Christopher Drain

Academic Appointments


I was trained in both analytic and continental philosophy, though I came to specialize in 20th century Soviet philosophical psychology. I recently defended my dissertation on the relevance of psychologist L.S. Vygotsky for contemporary accounts of "distributed cognition," and what that might mean for questions concerning human cognitive origins. My research lately deals with the work of comparative psychologist Michael Tomasello and his "Vygotskian Intelligence Hypothesis." I'm also interested in the philosophy of technology, especially as it intersects with certain transhumanist programs. 


37 Dewey Fld Rd, Room 233
HB 6250


Institute for Writing and Rhetoric


  • B.A. University of California, Berkeley
  • M.A. Boston College
  • M.A. Villanova University
  • Ph.D. Villanova University

Selected Publications

  • Tomasello, Vygotsky, and the phylogenesis of mind: A reply to Kyrill Potapov’s “Objectification and the labour of the negative in the origin of human thinking.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10(6): 26-35. (2021)

  • Cognition, activity, and content: A.N. Leontiev and the enactive origin of ideal reflective content. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science, 55(2): 106-121. (2018)

  • What’s the matter with cognition? A ‘Vygotskian’ perspective on material engagement theory (co-authored with Georg Theiner). Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 16(5): 837-862. (2017)

  • Situated cognition, smartphones, and technological reflexivity: Perception, apperception, and action (co-authored with Richard Charles Strong). In F. Scalambrino (Ed.), Social Epistemology and Technology (pp. 187-195). (2015)

Works In Progress

Technics and signs: Anthropogenesis in Vygotsky, Leroi-Gourhan, and Stiegler (under review)