B.A. (Hons.), M.A.
I am originally from Margaret River, Western Australia. Before coming to the ANU I completed an undergraduate degree majoring in archaeology and philosophy, an honours degree in philosophy, and a master’s degree in philosophy, all at La Trobe University in Melbourne.
I commenced my PhD in July 2017. Broadly, I am interested in cognitive and social/cultural evolution. This means I spend most of my time in the philosophy of biology, the philosophy of cognitive science, and the philosophy of archaeology/anthropology. My research addresses both first-order questions ("how did language evolve?") and methodological questions ("how do we answer first-order questions?"). My supervisors are Kim Sterelny, Rachael Brown, Peter Hiscock (Archaeology – USyd), Daniel Stoljar, Frank Jackson and Colin Klein.
With Rachael Brown and Ceri Shipton I am guest editing a special issue of Biological Theory on Cognitive Archaeology. With Michael Kirchhoff and Stephen Mann I am guest editing a special issue of Biology and Philosophy on the Free Energy Principle.
Alongside my academic interests I have pursued a career in quality management and risk analysis, mainly in the mining and petrochemical industries. In 2014 I developed a conscience and moved to the community sector, where I preformed similar roles for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.
Outside of work I like motorbikes, Geelong Football Club, surfing, travel, live music, Korean food and red wine.
- Philosophy of cognitive science
- Philosophy of biology
- Philosophy of archaeology/anthropology
- Pain R, Brown RL. (2020): ‘Mind the Gap: A More Evolutionarily Plausible Role for Technical Reasoning in Cumulative Technological Culture’. SYNTHESE, forthcoming: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-020-02894-8
- Brown RL, Brusse C, Huebner B, & Pain R. (2020): ‘Unification at the Cost of Realism and Precision’ BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES, 43, E95: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X19002760
- Pain R. (2020): “‘You: A Natural History’ by William B. Irvine’ QUARTERLY REVIEW OF BIOLOGY, 95 (3): 250-251: https://doi.org/10.1086/710394
- Pain R. (2019): ‘What Can the Lithic Record Tell Us About the Evolution of Hominin Cognition?’ TOPOI, forthcoming: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11245-019-09683-0
- Pain R. (2018): ‘Phenomenology and Cognitive Neuroscience: Can a Process ontology help Resolve the Impasse?’ AUSTRALASIAN PHILOSOPHICAL REVIEW, 2:2, 204-208: https://doi.org/10.1080/24740500.2018.1552098
- ANU CASS Workshop Grant (with Rachael Brown): AUD $8,000
- Passmore scholarship for graduate student travel: AUD $2,000
- ANU CASS Workshop Grant (with Colin Klein): AUD $2,250
- ANU CPS Workshop Grant (with Colin Klein): AUD $15,000
- ANU CASS Graduate Research Activity Grant (with Alan Hajek): AUD $6,000
- Australian National University Research Scholarship: AUD $ 26,682 per annum over 3 years
- La Trobe University Travel Grant: AUD $1000
- Australian Postgraduate Award: AUD $24,254 per annum over 2 years
- 2019 Australasian Association of Philosophy Postgraduate Prize
- 2015 Shortlisted for the Australasian Association of Philosophy Postgraduate Prize
- 2011 David Hume Philosophy Prize (for honours thesis)
- Australasian Association of Philosophy
- Australasian Society for Philosophy and Psychology
- Society for American Archaeology
PHIL3076: Philosophy of the Life Sciences – Cognitive Science (lecturer & convener)
PHIL3074: Advanced Philosophical Topics – Human Evolution (tutor & guest lecturer)
PHIL2126: Science in Society (tutor)
PHIL1005: Logic and Critical Thinking (tutor)