Ric Sims

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Telephone: 0046708770517 

College: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Discipline: Sociology and Philosophy
Department: Philosophy
Research Centre/Unit: Egenis

I am currently a PhD student in Egenis interested in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind and aspects of political philosophy and aesthetics. In my work I am considering what benefits are to be had in our understanding of scientific models if we take them to be parts of cognitive systems distributed over the environment and groups individuals. The bulk of my work is devoted to showing how features of models can be best explained by thinking of them as part of epistemic ecological systems subject to certain naturalistic normative constraints. I draw heavily on versions of the extended mind thesis – the idea that cognitive processes are not limited by the boundaries of skin and skull. Ultimately I hope to show that certain puzzling features of models – for example how they can be rather bad at tracking truth but nevertheless eminently useful – can be explained by the same fast and frugal explanations available to theorists of traditional in-the-head cognition.

Being a mature student means experience of other areas of life before coming to Exeter. In my case this is best described as something of a portfolio career. After honours and masters degrees in mathematics at the universities of Oxford and Warwick I switched to a musical path and gained an M.Mus at Liverpool University and a Performers diploma in composition and conducting at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, Holland. A freelance musical career was followed by a period teaching in upper secondary education at schools in Holland and Sweden eventually becoming head of philosophy at Katedralskolan in Uppsala. In this connection I found myself involved with curriculum and assessment at the International Baccalaureate. At present I am Deputy Chief Assessor for Theory of Knowledge in the IB diploma programme and have led more than 100 teacher training workshops around the world. I have co-authored a textbook on theory of knowledge published by Pearson and am a contributor to ToK curriculum design.

I am married with two children and currently live in Gavle in central Sweden. When not working on my research, doing educational consultancy or teaching at the local university I play keyboards in the jazz funk band Some Funk Junk.