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Updated December 3rd, 2021

POLARIS KOI
CURRICULUM VITAE

Filosofia polaris.koi@utu.fi
20014 Turun yliopisto www.polariskoi.com
Turku, Finland

A REAS OF S PECIALIZATION ethics (esp. moral psychology, agency and responsibility);


bioethics (esp. neuroethics); philosophy of behavioral and brain
sciences (esp. psychiatry)
A REAS OF C OMPETENCE philosophy of action; philosophy of AI

EDUCATION

2015–2021 PhD, Philosophy unit, University of Turku. 



Thesis title: “An Access Theory of Self-Control: Essays on Self-Control, ADHD, And
Stimulant Medication.”
Advisors: Jukka Varelius and Juha Räikkä. 

Time of defence: November 19th, 2021.
External reviewers: Neil Levy and Teemu Toppinen.
Awarded the grade of laudatur, reserved at UTU philosophy unit as an extremely rare distinction: I
am one of three people to have received this honour in the history of the Philosophy unit at UTU.

2014–2015 MSocSc in Philosophy, University of Turku. 



Thesis title: “Self-Enhancement, Well-Being, and Moral Worth.”
Awarded with the highest grade 5/5.
Advisor: Juha Räikkä.

Minor subject: English Philology.

2011–2014 BA in Comparative Literature, University of Turku. 



Awarded with the highest grade 5/5.
Minor subjects: Philosophy and English Philology.

EMPLOYMENT

2021– Senior Researcher, Nudging for climate: Using behavioral sciences for steering
communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fortify carbon sinks. Academy of Finland
Strategic Research project.

2020-2021 Researcher, Therapeutic and Enhancement Uses of Neuroscientific Knowledge project, University
of Turku. 3 months.

2020 Adjunct teacher in philosophy of medicine, University of Helsinki.

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2019 Temporary research assistant, Trust in Governance project, University of
Turku 2 ½ months.

2018 Temporary research assistant, Therapeutic and Enhancement Uses of Neuroscientific Knowledge
project, University of Turku. 2 months.

2015 Research assistant / trainee, Philosophy unit, University of Turku. 3 months.

PUBLICATIONS

PUBLICATIONS IN ENGLISH
Peer reviewed articles
Polaris Koi (forthcoming). “Accessing Self-Control.” Erkenntnis.

Polaris Koi (forthcoming). “Demarcation, instantiation and individual traits: realist social ontology for
mental disorders.” Philosophical Psychology.

Polaris Koi (forthcoming). “Towards informed user decisions about pharmacological cognitive
enhancement”. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics.

Helena Siipi & Polaris Koi (2021). “The ethics of climate nudges: Central issues for applying choice
architecture interventions to climate policy.” European Journal of Risk Regulation, online first. DOI
10.1017/err.2021.49

Polaris Koi (2021). “Genetics on the neurodiversity spectrum: Genetic, phenotypic and
endophenotypic continua in autism and ADHD.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 89: 52–62.
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2021.07.006

Polaris Koi (2021). “Born Which Way? ADHD, Situational Self-Control, and Responsibility.”
Neuroethics 14: 205–218. DOI: 10.1007/s12152-020-09439-3

Polaris Koi, Susanne Uusitalo and Jarno Tuominen (2018). “Self-Control in Responsibility
Enhancement and Criminal Rehabilitation.” Criminal Law and Philosophy 12: 227–244. DOI
10.1007/s11572-017-9423-z

Popular book chapter


Polaris Koi (2018). “Human Enhancement for Freedom.” In Ezio di Nucci & Stefan Storrie (eds.),
1984 and Philosophy. Chicago: Open Court.

Book reviews
Polaris Koi (2019). “Behaving: What’s Genetic, What’s Not, and Why Should We Care? By Kenneth F.
Schaffner, New York, Oxford University Press.” Philosophical Psychology, online first.

Polaris Koi (2018). “Review – In Praise of Desire, by Nomy Arpaly and Timothy Schroeder, Oxford
University Press, 2014.” Metapsychology online reviews.

Manuscripts solicited or under review

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Polaris Koi. “The harmful metaphor of willpower.”
Contributed paper to New Orleans Workshop on Agency and Responsibility. The OUP series Oxford Studies in
Agency and Responsibility (ed. David Shoemaker) draws on papers from this workshop.

Polaris Koi. “Self-control without value hierarchy.” Under review.

Selected contributions to academic blogs and online media


2021. “Accounting for Global and Local Justice in Behavioural Climate Policy.” Justice Everywhere blog.
2019. “Self-Control Outside the Genes: ADHD and the Case for Situational Pleas for Mitigating Moral
Responsibility”. PEA Soup blog.

PUBLICATIONS IN FINNISH
Peer reviewed book chapters
Polaris Koi and Olli I. Heimo. (forthcoming). ”Koneoppimisalgoritmit mahdollistavat jo ihmisen
parantelun.” (Machine learning algorithms already enable human enhancement). In Panu Raatikainen
(ed.), Tekoäly, ihminen ja yhteiskunta (AI, humanity and society). Helsinki: Gaudeamus.

