Adam Pautz received his PhD from New York University in 2004. His research is about consciousness and its place in nature, the idea that all facts are grounded in physical facts, and the issue of whether things are the way they appear. He tries to make progress on some of the traditional "big questions" about mind and world by using recent science as well a priori methods.
Pautz’s current research project is a “consciousness-first” program in the philosophy of mind. The idea is that conscious acquaintance is not something that can be reductively explained in other terms (e. g. representation plus cognitive or rational access); rather it must be taken as a starting point from which to explain other things (cognition, rationality, value). The resulting view has some similarities to Bertrand Russell’s early view about the foundational role of acquaintance.