Welcome

Hello and welcome to the website for Mark Pharoah

As you can see from the main categories on the menu, I have various interests: philosophy, music and bridge. Contact me at markpharoah1 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Philosophy: Ontology

On this website you can read some of my philosophy papers that have been published in journals such as Biosemiotics, Linguistic Frontiers, Think 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 I have also included some unpublished texts.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 to do with the nature of existence, reality and being.

My most important paper is Qualitative Attribution, Phenomenal Experience and Being. In it, I bridge the divide between objectivity (the world known to science and that which is observable: the measurable things that exist physically) and subjectivity (the world of the experiential self that appears as a Being existing and embedded in an objective world that appears to have experiential qualities). Seeking to bridge the objective–subjective divide has been, over the centuries, one of the major philosophical problems or enterprises. Thomas Nagel wrote in A View from Nowhere in 1986 that it would be a few hundred years before the problem would have a solution. That was the year I came up with the solution.

Nobody has written a critique of the paper yet, so it remains a potential solution to one of the great philosophical problems. One of the corollaries of the objective–subjective paper is that it demands a radical rethink on causation and information. I present a stance on causation and information in a second paper entitled Causation and Information: Where is Biological Meaning to be Found? also published in Biosemiotics journal. This is also a radical paper because it turns things on its head.

The Qualitative Attribution, Phenomenal Experience and Being paper has been translated into Russian for the METOD Year Book. METOD have also published one of my other papers in Russian that explores the existential self in more depth. Both the English and Russian version of this paper can be found on this website: the English version is entitled Meaning and the Evolution of Signification and Objectivity. My connection with Russian academics followed on from a presentation I gave at Moscow State University in 2018. Following that, I was then invited to  The Higher School of Economics in Moscow in 2019. The most recent presentation is from The Science of Consciousness conference 2020. I have only one more philosophical paper that I hope to publish in the next few years. I would also love to write a book that connects all of my work in one volume.

Publications list:

Pharoah, M. (2018). Qualitative Attribution, Phenomenal Experience and Being. Biosemiotics 11, 427–446. https://www.doi.org/10.1007/s12304-018-9344-9
https://rdcu.be/bcfXi

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
https://rdcu.be/caLRT

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. (2022) Meaning and the evolution of signification and objectivity. METHOD. Moscow Yearbook of Social Studies, 11, 350-371.

Music

I am, by profession, both a performer and teacher of the violin and viola. You can listen to some of my chamber music recordings and solo Bach. I have freelanced extensively with orchestras in the UK and have also worked with Blur, Sting, Bootleg Beetles, Beverley Knight and Youssou N’Dour. On the teaching section to the website you can read my biography and get an idea of the approach I take when teaching the violin and regarding chamber music coaching. 

Bridge

I am a qualified Bridge Club Director (through the EBU). I registered with the EBU as a bridge teacher in 2020 but have been supervising and teaching in a club of about 80 regular players since 2016. I have had articles published in the American Contract Bridge League magazine. My bridge club—The Quantum Bridge Club—is based in Blackheath.