Juha Räikkä and Polaris Koi (2016). “Mahdolliset ja mahdottomat poliittiset järjestelyt” (Possible and
Impossible Political Arrangements). in Ilkka Niiniluoto, Tuomas Tahko & Teemu Toppinen (eds.),
Mahdollisuus. Helsinki: Suomen Filosofinen Yhdistys (Philosophical Society of Finland).

Policy briefs
Polaris Koi & Helena Siipi (2021). ”Eettisesti kestävillä tuuppauksilla kohti ilmastoviisasta toimintaa.”
(Ethically sustainable nudging for climate wise action). Climate-Nudge.

Short reports
Polaris Koi & Kaisa Kärki (2020). ”Toimijuuden tutkimus monitieteisessä lukupiirissä” (Study of
agency in a multidisciplinary reading group). Niin & Näin 3 (20): 129.

PRIZES AND HONORS

2021 With Jake Gavenas (Computational Neuroscience, Chapman University), Winner of the
Early Career Joint Neurophilosophy Talks Competition.
This competitive award includes an honorarium and an opportunity to give our shared talk, “Free will
beyond spontaneous volition: Conscious control processes of inhibition and attention in self-control and
free will”, as part of the Neurophilosophy of Free Will online lecture series.
2018 Springer Book Prize for Best Poster Presentation, European Society for Philosophy and
Psychology conference, University of Rijeka.

2017 Best Presentation Award. TIVIA & Future Ethics group, Workshop on Technology
Ethics, Turku School of Economics.


AWARDS, GRANTS AND FUNDING

2020 Faculty of Social Sciences doctoral grant, €3580


2019 Finnish Cultural Foundation, doctoral research grant, €12,000
The Finnish Cultural Foundation grants are highly competitive with an 8-10% success rate.
John Templeton Foundation via Genetics and Human Agency Research Project, Junior
Investigator Award, $37,500

2018 Finnish Cultural Foundation, doctoral research grant, €24,000


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John Templeton Foundation via Genetics and Human Agency Research Project, Junior
Investigator Award, $7,500
2017 Finnish Cultural Foundation, doctoral research grant, €12,000

John Templeton Foundation via Genetics and Human Agency Research Project, Junior
Investigator Award, $7,500
2016 Finnish Cultural Foundation, doctoral research grant, €24,000

John Templeton Foundation via Genetics and Human Agency Research Project, Junior
Investigator Award, $7,500
University of Turku Joint Research Grant Fund, personal scholarship, €450
2015 TOP foundation, personal research grant, €4,000 

Filosofian akatemia, Award for Master’s thesis, €1,000

RESEARCH VISITS AND ACADEMIC COLLABORATION

Upcoming
2022 Visiting Scholar, Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Sciences, London School
of Economics (3 months).

Past
2016–2019 Junior Investigator, Genetics and Human Agency Research Project. PI: Eric
Turkheimer, University of Virginia.
In this large Templeton-funded project, I investigated the role of genetic explanations of ADHD and of
individual differences in self-control for conceptions of agency and responsibility.
2017 Informal visiting student, Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University. (1
month.)

SERVICE

Ongoing
2021– Coordinator, Faculty of Social Sciences contribution to the multidisciplinary AI
academy, University of Turku.
2020– Vice member, Finnish National Committee on Medical Research Ethics TUKIJA.
The national committee on medical research ethics oversees and supports regional medical ethics boards
and evaluates those medical research proposals that it does not assign to any regional board. As vice
member, I attend 6-8 meetings per year.
2020– Coordinator. “Empirical approaches to rationality and action” virtual reading group.
2020– Peer coordinator, Analytic, Continental, and Historical approaches to philosophy
writing retreats. These quarterly retreats gather together a group of philosophers from highly diverse
backgrounds, combining focused writing time with ample opportunity for dialogue and collegiality across
disciplinary divides.
2015– Member (formerly student member), International Chair in Bioethics Finland Unit
Board of Directors1.
2016– Member, Center for the Study of Bioethics Finland Unit.

Past
2016 Co-coordinator, “Improving Ourselves as Moral Agents: Ethics and Neuroscience of
Self-Control” Cluster Group, Turku, Finland; part of the Philosophy and Science of
Self-Control research project, PI: Alfred Mele.

1 This network, founded as UNESCO Chair in Bioethics, changed its name to International Chair in Bioethics in 2021.

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Refereeing for journals
Erkenntnis (x 3), Journal of Applied Philosophy

TEACHING

University of Turku

Academic year 2021-2022


Fall 2021 Philosophy and ethics of AI (as sole instructor)
Fall 2021 Ethics I (introductory ethics class; as sole instructor)
Spring 2022 General AI and theories of mind (as sole instructor)
Each of the above three classes is a popular class with a large and diverse student body: 70 to 100 students on each
course, ranging from philosophy majors to computer scientists to lifelong learners attending the class via the institution’s
open university scheme.

Past
Spring 2020 General AI and theories of mind (co-taught with Valtteri Arstila).
Fall 2019 Applied ethics (as teaching assistant for Helena Siipi).

University of Helsinki

Fall 2020 Philosophy of Medicine (as sole instructor).


