Anthony I. Jack, Ph.D.

Affiliation: Case Western Reserve University


Dr. Anthony Jack is a ‘neurophilosopher’ – an interdisciplinary scientist and scholar, speaker and executive coach whose neuroimaging laboratory discovered the mind’s essential tension. The usual implicit assumption, shared by educators, philosophers, psychologists and intelligence researchers alike, is that human reason is essentially unitary – even if it has different facets (e.g. social & emotional intelligences). In actual fact, the most striking and surprising finding about the brain revealed by decades of neuroimaging research is that it contains a massive neurological divide. Cognitive network neuroscience has found there are two large-scale functional networks intimately involved in different types of reasoning. These networks are segregated from each other – they lie at opposite ends of network space with no direct connections. Further, the brain operates in such a way that when one of these networks is active the other tends to be suppressed. Dr. Jack’s work focuses on understanding this neurological divide and its many implications. His work not only draws on research in neuroscience and psychology but also scholarship in the humanities and social sciences - particularly philosophy. Dr. Jack characterizes the mind as having two poles of reason. At one extreme lies our capacity for being ‘rational’ - analytic reasoning capacities such as math, science and logic. At the other extreme lies our capacity for being ‘reasonable’ – empathic reasoning capacities including social understanding, moral awareness, aesthetic appreciation, emotion self-regulation, spiritual insight and sense of purpose. Nature ensures we naturally oscillate between these two networks in the absence of the external demands of stimulus and response. Dr. Jack believes effective engagement in the world similarly depends on the individual’s ability to oscillate between the two networks in a way that leverages the complementary strengths of these different ways of thinking. Common mistakes are to default too much to one mode of reasoning and/or to allow the two modes to come into conflict.

Dr. Jack’s Brain, Mind & Consciousness laboratory, in addition to its work on Analytic and Empathic reasoning, also conducts research on the neuroscience of coaching and behavior change. In addition to scientific research, Dr. Jack’s scholarship engages with key questions in philosophy including the problems of consciousness and free will, various issues in ethics, and the conception of philosophy as a way of life. Dr. Jack moved his primary appointment from the department of Cognitive Science to the department of Philosophy in 2015. Since then Dr. Jack has taught a very popular philosophy class on the “Science of Happiness.” This class breathes new life into the old idea, prevalent both in Ancient Greek philosophy and in Eastern philosophical traditions, that reason rather than faith should be our primary guide to how to live a good life. Ancient ideas such as those of Stoicism, Bhuddism and the Tao Te Ching are enriched by bringing them into contact with humanistic psychology and the huge body of recent scientific research on psychological and physical well-being.

Prior to coming to Case Western Reserve University to start his laboratory in 2007, Dr. Jack studied and trained at world-leading centers for the Mind and Brain: Philosophy & Psychology BSc from Oxford University; Psychology PhD from University College London; postdoc at Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Queen Square, London; and research fellow at Department of Neurology, Washington University in St. Louis. His current primary appointment is as associate professor of philosophy, with secondary appointments in the departments of psychology, neuroscience & organizational behavior at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Jack is currently working on a book that integrates many strands of his work.

Ethical Leadership
Rochford, K.C., Jack, A.I., Boyatzis, R. E., French, S. E. (2016) Ethical leadership as a balance between opposing neural networks. Journal of Business Ethics,

French, S. E., & Jack, A. I. (2015). Dehumanizing the Enemy: The Intersection of Neuroethics and Military Ethics. In D. Whetham (Ed.), The Responsibility to Protect: Alternative Perspectives: Martinus Nijhoff.

Boyatzis RE, Rochford K and Jack AI (2014) Antagonistic neural networks underlying differentiated leadership roles. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 8:114.

Applied Neuroscience
Boyatzis R.E. & Jack, A.I. (2018) The neuroscience of coaching. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research 70 (1), 11

Jack, A.I., Boyatzis, R., Khawaja, M., Passarelli, A. & Leckie, R. (2013) Visioning in the Brain: an fMRI Study of Inspirational Coaching and Mentoring. Social Neuroscience


Philosophical topics
Friedman, J.P. & Jack, A.I. (2018) Mapping Cognitive Structure onto the Landscape of Philosophical Debate: an Empirical Framework with Relevance to Problems of Consciousness, Free will and Ethics. Review of Philosophy and Psychology.

Jack A.I., Friedman J.P., Boyatzis R.E., Taylor S.N. (2016) Why Do You Believe in God? Relationships between Religious Belief, Analytic Thinking, Mentalizing and Moral Concern. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0149989.

Jack, A. I. (2014). A scientific case for conceptual dualism: The problem of consciousness and the opposing domains hypothesis. In J. Knobe, T. Lombrozo & S. Nichols (Eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy (Vol. 1): Oxford University Press.

Jack, Anthony I., Philip Robbins, Jared P. Friedman, and Chris D. Meyers (2014). "More than a feeling: Counterintuitive effects of compassion on moral judgment," in J. Sytsma (ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind, London: Bloomsbury, 125-179.

Robbins, P., & Jack, A. I. (2006). The phenomenal stance. Philosophical Studies, 127(1), 59-85.
Jack, A. I., & Shallice, T. (2001). Introspective physicalism as an approach to the science of consciousness. Cognition, 79 (1-2), 161-196.

Core Neuroscience
Jack A.I., Rochford, K.C., Friedman J.P., Passarelli A., Boyatzis R.E. (2019) Pitfalls in Organizational Neuroscience: A Critical Review and Suggestions for Future Research. Organizational Research Methods.

Jack, A.I., Dawson, A.J., Norr, M.E. (2013) Seeing Human: distinct and overlapping neural signatures associated with two forms of dehumanization. Neuroimage, 79C, 313-328.

Jack, A. I., Dawson, A., Begany, K., Leckie, R. L., Barry, K, Ciccia, A, Snyder, A. (2013) fMRI evidence of reciprocal inhibition between social and physical cognitive domains, Neuroimage, 66C, 385-401.

Jack, A. I., Patel, G. H., Astafiev, S. V., Snyder, A. Z., Akbudak, E., Shulman, G. L., & Corbetta, M. (2007) Changing human visual field organization from early visual to extra-occipital cortex. PLoS ONE 2(5): e452

Jack, A. I., Shulman, G. L., Snyder, A. Z., McAvoy, M., & Corbetta, M. (2006). Separate modulations of human V1 associated with spatial attention and task structure. Neuron, 51(1), 135-147.

Gallagher, H. L., Jack, A. I., Roepstorff, A., & Frith, C. D. (2002). Imaging the intentional stance in a competitive game. Neuroimage, 16(3), 814-821.









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