Dr. Bongrae Seok
Associate Professor of Philosophy
- Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
- MA Philosophy, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
Bongrae Seok is associate professor of philosophy at Alvernia University. He received his BA from Seoul National University (South Korea) and his MA and PhD from the University of Arizona, where he studied philosophy and cognitive science. As a postdoctoral research fellow in the Neural Systems, Memory, and Aging program at the University of Arizona, he conducted research on the functional specialization of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. His primary research interests lie in philosophy of mind, moral psychology, neuroaesthetics, and Asian comparative philosophy. He has published books and articles on cognitive modularity, cultural psychology, Confucian moral psychology, moral nativism, and moral reasoning. His recent book Embodied Moral Psychology and Confucian Philosophy (Lexington, 2013) analyzes Confucian moral philosophy from the perspectives of embodied emotion, social cognition, and moral intuition. His current work focuses on interdisciplinary and comparative topics (including embodied and affective moral intuition, taxonomic reasoning, mindfulness meditation, and neuroaesthetic of music) that bring traditional topics of philosophy to the forefront of cognitive science. In addition to philosophy, he studies the classical art and music and gives lectures and presentations in local museums. He currently serves Neag Professorship and O’Pake Center for Ethics, Leadership, and Public Service as Associate Director.
About Dr. Seok:
- BA in Philosophy (Minor in Aesthetics) (Seoul National University)
- M.A. in philosophy, Minor in Cognitive Science (Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ)
- Ph. D. in Philosophy (Modularity of Mind, Encapsulation by Nature (Univ. of Arizona)
- Adjunct Professor (Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.)
- PostDoctoral Research Fellow in Neural Systems, Memory and Aging (Univ. of Arizona)
- Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Alvernia University (Reading Pennsylvania)
- Associate Professor of Philosophy, Alvernia University (Reading, Pennsylvania)
Areas of Specialization
- Philosophy of Mind and Neuroscience
- NeuroEthics and Moral Psychology (Autism, Psychopathy, Empathy, and Pain)
- Asian Philosophy (Confucian Philosophy, Daoism, and Buddhism)
- Mindfulness Meditation
- NeuroAesthetics, Embodied Aesthethics
- Metaphysics of Space and Emptiness
- Cognitive Modularity
- Empty Nothingness - Stories and Storages of Space (In preparation)
- Shame of Shamelessness – Evolution of Moral Shame (In preparation)
- 2013: Embodied Moral Psychology and Confucian Philosophy (Lexington Books)
- 2013: Translation of The Embodied Mind, Cognitive Science and Human Experience, (F. Varela, E. Thompson, and E. Rosch, 1991) New, Fully Revised Translation. Seoul, Korea: GimmYoung Publishers Inc.
- 2006: Philosophy, The Intellectual Journey. Mason OH Wadsworth.
- 2009: Logical Thinking, Thomson.
- 2003: Logic and Psycho-Logic, [Shimri wa Nonri] Seo Kwang Sa Publishing Company, Seoul, South Korea. (Academic Book of the Year Award)
- 2002: Daniel Dennett (Brook & Ross eds. 2002), Seoul, Mind and Body Publishing Company. - Translation
- 1998: Philosophical Applications of Cognitive Science, (A. Goldman, 1993), Seoul: Seo Kwang Sa Publishing Company - Translation
- 1997: The Embodied Mind, Cognitive Science and Human Experience, (F. Varela, E. Thompson, and E. Rosch, 1991) Translation. Seoul, Korea: Okto Publishing Company. - Translation
- 1992: Matter and Consciousness, (P. M. Churchland 1988), Translation. Seoul, Korea: Seo Kwang Sa Publishing Co. - Translation
- 2016 (Submitted, in press): “Embodied Cognition and Religion”, Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbook: Religion: Mental Religion. Macmillan Reference USA, Editor: Niki Clements (Rice University)
- 2016 (Submitted, in preparation) “Flanagan, Haidt, and Mencius: Naturalized Ethics and Modularity of Morals” Naturalism and Asian Philosophy: Owen Flanagan and Beyond. (SUNY [State University of New York] press)
- 2016 (Submitted, in preparation) “Sensuous Creativity, Embodied Pleasure, and Neuroaesthetics of Musical Chills” Elemental Sensuous, Cambridge Scholars Publishing (edited by John Murungi).
