Matt DeStefano / Philosopher

About

I am a graduate student in philosophy at the University of Arizona. I graduated from Sacramento State University with a BA in Philosophy, specializing in Logic and Philosophy of Science, and got an MA in Philosophy from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. My research interests include: philosophy of mind (especially perception, consciousness, belief, and memory) , epistemology (especially social), philosophy of religion, well-being, and ethical issues surrounding life and death.


A small subset of the questions I’m interested in: Are perceptual experiences cognitively penetrated by higher-order concepts? What can psychology tell us about peer disagreement? What are the responsibilities of the speaker and hearer of testimony? What is the role of attention in modulating perception? How are psychologists and psychiatrists measuring well-being, and how does this compare with philosophical theories? Are philosophical intuitions reliable sources of evidence for philosophical theories? Is the existence of reasonable non-belief in God an argument against God’s existence?


I am affiliated with the Brogaard Lab for Multisensory Research, where we research issues related to synesthesia, autism, savant syndrome, and perception. I am a fairly regular contributor to the Philosopher’s Cocoon, a blog for early career philosophers, and the Secular Outpost, a blog on atheism and the philosophy of religion.


I currently live in Tucson, Arizona with my wife Jaclyn and our two cats. When not thinking about philosophy, I enjoy drinking good craft beer, playing chess, exercising, and playing the occasional video game.

Curriculum Vitae

Education

PhD in Philosophy

University of Arizona

Master of Arts in Philosophy

University of Missouri, Saint Louis

  • Thesis: The Nature and Reliability of Philosophical Intuitions: Berit Brogaard (Miami), Chair, Eric Wiland (UMSL), Elizabeth Schechter (WUSTL)
  • Philosophy of Mind - Berit Brogaard
  • Metaphysics - Gualtiero Piccinini
  • Proseminar – Testimony and Peer Disagreement - Eric Wiland
  • Metaethics - John Brunero
  • Philosophy of Cognitive Science - Gualtiero Piccinini
  • Epistemology - Berit Brogaard
  • Epicurus (independent study) – Jill Delston
  • Reasons and Rationality – John Brunero & Eric Wiland
  • Philosophy of Law - Jill Delston
  • Decision Theory (independent study) - Waldemar Rohloff
  • Social Epistemology (independent study) - Eric Wiland*
  • Aristotle - Jon McGinnis*

In Progress


May 2014

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy Logic & Philosophy of Science

Sacramento State University

May 2012

Work

Instructor (GTA)

University of Missouri, Saint Louis
Business Ethics

Spring 2013 - Present

Graduate Teaching Assistant

University of Missouri, Saint Louis
Assisting Andrew Black's "Major Ideas in Philosophy"

Fall 2012

Graduate Teaching Assistant

University of Missouri, Saint Louis
Assisting John Brunero's "Approaches to Ethics"

Fall 2012

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

Sacramento State University
Assisting Christina Bellon's "The Good Life"

Spring 2012

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

Sacramento State University
Assisting Matt McCormick's "Critical Thinking"

Fall 2011

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

Sacramento State University
Philosophy Tutor for Sacramento State University Student Life Services Department

2011-2012

Awards & Affiliations

2013-2014 Overall Outstanding Graduate Student Award

University of Missouri, St. Louis

2011 Weddle Student Essay Contest Winner

Sacramento State University

Graduate Student Researcher

Brogaard Lab for Multisensory Research

President

UMSL Philosopher’s Forum

Member

Center for Neurodynamics

Graduate Student Advisory Council Representative

University of Missouri, Saint Louis Philosophy Department

2011 Weddle Student Essay Contest Winner

Sacramento State University

Vice President

Sacramento State University Philosophy Club

  • DeStefano, Matt (2012) “Plantinga’s Innocent Assumption: Self-Defeating Naturalism, and Churchland’s Response,” Res Cogitans: Vol. 3: Iss. 1, Article 5.
  • Read Now

Close

  • “Alteration in the color experience of grapheme-color synesthetes in response to grapheme contrast and brightness variance”, with Rice K, Marlow K, and Brogaard B, in progress.
  •  
  • “Unconscious sound-symbolism in grapheme-color synesthesia”, with Rice K, Marlow K, and Brogaard B, in progress.

Close

  • Comments on Chad Marxen’s “Empiricism and the Argument from Queerness” Coastal Ethics Conference online. (Video available here, Spring 2013)
  •  
  • Comments on Ryan Ausperk’s “The Primacy of the Good: The Absence of Evil in Platonic Ontology” Gateway Graduate Conference, UMSL. (Spring 2013)
  •  
  • “Why is God Hiding? In Search of Evidence for a Perfect God.” UMSL Big Question Series, hosted by the Philosophers Forum. (Poster available here, Fall 2012)
  •  
  • “Peer Disagreement: The Philosopher Problem” California State University, Sacramento. (Nov. 2012)
  •  
  • “Plantinga’s Innocent Assumption: Self-Defeating Naturalism, and Churchland’s Response”, Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference (Spring 2012)

Close

Contact

Email successfuly sent, thank you.




Philosophy Resources

Philosophy Blogs