Hello and welcome to the website for Mark Pharoah
On this website you will find information only about my philosophy and music. You can contact me at markpharoah1 (at) gmail (dot) com.
On this website, you can read some of philosophy papers that I have had published in journals such as Biosemiotics, Linguistic Frontiers, Think, Semiotica, and METOD. I have also included some unpublished texts. Each paper is listed from the top in order of significance to me. The branch of philosophy that categorises my work is ontology. Ontology is concerned with the nature of existence, reality and being.
My first paper is Qualitative Attribution, Phenomenal Experience and Being. In it, I bridge the gap between objectivity and subjectivity. Objectivity relates to the Universe ‘out there’ which consists of measurable and observable things that exist, on the face of it, in a spatial and temporal relation to one another—as such, we can image a Universe that exists only objectively. Subjectivity relates to the realisation of the individuated perspective that we each experience as embedded subjects within the objective world—as subjects of existence, we might ponder why subjectivity and our existential being has come to exist at all in this objective spatiotemporal world. Seeking to bridge the objective–subjective divide has been, over the centuries, one of the major philosophical problems. In 1986, in A View from Nowhere, the distinguished philosopher Thomas Nagel wrote that it would be a few hundred years before there would be a solution to the problem. One of the corollaries of my paper concerning the objective–subjective divide is that it demands a radical rethink on causation and information. In response to this rethink, I present a stance on causation and information in a second paper published in Biosemiotics entitled Causation and Information: Where is Biological Meaning to be Found?
These two papers present answers to fundamental questions regarding subjectivity and its relation to objectivity, and to causation and information. But they also generate further questions about the existential self. A third paper published in Semiotica in 2023 entitled Meaning and the Evolution of Signification and Objectivity explores the unique nature of the existential self, while a fourth paper published in Linguistic Frontiers entitled Advancements in the Evolution of Human Capacities to Know, addresses the potential emergence of a future ontological category of existence.
Both ‘Qualitative Attribution, Phenomenal Experience and Being’ and ‘Meaning and the Evolution of Signification and Objectivity’ have been translated into Russian for the METOD Year Book. My connection with Russian academics followed on from a presentation I gave at Moscow State University in 2018. I was also invited to The Higher School of Economics in Moscow in 2019. The most recent presentation is from The Science of Consciousness conference 2020. In 2022, I was asked to write a chapter for an academic book but the editorial requests for certain changes to my first draft were not acceptable to me so I had to withdraw from the project. I have one more paper that I want to publish.
Pharoah, M. (2018). Qualitative Attribution, Phenomenal Experience and Being. Biosemiotics 11, 427–446. https://www.doi.org/10.1007/s12304-018-9344-9
Pharoah, M. (2020). Causation and Information: Where Is Biological Meaning to Be Found? Biosemiotics 13, 309–326. https://www.doi.org/10.1007/s12304-020-09397-6
Pharoah, M. (2020) Emergence of objectivity: attributing qualities, phenomenal experience and existence. METHOD. Moscow Yearbook of Social Studies, 10, 91-121 http://www.doi.org/10.31249/metod/2020.10.04
Pharoah, M. C. (2020) Advancements in the Evolution of Human Capacities to Know. Linguistic Frontiers, 3(2)2, pp.66-69. https://www.doi.org/10.2478/lf-2020-0016
Sukhoverkhov, A., & Pharoah, M. (2020). Polo mints: Gateway to existential enlightenment – philosophy of ordinary things. Think, 19(55), pp.135-138. https://www.doi:10.1017/S1477175620000123
Pharoah, M. (2023) Meaning and the evolution of signification and objectivity. Semiotica, 250, pp. 149-166. https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2021-0154