In 2018, Matthew will begin a postdoctoral fellowship based at Gonzaga University generously funded by the Tiny Blue Dot Foundation. As the Elizabeth R. Koch Research Fellow for Tiny Blue Dot Consciousness Studies, he will be advised by Dr. Christof Koch and Dr. Brian Clayton. Matthew’s research will focus on the ancient view of human ontology called hylomorphism and a relatively new view in theoretical neuroscience, the Integrated Information Theory of consciousness. In his doctoral research which focused on mental causation and neural correlates of consciousness (NCC), he developed the Mind-Body Powers Model of NCC based on neo-Thomistic hylomorphism and an Aristotelian metaphysics of causation. During the Tiny Blue Dot research fellowship, he will investigate the similarities and differences between (IIT) and hylomorphism, with a keen interest in how the two views might mutually benefit each other. Furthermore, and most significantly, Matthew will investigate whether the Mind-Body Powers Model of NCC can be combined with facets of IIT to ground the possibility of measuring consciousness, regardless of whether it is reducible or irreducible. If so, reductivists and nonreductivists regarding consciousness can share a common goal of developing a means for empirically measuring consciousness.
On June 27 2018, he presented a paper ‘The Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness & hylomorphism: exploring common ground’ at the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness 22nd annual conference at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. Also, a related chapter on NCC was published in Mihretu Guta’s volume Consciousness and the Ontology of Properties (Routledge). And an article that presents the Mind-Body Powers Model is also forthcoming.
In the area of analytic theology, in 2017 Matthew presented on the doctrine of the Trinity and identity statements at the Davenant Institute Convivium Irenicum West. And currently, he and Fred Sanders are co-editing a special issue of TheoLogica.