- 2016 (Submitted, in preparation) “Mencius and Contemporary Cognitive Science” in Dao Companion to the Philosophy of Mencius, Springer (Edited by Yang Shao)
- 2016 (in preparation) Moral Metaphysics and Moral Psychology of Qi and Emotion: Toegye’s Li Qi dualism.”
- 2015 “Mencius’s Ceyinzhixin and Nociceptive Mirror Emotion:
- Embodied Moral Psychology of Confucian Philosophy” in The Philosophical Challenge from China (edited by Brian Bruya) (pp. 59-97) MIT press.
- 2014 “Sensuality of Embodied Space in Language, Psychopathology, and Art: Body-Full Experience of Body-Less Emptiness” in Rendezvous with the Sensuous: Readings on Aesthetics. Cambridge Scholars Publishing (edited by John Murungi).
- 2016 (in preparation) “Review of Heaven and Earth are not Humane: The Problem of Evil in Classical Chinese Philosophy by Franklin Perkins”
- 2016: (In preparation) “Review of Ethics Unbound, Chinese and Western Perspectives on Morality by Katrin Froese.”
- 2016/March: “Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation” Buddhist Culture.
- 2015: “Philosophy and Psychology of Pain.” Human Beings, Environment, and their Future, Fall, 2015, Vol. 15, 3-36, published by the Institute of Human, Environment, and Future, InJe Unviersity, South Korea.
- 2015: Review of “Edward Slingerland’s Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity” Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, November, 2015 (https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/62134-trying-not-to-try-the-art-and-science-of-spontaneity/)
- 2015: “Review of Moral Relativism and Chinese philosophy, David Wong and His Critics Edited by Yang Xiao and Yong Huang” Frontiers of Philosophy in China. 10(2): 315–321 (June, 2015)
- 2015: “Moral Psychology of Shame in Early Confucian Philosophy” Frontiers of Philosophy in China. 10(1): 21–57 (March, 2015)
- 2014/March: “Buddhist Meditation and Neuroscience” Buddhism and Culture.
- 2014/Jan: “Extended Review of the Embodied Mind” Buddhism and Culture.
- 2013: “Neuroscience, Moral Sentimentalism, and Confucian Philosophy: Moral Psychology of the Body and Emotion,” APA (American Philosophical Association) Newsletter, 13-1, 3-8.
- 2011: Entries in the Encyclopedia of Global Justice, Springer
- Entries on Fallacy of Composition, Virtue Ethics, Collective Decision Problems, Moral Reasoning, Prisoner’s Dilemma, Confucianism, Xunzi, and Laozi
- 2009: “Franciscan Themes in Leadership Philosophy” AFCU Journal Vol. 6-1, pg. 42-51 (January, 2009)
- 2008: “Mencius’s Vertical Faculties and Moral Nativism” Asian Philosophy (Vol. 18-1, March 2008).
- 2007: "Change, Contradiction, and Overconfidence; Chinese Philosophy and Cognitive Peculiarities of Asians" Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy (Vol. VI-3, Autumn 2007)
- 2006: “Diversity and Unity of Modularity” Cognitive Science 30 (March/April, 2006)
- 2005: “Review of Goldin’s Xunzi's Philosophy” Dao, A Journal of Comparative Philosophy (Vol. IV, No. 2, Summer, 2005)
- 2004: “Review of Gardner’s Zhu Xi’s Reading of Analects: Canon, Commentary, and the Classical Tradition” Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, Vol. IV, No. 1 (Winter, 2014)
- 2001: "Linguistic Productivity and Chomskyan Grammar" Lingua Humanitas, Seoul, Korea
Recent Conference Presentations
- 2016: “Autistic Moral Agency and Integrative Neuroethics” Neuroscience Conference - Does Neuroscience Have Normative Implications? Center for the Study of Ethics in the Profession, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago (April, 15 – 16, 2016)
- 2016: “Evolutionary Psychology and Confucian Shame” APA (American Philosophical Association) annual conference, Pacific Division, San Francisco, (April 1, 2016)
- 2016: “Embodied Religious Experience of Mindfulness Meditation” Presented at the Embodied Religious Experience Workshop, Princeton University (March 14-16, 2016)
- 2016: Comment on Richard Kim’s “Early Confucianism and Contemporary Empirical Psychology” APA (American Philosophical Association) annual conference, Eastern Division, (Washington, D.C.) January, 2016.
