Jan Sleutels teaches Metaphysics as a discipline that traces the roots of key concepts in our understanding of the world and of ourselves, such as ‘space’ and ‘time’, ‘thing’ and ‘property’, ‘matter’, ‘mind’ and ‘cause’. His advanced teaching includes courses in Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind and Media Philosophy.
In his research Sleutels concentrates on problems of mental content in contemporary philosophy of mind and in epistemology. Which factors are responsible for determining the contents of our thoughts, perceptions, desires, and other mental states? The working hypothesis, inspired by the Toronto School hypothesis in communication theory (Innis, McLuhan), is that identity conditions for mental contents are responsive to pressures from historically changing technological conditions. This also affects the way these contents can be ‘managed’ in thinking processes, especially in rational thinking, which is generally conceived as a specific form of systematic content management. More generally, if both the contents and the processes in which they are involved are subject to substantial changes, it may be argued that the human mind itself is subject to substantial change—or more cautiously, that the proper model of mind that applies to earlier stages of technological development may be substantially different from current models of mind.