William Seeley

Adjunct Faculty
William Seeley

Profile

William P. Seeley holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from CUNY-The Graduate Center, an M.F.A. in sculpture from Columbia University, and a B.A.

in philosophy from Columbia University. His research interests lie at the intersection of philosophy of art, cognitive science, and embodied cognition.

He is also a sculptor. He began his career in the arts as Head Assistant to Ursula Von Rydinsvaard in New York City. The installations he was involved with for Ms. Von Rydinsvard include work currently on exhibit at the Storm King Art Center in New York and the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. His own welded steel constructions have been exhibited in New York City and at a number of colleges and university galleries including a solo show of outdoor works at Ezra Stiles College at Yale University.

Education

  • Ph.D., Cuny-The Graduate Center
  • M.F.A., Columbia University
  • B.A., Columbia University

Interests

  • Aesthetics, Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Mind, Sculpture

Publications

Books: 

  • Attentional Engines: A perceptual Theory of Art (Oxford University Press, December 2019)

Select Publications:

  • The Link between Empirical and Philosophical Aesthetics (2020). In eds. Marcos Nadal and Oshin Vartanian, The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Aesthetics. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Some Ecological Thoughts about Artworks and Perception (2019). In ed. Shyam Wuppulri and Dali Wu, The Armchair and the Paintbrush. Baskingstroke, UK: Springer.
  • Seeking Salience in Engaging Artworks: A Short Story about Attention, Artistic Value, and Neuroscience (2018). Progress in Brain Research 257: 437-453.
  • Neuroscience, Narrative, and Emotion Regulation (2018). In ed. Roger Kurtz, Trauma and Literature. New York: Cambridge University Press, 153-166.
  • Art and Science: A Philosophical Account of Their Historical Complexity and Codependence (with Nicolas Bullot and Stephen Davies) (2017). Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 75(4), 2017: 453-463.
  • Categories of Art and Computers: A Question of Artistic Style (with Catherine A. Buell and Ricky J. Sethi) (2017). American Society for Aesthetics Newsletter, 37(3), Winter: 9-11.
  • Neuroaesthetics and Literature (2016). In eds. John Gibson and Noël Carroll, The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Literature. New York: Routledge, 268-278.
  • Art, Meaning, and Aesthetics: The Case for a Cognitive Neuroscience of Art (2015). In eds. Marcos Nadal, Joseph P. Huston, Luigi Agnati, Francisco Mora and Camilo José Cela-Conde Art, Aesthetics, and the Brain. New York: Oxford University Press, 19-39.
  • Ecological Optics, Artworks, and Embodied Cognition (2016). In ed. Laura Woodward, Resonate. Melbourne, Australia: AirSpace Projects, 29-52.
  • Neuroscience and Appreciation, Very Funny Indeed (2015). Aesthetics for Birds, ed. Christy Mag Uidhir, July 6, 2015. http://www.aestheticsforbirds.com/2015/07/neuroscience-appreciation-very....
  • Cognitive Theory and the Individual Film: The Case of Rear Window (with Noël Carroll) (2014). In eds. Ted Nannicelli and Paul Alexander Taberham, Cognitive Media Theory. New York: Routledge, 235-252.
  • Olfaction, Valuation, and Action: Reorienting Perception (with Jason Castro) (2014). In eds. Benjamin D. Young and Andreas Keller, Frontiers in Consciousness Research: Olfactory Consciousness across Disciplines, 5(299). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00299.
  • Art, Meaning, and Perception: A Question of Methods for a Cognitive Neuroscience of Art (2013). British Journal of Aesthetics, 53(4): 443-460. doi: 10.1093/aesthj/ayt022.
  • Kinesthetic Understanding and Appreciation in Dance (with Noël Carroll) (2013). In eds. Julie van Camp and Renée Conroy, Symposium: Dance, Art, and Science, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 71(2): 177-186.
  • Imagining Crawling Home: A Case Study in Cognitive Science and Aesthetics (2010). Review of Philosophy and Psychology: Psychology and Experimental Philosophy, 1(3): 407-426.
  • Art, Artists, and Perception: A Model for Premotor Contributions to Visual Analysis and Form Recognition (with Aaron Kozbelt) (2008). Philosophical Psychology, 21(2): 1-23.
  • Integrating Art Historical, Psychological, and Neuroscientific Explanations of Artists’ Advantages in Drawing and Perception (with Aaron Kozbelt) (2007). Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 1(2): 80-90.