- 2016: “Confucian Ethics and Psychopathy from the Perspective of Moral Development” APA (American Philosophical Association) Annual Conference, Eastern Division (Washington D.C.), January, 2016.
- 2015: “Heaven and Moral Efficacy: Stoic Way and Confucian Way” The 33rd annual Society of Ancient philosophy Conference in Fordham University October, 25, 2015
- 2015: “Constructive Moral Emotion: Xunzi and Prinz” Symposium on Chinese Philosophy: New Directions in Chinese Philosophy. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. October, 24, 2015
- 2015: “Computer Menus and Restaurant Menus: Embodied Spatial Metaphors” The Third Annual Lehigh University Conference in Philosophy: Metaphors in Use, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. October 8 - 9, 2015
- 2015: “Musical Festivity and Confucian Virtuoso” Eighth Annual Geo-aesthetics Conference, International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place, Towson University, Baltimore, September 25-26, 2015.
- 2015: “Zombies, Psychopaths, and Confucian Village Worthies: Internalist Interpretation of Confucian Moral Psychology.” ISCP (International Society for Chinese Philosophy) Conference (Chinese University of Hong Kong, July 24, 2015)
- 2015: “Is Wu-wei Hot or Cold? Slingerland’s Trying not to Try” APA (American Philosophical Association) annual conference, Pacific Division, Philadelphia, (4/1/2015)
- 2015: “Moral Heteronomy and Confucian Philosophy” the International Conference on Asian Studies, Scranton University, Scranton, PA
- 2014: “Neuroscience of Mindfulness and Buddhist Moral Psychology” APA (American Philosophical Association) annual conference, Eastern Division, Philadelphia, (12/28/2014)
- 2014: “Moral Psychology of Emotion and Toegye’s (Yi Hwang’s) Neo-Confucianism” APA (American Philosophical Association) annual conference, Eastern Division, Philadelphia, (12/28/2014)
- 2014: “Virtues and Meta-Virtues in Confucianism” The 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy (SAGP) with the Society for the Study of Islamic Philosophy and Science (SSIPS) (Fordham University, New York. 10/24 – 10/26, 2014)
- 2014: “Toegye’s and Kobong’s Moral Metaphysics of Li and Qi” The Spirit of Korean Philosophy: Six Debates and Their Significance for Asian and Western Philosophy. North American Korean Philosophy Association Conference. University of Omaha, (Omaha, Nebraska. 10/22/2014)
- 2014: “Cultural Evolution of Shame” International and Interdisciplinary Conference - Language, Culture, and Reality: East and West - University of Pennsylvania (Department of South Asia Studies, South Asia Center, University of Pennsylvania & Institute of Cross Cultural Studies and Academic Exchange, University of Pennsylvania) 10/3 ~ 10/4/2014
- 2014: “Theories of Space and Emptiness: Ancient Atomism, Mozi, and Dedekind” The Second Singapore Workshop on Integrated History and Philosophy of Science in Practice, (Nanyang Technological University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences) 8/19 ~ 8/20/2014
- 2014: “Moral Psychology of Buddhist Meditation” 49th Annual Conference for the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy (SACP) (SUNY Binghamton, Binghamton, NY, 6/19 ~ 6/22/2014)
- 2014: Biological, Cultural, and Moral Evolution of Shame: From Survival Strategy and Social Exchange to Moral Excellence (The 30th Conference on Value Inquiry (Evolution and Foundations of Ethics, Neumann University, Aston PA 5/1 ~ 5/3/2014.
