Charles Rathkopf

Charles Rathkopf

Research Associate at the Institute for Brain and Behavior

Jülich Research Center

University of Bonn


My research is in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science. Most of what I work on has to do with neuroscience and artificial intelligence, how these two fields are related to each other, and how scientific work in these fields relates to older philosophical ideas.

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Neuroscience
  • Animal Cognition
  • Consciousness
  • Biological Complexity
  • PhD in Philosophy

    University of Virginia

  • MA in Logic

    KU Leuven

  • BA in Philosophy

    Colgate University


Permanent Research Associate
Jülich Research Center, Institute for Neuroscience and Medicine
Sep 2018 – Present Germany
Research on philosophical questions associated with neuroscience and artificial intelligence. Lecturing in the Philosophy department at the University of Bonn.
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Iona College
Sep 2016 – Sep 2018 New York

Responsibilities include:

  • Research
  • Grant writing
  • Teaching
  • New course development
National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar
Sep 2015 – Sep 2016 New York
Researched the nature of information in neurosciene and biology with Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith.

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Network functionalism

Deep neural networks behave like brains in various ways. Neuroscientists are using them as tools to explore hypotheses about how brains work. One way to think about these correspondences is by way of simulation. On that view, the correspondence between brains and neural networks is much like the correspondence between a climate model and the climate. The climate model can help you predict changes in precipitation patterns, but does not produce precipitation. Another way to think of these correspondences is by way of realization. On that view, the correspondence between brains and neural networks is much like the correspondence between a human brain and a mouse brain. The mouse brain can be used as a model of the human brain because, at some level of abstraction, it is doing exactly the same thing. Here, I explore which of these two options makes better sense, and settle on a conditional conclusion. The realization view can only be right if a theory I call network functionalism is correct.

Recent Publications

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(2022). Can we read minds by imaging brains? . Philosophical Psychology.

Cite Slides


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