Awards

  • Graduate Teaching Fellowship, CUNY-Brooklyn College, 2001-2003.
  • Graduate Teaching Fellowship, CUNY-The College of Staten Island, 2000-2001.
  • Louis C. Sudler Prize in the Arts, Columbia University, 1988.

Affiliations

  • American Philosophical Association
  • American Society for Aesthetics
  • Association for Psychological Science
  • International Association for Empirical Aesthetics

Grants

  • Co-PI, NEH Digital Humanities Startup Grant (Award HD-248360-16, $40,000) in support of software development and research for Scientific Workflows, Image Analysis and Visual Stylometry in the Digital Analysis of Art – with Catherine Buell (Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Fitchburg State University) and Ricky Sehti (Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Fitchburg State University), 2016-2017.
  • American Society of Aesthetics Major Projects Initiative Grant ($4,250) to supplement 2016-2017 NEH Digital Humanities Startup Grant support for Making WAIVS, a workshop to introduce scholars in the humanities to digital image analysis tools for research in art history, aesthetics, and museum education, 2016-2017.
  • Geoffrey Marshall Dissertation Fellowship for Distinguished Research in the Humanities, CUNY, 2003 - 2004 (declined, accepted position at Yale University as Lecturer and Guest Fellow in Timothy Dwight College).

Courses

  • Artificial Intelligence, Robots, and People 
  • The Possibility of Artificial Intelligence
  • Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence 
  • Animats, Minds, and Mobots: Exploring Cognitive Science with Lego Robots 
  • Computational Modeling: Autonomous Robotics and Embodied Cognition 
  • Computational Modeling: Intelligence and Intelligent Systems 
  • Embodied Cognition and the Philosophy of Artificial Life 
  • Philosophical Issues in Cognitive Science 
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Psychology 
  • Senior Research Seminar: Scientific and Philosophical Studies of Mind Program 
  • Introduction to Psychology, Lab 
  • Aesthetics & Cognitive Science 
  • Art, Meaning, & Perception 
  • Naturalized Aesthetics
  • The Power of Art 
  • Philosophy of Art
  • Philosophy of the Arts    
  • Philosophy and the Arts 
  • Philosophy of Film 
  • Kinetic Sculpture Engineering Cohort 
  • Foundations Workshop for Construction: Steel Sculpture 
  • Teaching Assistant, Construction: Steel Sculpture 
  • Teaching Assistant: Advanced Sculpture
  • Biomedical Ethics 
  • Bioethics: First Year Seminar
  • Biology, Technology, and Ethics 
  • Introduction to Ethics
  • Moral Theories 
  • Business Ethics 
  • Colors & Sounds
  • Twentieth Century Philosophy 
  • Epistemology
  • Metaphysics 
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Philosophy of Science 
  • Introduction to Logic
  • Practical Reasoning 
  • Reasoning
  • Introduction to Philosophy 
  • Introduction to Philosophy: Why Philosophize? 
  • Knowledge Existence, & Value 

Research Interests

William P. Seeley's research interests lie at the intersection of philosophy of art, cognitive science, and embodied cognition. He also teaches courses in AI and computer ethics, biomedical ethics, and philosophy of technology. His interests in the arts trace back to his early career as a sculptor. He began his career in the arts as Head Assistant to Ursula Von Rydinsvaard in New York City. The installations he was involved for Ursula Von Rydinsvard include work currently on exhibit at the Storm King Art Center in New York and the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. His own welded steel constructions have been exhibited in New York City and at a number of colleges and university galleries including a solo show of outdoor works at Ezra Stiles College at Yale University.