g., Descartes, Hume, etc.) and some of the methods that are particular to philosophy (e.g., logic, Socratic method, thought experiments, etc.).
81905 PHI2010H Honors Intro to Philosophy Face2Face Tu,Th 12:00PM - 1:15PM Available
Catalogue description: Inquiry into the meaning and justification of fundamental ideas and beliefs concerning reality, knowledge, and values; application to relevant topics in ethics, religion, and politics.

Detailed description: The word ‘philosophy’ comes from the ancient Greek word for “love of wisdom.” Many of the sciences of today—e.g., biology, physics, psychology, etc.—began as philosophy, and were called “natural philosophy.” One way to think of philosophy historically is as the place where investigations of the world begin when we are not even sure what are the right questions to ask. When the theories and methods begin to get clear, then that part of human inquiry is sometimes carved off and becomes a discipline on its own. So, in one sense, philosophy is where other disciplines begin, but in another, it is also the most general of disciplines. As one philosopher put it, “The aim of philosophy...is to understand how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term” (Wilfrid Sellars, 1912-1989 CE). Typical topics of study in philosophy include ethics (“What is the right or wrong thing to do?), mind (“How do my thoughts relate to my brain?”), and ontology (“What is it to be?”).
Since philosophy has such a deep history (dating at least to around 500 BCE), has been practiced in many forms around the world (e.g., African, ancient Greek, Buddhist, etc.), and covers just about any topic worthy of attention (e.g., god, knowledge, logic, politics, etc.), it is impossible to introduce all of philosophy in a single course. As such, this course will introduce philosophy by means of a sampling of some of the big problems in philosophy, for example: “Can computers have minds,” “Do non-human animals have rights,” “Does a god exist,” “What is knowledge,” and “What is the meaning of life?” By taking the big problems approach, along the way we will discuss some of the big names in philosophy (e.g., Descartes, Hume, etc.) and some of the methods that are particular to philosophy (e.g., logic, Socratic method, thought experiments, etc.).
81212 PHI3320 Philosophy of Mind Web Web Available
Catalogue description: Recent and contemporary attempts to understand the relation of mind to body, the relation of consciousness to personhood, and the relation of psychology to neurobiology.

Detailed description: This course introduces some of the main arguments, concepts, and theories in the philosophy of mind. Some of the questions addressed in the philosophy of mind include: “What are minds made of,” “How does the mind relate to the brain,” and “what is consciousness?” Answers to these questions have consequences for a wide range of other disciplines, including computer science, ethics, neuroscience, and theology. The first part of the course covers the main philosophical views concerning mind, such as dualism, behaviorism, identity theory, functionalism, and eliminativism. The second part of the course focuses on consciousness, and questions such as: “Does ‘consciousness’ exist,” “Is consciousness physical,” and “Can there be a science of consciousness?”
Course Number Course Title Mode Session Date and Time Syllabus
50950 PHI2108 Critical Thinking Web A Web Available
Catalog description: The logic of conversation, informal fallacies, and reasoning about human action.

Detailed description: This is an introductory course in critical thinking. It assumes that the student does not have prior knowledge of different types of reasoning, methods of interpretation, or forms and fallacies of argument. The primary objective of the course is to help the student be a better thinker both in their schoolwork and in their lives outside the classroom. Although the student will have some exposer, this course is not about formal logic, how people think, or how to win a debate. What this course will expose the student to are general rules of argumentation, how to organize one's position in regard to a topic, and argumentative fallacies. Upon completion of the course, the student ought to have improved their ability to clearly and coherently express their thoughts and identify arguments and fallacies. Everyday thoughts, discussions, and decisions do not have to be called “arguments” to be such. The ability to pick the good ideas and opinions from the bad ones is a skill that can be learned. These are the skills you will begin to learn in this course.
Texts and Technology, Ph.D. Program • College of Arts & Humanities at the University of Central Florida
Phone: 407-823-0218 • Fax: 407-823-5156 • Website Technical Support: cahweb@ucf.edu