The Unexplained Intellect

Part One

The Complexity of Intelligence


1) The Neglect of Noology 

2) The Philosophical Relevance of Theoretical Computer Science

3) The Explanatory Consequences of Imperfection

4) Sources of Intractability


Part Two

Temporal Orientation


5) The Psychological Arrow of Time

6) Temporally Chiral Attitudes

7) Episodic and Semantic Memory


Part Three

A Point of Local Metaphysics


8) Metaphysical Questions

9) The Modal Signature of Ontological Dependence

10) Leveraging the Mind

11) An Argument for Dynamic Foundations


Part Four

The Perdurance of Intelligent Thought


12) Epistemic Conduct

13) Encountering Events

14) Action as an Epistemic Encounter

15) Inference as an Epistemic Encounter

16) Encountering Unrepresented Facts

17) Encounters First

18) The Achievement of Intelligence

The Unexplained Intellect: Complexity, Time, and the Metaphysics of Embodied Thought was published by Routledge in March 2016.


The book argues that the most basic facts about a mind cannot just be facts about mental states, but must include facts about the dynamic, interactive mental occurrences that take place when a creature encounters its environment.


It begins by examining the mathematics of computational complexity, arguing that the results from complexity theory create a puzzle about how human intelligence could possibly be explained.


It then uses the tools of analytic metaphysics to draw a distinction between mental states and dynamic mental entities, and shows that, in order to answer the complexity-theoretic puzzle, dynamic entities must be understood to be among the most basic of mental phenomena.


The picture of the mind that emerges has implications for our understanding of intelligence, of action, and of the mind’s relationship to the passage of time.


In May 2016 I discussed some themes from the book in a series of blog posts, hosted at the Philosophy of Brains.