Allen Wood Stanford University, Indiana University
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  • Faculty, Stanford University
  • Faculty, Indiana University

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My philosophical views


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My philosophical views

The answers shown here are not necessarily the same provided as part of the 2009 PhilPapers Survey. These answers can be updated at any time.

See also:

QuestionAnswerComments
A priori knowledge: yes or no?Accept: yes
Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism?Lean toward: Platonism
Aesthetic value: objective or subjective?Lean toward: objectiveSome form of quasi-objectivism seems best.
Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no?Accept: yes
Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism?Accept: internalism
External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism?Accept: non-skeptical realismI accept realism as the everyday position that is vindicated by transcendental idealism.
Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will?Reject allCompatibilism is the only position that could be acceptable. Unfortunately, this does not entail that any form of it is actually acceptable. And standard forms of compatibilism are too intellectually dishonest to tolerate.
God: theism or atheism?Accept: atheismGod's only excuse is that he does not exist. Unfortunately, given the behavior of his believers, this excuse no longer gets him off the hook.
Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism?Accept: rationalismEmpiricism is an empirically false set of a priori ideas about how we learn from experience. Some form of rationalism is the only rational alternative.
Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism?Accept: contextualism
Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?Accept: non-Humean
Logic: classical or non-classical?Lean toward: classical
Mental content: internalism or externalism?Lean toward: externalism
Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?Accept: moral realismRealism is the only position compatible with the judgments people make. Anti-realism requires you to be self-alienated.
Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism?Accept: naturalism
Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?Lean toward: non-physicalismThis is an unclear question. If physicalism is a form of reductionism, then I reject it. If non=physicalism is a form of supernaturalism, however, I would reject it even more strongly.
Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism?Accept: cognitivismEthical non-cognitivism is not compatible with ordinary moral judgments as ordinary people make them.
Moral motivation: internalism or externalism?Accept: internalismBut not the form that requires some motive other than a rational moral judgment itself.
Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?Accept: one boxTake the single box. The Predictor will probably have filled it with money or else left both boxes empty.
Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?Lean toward: deontologyIf deontology means a theory (as distinct from virtue ethics,which is a form of theoretical nihilism) and a theory other than consequentialism, then that is the only defensible kind of theory.
Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory?The question is too unclear to answer
Personal identity: biological view, psychological view, or further-fact view?Accept: biological view
Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism?Accept: egalitarianismMy real position could be accurately described as 'anti-hyperinegalitarianism'. But given the obscene inequalities we have in the actual world, this is close to egalitarianism,
Proper names: Fregean or Millian?Lean toward: Fregean
Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?Accept: scientific realismScience knows reality. If it didn't it wouldn't be science, or even knowledge. If it knows reality, then scientific realism has to be correct.
Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death?Accept: death
Time: A-theory or B-theory?The question is too unclear to answer
Trolley problem (five straight ahead, one on side track, turn requires switching, what ought one do?): switch or don't switch?Reject bothTrolley problems in general are deceptive in seeming to offer you clear alternatives but in fact they have hidden presuppositions that are false.
Truth: correspondence, deflationary, or epistemic?Accept: correspondenceThis is the only conception of truth there is. Other options either confuse truth with justification or evade the issue.
Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible, or metaphysically possible?Lean toward: conceivable but not metaphysically possible