Polaris Koi

Philosophy unit, University of Turku, Finland

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.

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