About me

I am a PhD Candidate in Philosophy working at the intersection of philosophy of action, applied ethics and the philosophy of behavioral and brain sciences. My main interest is in self-control, agency, and responsibility; further interests include philosophy of disability and psychopathology, and the application of emerging technologies in healthcare. From February 2021 onwards, I am also Senior Researcher (fi: erikoistutkija) in the multidisciplinary Academy of Finland Nudging for Climate research project, where my attention is on the conceptual and ethical aspects of nudge theory and the development of nudge interventions.

Best contacted by e-mail at polaris.koi (at) utu (dot) fi.
I can also be found at PhilPeople, ResearchGate and Academia.edu.

Research statement

My research explores self-control, agency and responsibility in our changing scientific landscape.

In my dissertation, An Access Theory of Self-Control, I examine current theories of self-control within philosophy and social psychology in light of the example of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, asking, what explains such striking individual differences in self-control. Supporting my philosophical argumentation with evidence from cognitive and behavioral sciences, I develop a theory of self-control that accounts for these differences by describing self-control as multiply realizable and by identifying agents’ active interaction with their environments as both supporting and constraining various self-control practices. This research has been funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

From 2016 to 2019, I participated as Junior Investigator in the Genetics and Human Agency research project. Within that project, I investigated genetic explanations of ADHD and their import for assessments of moral and criminal responsibility. Studying the biological causation of human behavior within GHA has left me with a sustained interest in thinking about gene-environment interaction in the context of individual capabilities and disabilities.

I have a further interest in the ethics of emerging technologies in healthcare. I have recently worked on the promises and concerns raised by the prospective use of AI and big data in healthcare, particularly for the off-label use of stimulant medication.

Finally, a future direction for my research is to look into the role of attention sampling heuristics for decision-making and action.


Peer reviewed articles and book chapters

Polaris Koi (2020). ”Born Which Way? ADHD, Situational Self-Control, and Responsibility”. Neuroethics. 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. DOI 10.1007/s11572-017-9423-z

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

Popular articles and publications

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.

Curriculum Vitae