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curriculum vitae

PhD, Philosophy, UC Davis, Spring 2023
Advisor: Zoe Drayson
Dissertation Committee:
Zoe Drayson, Rohan French, Elaine Landry, Hanti Lin, William Ramsey, and Corey J. Maley
Dissertation Title: 

Implementation and Interpretation:

A Unified Account of Physical Computation

MA, Philosophy, UC DavisSpring 2019
Master's Thesis: Existential Introduction & Justification for Believing


BA, CSUS, Spring 2016
Philosophy [Ethics, Politics, & Law]
Magna Cum Laude
Additional Degrees, Fall 2014:
AS,  Corrections
AA, Administration of Justice
Sacramento City College
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Areas of Specialization








Languages (natural and non-natural)







Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Modeling Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Washington University in St. Louis

Psychological & Brain Sciences & Philosophy

Mentor: Jeff Zacks | Dynamic Cognition Laboratory

Visiting Appointment: 

School of Philosophy at The Australian National University

College of Arts & Social Sciences

Hosted by Colin Klein | Postponed due to postdoc assignment







Full Office Suite 

Website Design + code injection


Areas of Specialization:

Philosophy of Science:



Cognitive Science

Philosophy of Mind

Philosophy of Technology

Areas of Competency:

Philosophy of AI




CITI Program Course:

    Social & Behavioral Research

Honors &

Nomination: 2022-2023 Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award

Nominated for Minds, Brains, & Computers, Spring 2022

NSF Travel Grant | 2022

Philosophy of Science Association Meeting: $432.87


John Templeton Foundation / Duke University Project Grant | 2022

Computation and Systematicity in Human Behavior: $17,720


Summer Seminars in Neuroscience and Philosophy at Duke University (SSNAP)| 2022

Funded Fellow | Honorarium: $1,000

Graduate Student Fellowship | 2020

UC Davis | $7,500

Nammour Award | 2016

Awarded for the best essay on a philosophical topic during Spring semester | $100

CSUS Perry Weddle Award | 2015

Awarded for the best essay on a philosophical topic during Fall semester | $100


Publications & Book Chapters:

Williams, D. (2022). Markov blankets: Realism and our ontological commitments. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 45, E217. doi:10.1017/S0140525X22000255

forthcomingWilliams, Danielle J. and Drayson, Zoe ‘The nature of the predictive mind: Realism and instrumentalism in Bayesian cognitive science’, in Tony Cheng, Ryoji Sato, and Jakob Hohwy (eds.) Expected Experiences: The Predictive Mind in an Uncertain World. Routledge (Chapter 8).

forthcoming |Williams, Danielle and Piccinini, Gualtiero 'Philosophy of Technology' in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Technology and the Humanities (Chapter 16).  

(Titles omitted for blind review purposes)

  1. Topic: Physical Computation (complete, under review)

  2. Topic: The role of abstraction and Idealization in Cognitive Science  ( workshopping)

  3. Topic: Engineering, Neuroscience, and Philosophy (in progress, near completion)

  4. Topic: Minimal Computation (co-authored for a special issue)

  5. Topic: The Nature of Representations in Cognitive Neuroscience (in progress)

  6. Topic: Representation & computation (in progress)

  7. Topic: Modularity in Cognitive Neuroscience (in progress)

Peer Review 

Minds & Machines


British Journal for Philosophy of Science

Philosophical Psychology

Mind & Language


7th International Conference on the History and Philosophy of Computing (HaPoC-7) | October 2023


upcoming | Presentation, 'Marr's levels are not levels of abstraction' at Washington University in St. Louis, Philosophy Department Colloquium | November 2023

Invited Presentation

Conference topic: Foundations of Computation at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia | July 2023
(unable to attend due to postdoc relocation time frame)


Invited Presentation
Conference topic: the role of representation and computation in the study of language and mind at the Philosophy Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia |  June 2023
(unable to attend due to postdoc relocation time frame)


Presentation"Anti-anti individualism about computational implementation" at the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology | March 2023

Symposium Presentation, "Physical Signatures of Computation" at the Philosophy of Science Association Biennial Meeting | 2022.

