Sam-Clarke-e1641931661460I’m a MindCORE Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, splitting my time between philosophy, psychology and linguistics. From July 2023, I’ll be an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California. Previously, I got a DPhil from the University of Oxford (2019), and held research fellowships at York and Princeton. I’m also the new treasurer for the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology.

Most of my work sits at the intersection between philosophy of mind and cognitive science, and I’m particularly interested in the non-linguistic mind – i.e., psychological capacities that emerge independently of natural language (e.g., the number sense), and psychological processes that do not depend on linguistically structured representations (e.g., processes that employ analogue or iconic representations). 

Published & Forthcoming Papers

(to appear) ‘Compositionality and Constituent Structure in the Analogue Mind’ in Philosophical Perspectives (annual supplement to Noûs

(forthcoming) ‘Border Disputes: Recent Debates along the Perception–Cognition Border’ (w/ Jacob Beck) in Philosophy Compass [pdf]

(forthcoming) ‘Do humans visually adapt to number, or just itemhood?’ (w/ Sami Yousif and Elizabeth Brannon) in The Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society [pdf]

(2023) ‘Babies Are Born with an Innate Number Sense’ (w/ Jacob Beck) in Scientific American [link]

  • This ↑ explains some of our philosophical work on the number sense to a general audience [appears as an 8page feature article, titled ‘Born to Count’, in the March ’23 print issue of Scientific American]
  • Reprinted in the Spring ’23 special issue of Scientific American on ‘The Brain’
  • Three letters of response and our reply to these will appear in the September ’23 print issue of Scientific American

(Forthcoming) ‘Is Pain Modular?’ (w/ Laurenz Casser) in Mind & Language [pdf]

(2022) ‘Mapping the Visual Icon’ in The Philosophical Quarterly [pdf]

  • This ↑ is related to a blogpost I wrote for The Junkyard

(2022) ‘Beyond the Icon: Core cognition and the bounds of perception’ in Mind & Language [pdf]

  • This ↑ was accepted ages ago (2019), and I’ve since changed my mind about some bits. But the general suggestion that analogue reps need not satisfy the parts principle still seems right to me

(2021) ‘Numbers, Numerosities, and New Directions’ (w/ Jacob Beck) in Behavioral and Brain Sciences [pdf]

  • This ↑ responds to the 26 commentaries our target article received

(2021) ‘The Number Sense Represents (Rational) Numbers’ (w/ Jacob Beck) in Behavioral and Brain Sciences [pdf

  • This ↑ is a target article, published with 26 commentaries and our response to these
  • For an accessible write-up in Y-File see here.
  • For discussion/interview on Swiss National Radio [mostly in German] see here.
  • For discussion/interview in Die Zeit [in German] see here/here.

(2021) ‘Cognitive Penetration and Informational Encapsulation: Have we been failing the module?’ in Philosophical Studies [pdf]

  • An earlier draft of this ↑ won the 2019 CSPE Bursary as the top ranked submission on mind/perception to the University of Glasgow’s annual GEM (epistemology and mind) conference 

(2020) ‘Does the Number Sense Represent Number?’ (w/ Jacob Beck) in The Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society 

(2019) ‘Joint action goals reduce visuomotor interference effects from a partner’s incongruent actions’ (1st author of 6) in Nature’s Scientific Reports [pdfappendix]

(2017) ‘Naïve Realism and Unconscious Perception: a reply to Berger and Nanay’ (w/ Alfonso Anaya) in Analysis [pdf]

In Progress (please email for drafts/results) 

  • Paper arguing that visual images have syntactic structure [a short version of this paper was joint winner of the Tenth (2021) Annual Essay Prize at the Centre for Philosophical Psychology, University of Antwerp]
  • Paper arguing that humans have innate concepts of precise natural and rational numbers, like 7, 11, and 7/11.
  • Paper about a puzzle concerning the dissociation between subitizing and approximate number representation in developmental psychology
  • Experimental (and philosophical) paper challenging the existence of visual number adaptation and arguing that apparent cases of number adaptation simply involve adaptation to objects (w/ Sami Yousif and Elizabeth Brannon)
  • Experimental study examining the claim that the approximate number system represents rational numbers (w/ Chuyan Qu and Elizabeth Brannon)
  • Experimental study examining the effects of colour on stimulus complexity in mental rotation (w/ Assaf Weksler, Eitan Hemed, Ariel Goldstein, and Baruch Eitman)

Less Developed, But Also in Progress

  • Paper about mental/computational transitions between format types 
  • Paper asking whether infants represent intentions or just actions/teleological goals
  • Paper arguing that perceptual learning is a bad reason to think perception isn’t encapsulated
  • Paper arguing for a methodological essentialism about natural kinds in psychology (w/ Jake Quilty-Dunn)
  • Experimental paper on the developmental trajectory of the coherence and connectedness illusions (w/ Chuyan Qu, Francesca Luzzi, Ruining Wang, and Elizabeth Brannon)
  • Experimental paper about the format of approximate ratio representations (w/ Chuyan Qu and Elizabeth Brannon)
  • Experimental paper about the compositional structure of approximate number representations (w/ Chuyan Qu and Elizabeth Brannon)