Skip to main content

Kirchhoff, Michael D. Dr

Senior Lecturer

  • Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts
  • School of Humanities and Social Inquiry

Overview


Michael Kirchhoff studied at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, obtaining his PhD on the metaphysics of the extended mind hypothesis from Macquarie University in 2014. Michael is a chief investigator on an ARC DP on "Minds in Skilful Performance" and has previously received grants from the John Templeton Foundation. Some outcomes of these grants are: the special issue in Synthese on 'Predictive Brains and Embodied, Enactive Cognition', a finished book manuscript under review with Routledge entitled 'Extended Consciousness and Predictive Processing: A Third-Wave View' and numerous single and jointly authored papers in top-rated journals such as the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Synthese, Entropy, the Journal for the Royal Society Interface, and many more. 

Michael is currently working on completing a large grant application to the John Templeton Foundation and will be submitting his DECRA application to the ARC early next year. 

Top Publications


    Year Title
    2018 Predictive processing, perceiving and imagining: Is to perceive to imagine, or something close to it?
    Published in   Philosophical Studies: an international journal for philosophy in the analytic tradition
    2018 Predictive brains and embodied, enactive cognition: an introduction to the special issue
    Published in   Synthese: an international journal for epistemology, methodology and philosophy of science

Research Overview




  • Michael research interests include topics in naturalistic philosophy of mind, especially the relation between life and mind, the Bayesian brain hypothesis, the free energy principle, consciousness, and more philosophy of science motivated topics such as mechanistic and non-mechanistic explanation. 

    Michael is the associate editor of Adaptive Behavior

Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Available as Research Supervisor

Potential Supervision Topics


  • Philosophy of mind and cognition:

    • Are predictive processing theories of cognition compatible with enactivism?
    • Are life and mind deeply connected?
    • Can the free energy principle unify and explain the structure and function of biological and cognitive systems?
    • What might a probabilistic view of cognition look like?
    • If perception is probabilistic, why don’t we see the world probabilistically?
    • Is there a distinction between perception and thought?
    • Is there such a thing as cognitive penetration?
    • Are 4E-approaches to cognition – embodied, enactive, embedded, ecological, extended – theoretically compatible?
    • Do minds only extend sometimes or are they always naturally extensive?
    • Can there be such a thing as extended consciousness?
    • Can we understand cognitive scaffolding through niche construction?
    • Is there really a hard problem of consciousness? Can it be solved or only dissolved?
    • Is neurophenomenology credible?
    • Can neurophenomenology make any progress on the hard problem of consciousness?
    • Is perception contentful, at all?
    • Is perception cognitively penetrable?
    • And much more

    Philosophy of Science: 

    • What is the explanatory reach of mechanistic explanation?
    • Must interventionist approaches to explanation in science target difference-makers at the constituent level?
    • Can dynamical systems be explanatory?
    • What is causation?
    • How does multi scale modelling work in science? 

    Metaphysics:

    • Does physics fix all the facts? Are facts all there is?
    • Is any version of idealism credible?
    • Do the life and mind sciences require a process ontology?
    • How can we make sense of grounding relations (constitution, composition, realisation) in the sciences of life and mind?
    • Bottom-up causation doesn’t seem to be a problem. But what about top-down causation?
    • What is the nature of time and its role in contemporary cognitive science?

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Enriching Radical Embodied Cognition: Can Radical Enactivism and Ecological Psychology work together to explain adaptive behavior?
    Doctor of Philosophy Investigating Inference and Social Cognition Theory: Is Inference Central to the Best Explanations of Cognition?
    Doctor of Philosophy It is Possible to Unify Dynamical Modeling and Mechanistic Explanation? Meyer, Russell
    Doctor of Philosophy Is colour perceiving cognitively penetrable? Hipolito, Ines
    Doctor of Philosophy Can the puzzle of skilled performance be solved? Robertson, Ian
    Doctor of Philosophy Expecting Better: Feminist Perspectives on the Predictive Processing Framework. Beecroft, Naomi

Teaching Overview


  • My teaching covers areas such as philosophy of mind and metaphysics, phenomenology and its relation to the cognitive sciences, philosophy of science, and the relation between life and mind (including health)

Top Publications


    Year Title
    2018 Predictive processing, perceiving and imagining: Is to perceive to imagine, or something close to it?
    Published in   Philosophical Studies: an international journal for philosophy in the analytic tradition
    2018 Predictive brains and embodied, enactive cognition: an introduction to the special issue
    Published in   Synthese: an international journal for epistemology, methodology and philosophy of science

Research Overview




  • Michael research interests include topics in naturalistic philosophy of mind, especially the relation between life and mind, the Bayesian brain hypothesis, the free energy principle, consciousness, and more philosophy of science motivated topics such as mechanistic and non-mechanistic explanation. 

    Michael is the associate editor of Adaptive Behavior

Selected Publications


Potential Supervision Topics


  • Philosophy of mind and cognition:

    • Are predictive processing theories of cognition compatible with enactivism?
    • Are life and mind deeply connected?
    • Can the free energy principle unify and explain the structure and function of biological and cognitive systems?
    • What might a probabilistic view of cognition look like?
    • If perception is probabilistic, why don’t we see the world probabilistically?
    • Is there a distinction between perception and thought?
    • Is there such a thing as cognitive penetration?
    • Are 4E-approaches to cognition – embodied, enactive, embedded, ecological, extended – theoretically compatible?
    • Do minds only extend sometimes or are they always naturally extensive?
    • Can there be such a thing as extended consciousness?
    • Can we understand cognitive scaffolding through niche construction?
    • Is there really a hard problem of consciousness? Can it be solved or only dissolved?
    • Is neurophenomenology credible?
    • Can neurophenomenology make any progress on the hard problem of consciousness?
    • Is perception contentful, at all?
    • Is perception cognitively penetrable?
    • And much more

    Philosophy of Science: 

    • What is the explanatory reach of mechanistic explanation?
    • Must interventionist approaches to explanation in science target difference-makers at the constituent level?
    • Can dynamical systems be explanatory?
    • What is causation?
    • How does multi scale modelling work in science? 

    Metaphysics:

    • Does physics fix all the facts? Are facts all there is?
    • Is any version of idealism credible?
    • Do the life and mind sciences require a process ontology?
    • How can we make sense of grounding relations (constitution, composition, realisation) in the sciences of life and mind?
    • Bottom-up causation doesn’t seem to be a problem. But what about top-down causation?
    • What is the nature of time and its role in contemporary cognitive science?

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Enriching Radical Embodied Cognition: Can Radical Enactivism and Ecological Psychology work together to explain adaptive behavior?
    Doctor of Philosophy Investigating Inference and Social Cognition Theory: Is Inference Central to the Best Explanations of Cognition?
    Doctor of Philosophy It is Possible to Unify Dynamical Modeling and Mechanistic Explanation? Meyer, Russell
    Doctor of Philosophy Is colour perceiving cognitively penetrable? Hipolito, Ines
    Doctor of Philosophy Can the puzzle of skilled performance be solved? Robertson, Ian
    Doctor of Philosophy Expecting Better: Feminist Perspectives on the Predictive Processing Framework. Beecroft, Naomi

Teaching Overview


  • My teaching covers areas such as philosophy of mind and metaphysics, phenomenology and its relation to the cognitive sciences, philosophy of science, and the relation between life and mind (including health)
uri icon