PhD Student and Rotman Institute Member
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Western University (UWO). I am also a member of the Eclectic Minds Research Group (EMRG Lab) at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy. I am interested in philosophical issues ranging from human sociality, habits, and collective action to social cognition, social ontology, and environmental philosophy, to name a few.
My current project looks to develop a conceptual bridge between the social and cognitive sciences to better grasp human social action. For my dissertation, I borrow, adapt, and blend conceptual resources from the social sciences (‘habitus’), the radical embodied cognitive sciences (‘habit’ and ‘affordance’), and philosophy of cognitive science (‘constraint’) to develop a philosophical framework for doing radical embodied cognitive social science. My work is supervised by Professors Michael Anderson and Scott Schaffer.
Prior to joining UWO, I completed my M.A. in Philosophy from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, U.S.A in 2019. My research explored how working scientists rely on the concept of ‘levels’ to explain compositional phenomena. My work was supervised by Professor Carl Gillet.
Prior to philosophy, I completed my M.Eng. in Engineering Mechanics from the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), State College, PA, U.S.A. in 2016, under Professor Ivica Smid’s supervision, and I obtained my B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from Shiv Nadar University (SNU), Greater Noida, UP, India in 2015, under the supervision of Professors Santanu Mitra (SNU) and Anand Krishna Kanjarla (Indian Institute of Technology, Madras). Across my engineering studies, my work has explored the behavior of materials like brain tissue, human skin, and aluminum using computational modeling techniques.
My transition from engineering to philosophy was motivated by an interest in understanding human nature, the nature of science, and the relationship between science, humans, society, and nature. During my transition, I studied how traumatic brain injury researchers historically used mechanical models of the brain to ‘represent’ and ‘intervene’ on injured brains. My work was supervised by Professor Emily Grosholz (Penn State) through an independent research study course.
Ravikumar, V., Bowen, J., & Anderson, M. L. (forthcoming). A more ecological perspective on human-robot interactions. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 46, e42.
Ravikumar, V., Yi, N., Vepachedu, V., & Cheng, H. (2017). Transfer printing for cyber-manufacturing systems. In: H. Song, S. Jeschke, C. Brecher, & D. Rawat (Eds.), Industrial internet of things: Cybermanufacturing systems (pp. 671-690). Switzerland: Springer.
Philosophy of embodied cognitive science: On habitus and habit. Copenhagen Summer School in Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind 2023. Copenhagen, Denmark. August 2023.
Habitus and affordance: Towards a radical embodied cognitive social science. Annual Meeting of The Canadian Philosophical Association 2023. Toronto, Canada. May 2023.
What are we? How radical embodied cognitive social science illuminates our nature. Western Research Forum 2023. London, Canada. March 2023.
Can Scale Replace Level in Scientific Practice?”, Graduate Student Colloquium Series, Western University. 2019