Symposium participants: Gualtiero Piccinini, Neal Anderson, David Barack, Paula Quinon, J. Brendan Ritchie, Pawel Stacewicz, and Danielle J. Williams

Colloquium (by invitation), Implementation, Individuation, and Triviality in Computational Theories at the Chico State University Philosophy Colloquium Series | November 2022

Presentation, "What a theory of computation can't be if the brain is a computer" at Philosophy and Neuroscience at the Gulf, 5th Annual Meeting of the Deep South Philosophy and Neuroscience Workgroup | 2022

Presentation, "There cannot be a mechanism only theory of computation" at the 37th-Annual CHPS Conference, Philosophy of Cognitive Neuroscience: Content, Self, and Cognitive Ontology | 2022

Joint Presentation, "Marr, instrumentalism and Bayesian cognitive science" at the 96th Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association |  July 2022 (with Zoe Drayson) 
-Declined presentation due to inability to travel

Presentation, "There cannot be a mechanism only theory of computation" at the Rotman Graduate Student Conference, Rotman Institute of Philosophy | May 2022


Presentation: “Minds, Understanding, and Artificial Intelligence” presented at the UCD Undergraduate Philosophy Conference | Spring 2016


Presentation: “McCausal Impotence: How Your Chicken Sandwich Matters” presented at the CSUS Nammour Symposium | Spring 2016


Presentation: “Knowledge as Justified True Belief” at the Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference | Spring 2016


Presentation: “Gettier’s Problem: The Problem with the Gettier Problem” presented at CSUS Perry Weddle Colloquium | Fall 2016


upcoming | Invited Discussant, Society for the Metaphysics of Science 'Is Computation Essentially Medium-Independent?', American Philosophical Association | 2024 Central Division Meeting

with Lawrence Shapiro (chair), Zoe Drayson (Speaker), & Corey Maley (Speaker)


Panelist, 'Generative AI Panel Discussion' at the AI Digital Health Summit, Washington University in St. Louis | 2023

Panelist, Graduate Student Panel at the Cognitive Science Conference, University of California, Davis | 2023

Commentator, "Why we cannot resolve the scientific realism debate" at the American Philosophical Association | 2023 Central Division Meeting 

Commentator: " What Justifies the Model-to-Mechanism-Mapping Requirement?" at the American Philosophical Association | 2022 Central Division Meeting.

Discussant: "Computation with Neural Manifolds"

Neural Mechanisms Online, a webinar series on the philosophy of neuroscience | January 2021.

Commentator: "Opening up the Openness of Joint Attention" 

American Philosophical Association | 2021 Eastern Division Meeting.


Commentator: “Morality Derived from Social Evolution” at the Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference | Spring 2016


Panelist: "Marriage in a Liberal Democracy: Continuing the Discussion," CSUS Philosophy Department | Spring 2016


Poster Session, "Implementation, individuation, and triviality in computational theories" at the The Society for Philosophy and Psychology (ESP/EPP) | July 2022
-Declined presentation due to inability to travel

Poster Session: "The mechanistic account of computation and the implementation relation" at the American Philosophical Association | 2022 Central Division Meeting.

Session Chair

Session Chair, "Unraveling Discovery Dynamics in Open Science Partnerships" at the 57th Cincinnati Philosophy Colloquium Series: Explanation and Complexity in Biology and Psychology | 2023

Book Symposium Chair, "Cognitive Ontology: Taxonomic Practices in the Mind-Brain Sciences" at the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting | 2023


Book Symposium Chair, "The Nature of Physical Computation," by Oron Shagrir at the American Philosophical Association | Pacific Division Meeting, 2022

Symposium participants: Oron Shagrir, Rosa Cao, Frances Egan, Corey J. Maley, and Danielle J. Williams

Session Chair, "Epistemically Useful Physical Computation" American Philosophical Association, 2021 Pacific Division Meeting | April 2021


MENTaL Reading & Research Group (Mind, Epistemology, Neuroscience,  Thought, and Language)

UCD, Founding member, Spring 2018 - 2023


American Philosophical Association: 2012 - Present


Coordinator, Berkeley-Stanford-Davis Philosophy Conference,  an annual conference in collaboration with the graduate students in philosophy at UC Berkeley and Stanford, 2022


UC Davis Philosophy Department Social Media and Website Coordinator, 2018-2021


Philosotea Coordinator, a weekly informal departmental social gathering where members of the department can socialize, drink some coffee, and eat some cheese, Fall 2018

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