Ric Sims


Telephone: 0046708770517 

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

I am a 3rd year PhD student in Philosophy of Cognitive Science/Philosophy of Science in Egenis, the centre for the study of life sciences, with supervisors Adam Toon and John Dupre. I am interested in distributed- and 4E-cognition (extended, embodied, enactive, and embedded) particularly the problem of demarcating cognitive systems and how this task is shaped by our explanatory needs. This work involves investigating appropriate models of explanation; especially those that combine teleological and mechanistic elements. Crucial to my project is the metaphysics of systems and their processes and the link to certain functional units in such explanations called co-ordinators. Ultimately, I hope to show that co-ordinators must employ a type of ultra-weak representation and that these results have implications in the use of models and diagrams in scientific activity.

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  and postgraduate certificate 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 international schools in Holland and Sweden. In this connection I found myself involved with curriculum and assessment at the International Baccalaureate. At present I am senior examiner, workshop leader and curriculum designer in Theory of Knowledge in the IB diploma programme. 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 I can be found being very geeky programming synthesizers from my collection or playing keyboards in the jazz funk fusion band Some Funk Junk.