Erich Riesen has an M.A. in philosophy from Northern Illinois University. Erich works in philosophy of biology and philosophy of cognitive science. His dissertation is on the relationship between living individuals and cognitive systems. In the dissertation, Erich argues for a metabolic theory of life and a computational-representational theory of mind. He contends that if this pairing of theories is correct, then nonliving cognitive systems are nomologically possible and being alive is not a necessary condition for having a mind. Erich is also interested in the ethics of artificial intelligence, especially the ethics of autonomous weapon systems and other autonomous technologies.
Erich currently holds a research fellowship at the Center for the Study of Origins. His work there concerns the relationship (or lack thereof) between theories of the nature of life and theories of the origin(s) of life, as well as the N=1 problem in biology.