Jani Sinokki

Thinking is the most central aspect of being human. Without thinking, there is neither you nor me; neither knowledge nor misunderstandings; no hope, no fear. In fact, all knowledge and understanding requires some grasp of the nature thinking, for knowing and understanding are something only thinking beings are able to do.

As a philosopher, I am interested in fundamental questions about human thinking: What is the nature of thinking? How do our thoughts exist in, and refer to, the world? What distinguishes good thinking from poor? These issues in some form or the other characterize my philosophical work.

I work at the University of Helsinki. My research focuses on the philosophy of mind of René Descartes (1596–1650), continuing the theme of my dissertation (2016, University of Turku). As the current conceptions about mind have developed in response to that of Descartes’ – such as the distinction of mind and body – understanding his views can be useful for understanding the current theories as well.

On a different front, I am interested in bringing out the specific fallacies involved in racism. Besides it being a moral failure, I view racism as one of the pressing collective fallacies of our time. I have taught critical thinking and argumentation especially for students of philosophy and social sciences, and I see promotion of critical thinking skills as a central societal task.