Seminar-type class for graduate students and advanced undergraduates.

TALKS AND PRESENTATIONS (SELECTED)

Forthcoming
2022 “The harmful metaphor of willpower.” NOWAR (New Orleans Workshop on Agency
and Responsibility), New Orleans.
The Oxford University Press series Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility (ed. David
Shoemaker) draws on presentations from this workshop.
2022 With Jake Gavenas (computational neuroscience, Chapman University). “Free will
beyond spontaneous volition: Conscious control processes of inhibition and attention
in self-control and free will”. Neurophilosophy of Free Will online lecture series.

Past
Invited talks
2021 Explaining interpersonal and diachronic differences in self-control. Guest lecture,
University of Edinburgh.

Selected past conferences, workshops, and other events


2021 Global justice and behavioural public policy. COP26 United Nations Climate Change
Conference, Glasgow, UK.
2021 Genetics on the spectrum: Conceptions of continuity in neurodiversity. European
Philosophy of Science Association biennial conference, University of Turin, Italy;
Hybrid.
2021 Gradated participation. Responsibility, Psychopathology and Stigma conference,
Antwerp, Netherlands; Hybrid.
2021 Self-control without value hierarchy. Poster at Society for Philosophy and Psychology
annual conference, online.

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2021 Valitsevatko toimijat sen, mitä pitävät parhaana? (Do agents choose what they judge
best?) Finnish Philosophical Association annual colloquium, Turku, Finland.
2021 Accessing self-control. 95th Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and Mind
Association, online.
2019 Genetics and capabilities in responsibility mitigation: The case of ADHD. Bioethics and
Political Philosophy workshop, University of Aarhus, Denmark.
2019 Access theory of self-control. Finnish doctoral training network in Philosophy annual
graduate conference, University of Tampere, Finland.
2019 A realist social ontology for mental disorder. ENSO social ontology conference,
University of Tampere, Finland.
2019 A realist social ontology for mental disorder. European Society for Philosophy and
Psychology, Athens, Greece.
2019 Born which way? Disentangling etiology, ontology and responsibility in ADHD.
Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry, San Francisco.
2019 Koneoppimisalgoritmit mahdollistavat jo ihmisen parantelun. (Machine learning
algorithms enable human enhancement.) Finnish Philosophical Association colloquium
on Artificial Intelligence. With Olli I. Heimo.
2018 ADHD outside the genes: Distinguishing aetiology, ontology, and disadvantage. Poster
presentation. European Society for Philosophy and Psychology conference, University
of Rijeka.
2018 Against willpower: The construction of self-control. Psychology and Philosophy of
Mind Joint Graduate Symposium, University of Turku.
2017 ADHD and the inhibitory control and temporal discounting models of self-control.
Finnish doctoral training network in Philosophy annual graduate conference, University
of Tampere, Finland.
2017 Self-control in responsibility enhancement and criminal rehabilitation. Workshop of
Technology Ethics, Turku School of Economics.
2017 ADHD and the concept of self-control: Conceptual problems in the inhibition control
and temporal discounting accounts of self-control in light of the case of ADHD.
European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, University of Hertfordshire.
2017 In and out in self-control: ADHD and a behavioural account of self-control. Uehiro
Centre for Practical Ethics visitor seminar, Oxford University.
2015 How are enhancements moral? Exploring moral conformity in voluntary enhancements.
Enhancing Understanding of Enhancement conference (organized by The Center for
the Study of Bioethics and The Hastings Center), Belgrade, Serbia.

Selected outreach
2020-2021 Three lectures at the “Tuopillinen filosofiaa” (A pint of philosophy) event series, which
brings accessible philosophy lectures to local pubs.
2020 Panelist, “Ajattelen, koska voin” (I think, because I can) philosophy event for high
school students.

My research has been featured in the Finnish newspapers Aamuset, Suomenmaa, and Maaseudun tulevaisuus.

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

2021– UN Behavioural Science Group


2021– The Mind Association
2021– European Philosophy of Science Association
2021– Finnish Philosophical Association
2017– European Society for Philosophy and Psychology

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2016– Association for Women and Feminist Philosophers in Finland

LANGUAGE SKILLS

Finnish Native
English Fluent
Swedish Intermediate
French Intermediate
German Elementary

REFERENCES

Neil Levy
Professor of Philosophy, Macquarie University
Senior Research Fellow, Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University
neil.levy@philosophy.ox.ac.uk

Lilian O’Brien
University Researcher, Practical Philosophy, University of Helsinki
lilian.obrien@helsinki.fi

Helena Siipi
University Lecturer, Philosophy, University of Turku
Ethics Work Package Leader, Nudging for Climate Research Consortium
helsii@utu.fi

Greg Bognar
Senior Lecturer, Practical Philosophy, Stockholm University
greg.bognar@philosophy.su.se

Laurent Mottron
Professor of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal
M.&R. Gosselin Research Chair on Cognitive Neuroscience of Autism
laurent.mottron@gmail.com

M. Carmela Epright
Professor of Philosophy, Furman University
Clinical Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of South Carolina School of
Medicine
carmela.epright@furman.edu

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