Jake H. Davis City University of New York, Brown University
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  • Graduate student, City University of New York
  • Research staff, Brown University

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About me
I work primarily in metaethics, normative ethics, and empirically grounded moral psychology, as well as in philosophy of mind and cognitive science. My research program aims to advance current debates in these areas by drawing both from recent empirical research and also from my expertise in Buddhist philosophy, in the way that other contemporary systematic philosophers find inspiration in Hume or Kant or Aristotle. My studies in the early Buddhist texts and Buddhist philosophical psychology were complemented by long periods of intensive meditation practice, years of training as a monk in the Theravāda Buddhist tradition of Burma (Myanmar), and a decade of work interpreting between Burmese and English for meditation masters. I hold a doctorate in Philosophy from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, with an Interdisciplinary Concentration in Cognitive Science, and a master’s in Philosophy from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
My works
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  1. Jake H. Davis & Evan Thompson (2013). From the Five Aggregates to Phenomenal Consciousness: Toward a Cross-Cultural Cognitive Science. In Steven M. Emmanuel (ed.), A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. John Wiley & Sons.
    Buddhism originated and developed in an Indian cultural context that featured many first-person practices for producing and exploring states of consciousness through the systematic training of attention. In contrast, the dominant methods of investigating the mind in Western cognitive science have emphasized third-person observation of the brain and behavior. In this chapter, we explore how these two different projects might prove mutually beneficial. We lay the groundwork for a cross-cultural cognitive science by using one traditional Buddhist model of the mind (...)
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  2. Jake H. Davis & David R. Vago (2013). Can Enlightenment Be Traced to Specific Neural Correlates, Cognition, or Behavior? No, and (a Qualified) Yes. Frontiers in Psychology 4.
    Can enlightenment be traced to specific neural correlates, cognition, or behavior? No, and (a qualified) Yes.
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  3. Kathleen Garrison, Juan Santoyo, Jake Davis, Thomas Thornhill, Catherine Kerr & Judson Brewer (2013). Effortless Awareness: Using Real Time Neurofeedback to Investigate Correlates of Posterior Cingulate Cortex Activity in Meditators' Self-Report. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7.
    Neurophenomenological studies seek to utilize first-person self-report to elucidate cognitive processes related to physiological data. Grounded theory offers an approach to the qualitative analysis of self-report, whereby theoretical constructs are derived from empirical data. Here we used grounded theory methodology to assess how the first-person experience of meditation relates to neural activity in a core region of the default mode network –the posterior cingulate cortex. We analyzed first-person data consisting of meditators’ accounts of their subjective experience during runs of a (...)
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  4. J. Davis (2011). Ecopsychology, Transpersonal Psychology, and Nonduality. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies 30 (1-2):137-147.
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  5. E. Condry, J. Conrad, V. Crapanzano, M. Crick, J. Cripps, M. David, J. Davis, J. Derrida, N. B. Dirks & T. Docherty (1997). Cole, J. 87 Collard, J. 54 Comito, T. 198 Condor, J. 205n2. In Andrew Dawson, Jennifer Lorna Hockey & Andrew H. Dawson (eds.), After Writing Culture: Epistemology and Praxis in Contemporary Anthropology. Routledge.
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  6. J. Davis (1994). Last Rights: Death Control and the Elderly in America by Barbara Logue. Bioethics-Oxford- 8:278-278.
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  7. J. Davis (1989). Wilderness Rites of Passage. Gnosis 11:22-26.
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