- 2014: "Moral Asymmetry: Honesty and Dishonesty" Felician Ethics Conference. (Felician College, Rutherford, N.J. 4/26/2014)
- 2014: “Confucian Self-Cultivation and Meta-Virtue” SACP session in APA (American Philosophical Association) annual conference, Central Division, Chicago, (3/1/2014)
- 2013: “Four Seven Debate and Moral Psychology of Korean Confucianism” Invited Session on Korean Philosophy, APA (American Philosophical Association) annual conference, Eastern Division, Baltimore, (December, 2013)
- 2013: “Moral Virtuosity, Moral Improvisation, and Moral Sense in Confucian Spontaneity” Invited Session on Spontaneity, APA (American Philosophical Association) annual conference, Eastern Division, Baltimore, (December, 2013)
- 2013: “Moral Luck and Confucian Philosophy” The 18th International Conference of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy, Buffalo, NY. (July, 2013).
- 2013: “Neuro-aestheticcs and Embodied Expression of Beauty” Fifth Annual Geo-aesthetics Conference, International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place, Towson University, Baltimore, March 8-9, 2013.
- 2012: “Supervenience and Confucian Virtue” APA (American Philosophical Association) annual conference, Eastern Division (Atlanta, GA, December, 2012)
- 2012: “Correlative Homology and Confucian Moral Virtue” The 30th Annual Meeting of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy (SAGP) with the Society for the Study of Islamic Philosophy and Science (SSIPS) (Fordham University, New York. 10/19 -10/21 /2012)
- Embodied Moral Psychology: Empathy and Psychopathy
- Tokyo Forum for Analytic Philosophy (The University of Tokyo, Japan, July 3, 2015)
- Empathy and Nociceptive Mirror Emotion in Embodied Moral Psychology
- CAPE (Center for Applied Philosophy and Ethics) (Kyoto University, Japan, July 8, 2015)
- Embodied Space in Psychopathology and Art
- CAPE (Center for Applied Philosophy and Ethics) (Kyoto University, Japan, July 9, 2015)
- Moral Psychology and Embodied Emotion
- Institute of Human, Environment, and Future (In-Je University, Seoul, South Korea, July 13, 2015)
- Embodied Moral Psychology in Confucianism and Buddhism
- Institute of Philosophy (Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea, July 14, 2015)
- Empathy and Nociceptive Mirror Emotion in Embodied Moral Psychology
- Center for Cognitive Science (Yonsei University, South Korea, July 15, 2015)
- Iconography and History of Indian Art, Allentown Art Museum (Allentown, PA) (4/30/2007)
- Images of Buddha, Allentown Art Museum (Allentown, PA) (10/4/2006)
- Asian Culture and Art, Reading Public Museum (Reading, PA) (1/17/2006)
- Indian Art; General Overview, Allentown Art Museum (Allentown PA) (7/28/2005).
- Indian Art: Artistic Forms and Religious Background, Allentown Art Museum (Allentown, PA) (1/3/2005)
- Indian Arts: Hindu Gods Goddesses, Reading Public Museum (Reading, PA) (12/2/2004)
- Asian Art and Symbolism, Reading Public Museum (Reading, PA) (3/30/2004).
Currently working on:
- NeuroEthics (Autism, Psychopathy)
- NeuroAesthetics (disinterested interest)
- Metaphysics and Psychology of Space and Emptiness
- Moral Cognition and Social Cognition
- Emotion and Moral Psychology
- Modularity of ToM (Theory of Mind) in Early Childhood: Association of Executive Function (EF) and ToM (Theory of Mind)
- Modularity and Consciousness
- Part and Whole in Spatial Cognition
- Metaphysics of Empty Nothingness
- Virtue Epistemology and Cognitive Style
- Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Logic
- Minds, Brains and Computers, Contemporary Philosophy of Mind
- Modern & Contemporary Philosophy
- Ethics and the Brain, Ethics and Game Theory
- Eastern Philosophy and Religion
- Mind and Morality, Moral Blindness, Moral Agency and Psychopathy
- NeuroEthics, Embodied Ethics
- Ethics of Cyberspace. Law and Justice, Ethics and Law
- Dangerous Knowledge: Ethics and Technology
- Moral Leadership (Graduate, Master), Professional Organizational Ethics (Graduate, Master)
- Ethics and Decision-Making (Graduate, Ph.D.)