Phil Corkum University of Alberta

  • Faculty, University of Alberta
  • PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, 2006.

Areas of specialization

Areas of interest

My philosophical views


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:

A priori knowledge: yes or no?Accept: yesYes, but with the proviso that I just believe whatever Tyler Burge tells me to believe. So although it's not an entirely unreflective stance ...
Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism?Accept another alternativeThe question is not whether but how. For more detail, read all of my articles. And tell your friends I'm really smart.
Aesthetic value: objective or subjective?Lean toward: objectiveAnd moreover, if you believe that the Doors are like really good, you are wrong.
Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no?Accept: yes
Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism?Accept: externalismSee apriority, above.
External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism?Accept: non-skeptical realismThis one was easy. Except there's no good answer to the sceptic, and I don't understand idealism. But other than that, realism's gotta be right, yeah?
Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will?Accept: compatibilismTo accept is not to have a freakin' clue how to defend, apparently.
God: theism or atheism?Accept: atheismI was raised Anglican which, of course, is a form of atheism. So my position is a deep-rooted bias from my upbringing, and I don't know of a good argument for or against the position.
Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism?Lean toward: rationalism
Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism?Agnostic/undecided
Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?Agnostic/undecided
Logic: classical or non-classical?Accept: non-classicalHaving spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about old-skool logic, I'm willing to accept: non-classical is where the money is.
Mental content: internalism or externalism?Accept: externalism
Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?Lean toward: moral realism
Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism?Accept: non-naturalismMy position is Gadamerian. At least, I think it is: I've never read Gadamer. But I'm willing to accept any position the label of which rolls off the tongue so sweetly.
Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?Accept: non-physicalismIf the non-physicalist denies the identity of mental states and physical states while perhaps holding that the dependence is stronger than supervenience, then I would be proud to tell strangers on the sidewalk that I am an non-physicalist.
Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism?Agnostic/undecided
Moral motivation: internalism or externalism?Accept: externalism
Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?Insufficiently familiar with the issue
Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?Lean toward: virtue ethicsIt's not obvious to me that these are incompatible answers to some one question. I lean towards virtue ethics more out of familiarity than conviction. And because deontologists are no fun at parties.
Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory?Agnostic/undecided
Personal identity: biological view, psychological view, or further-fact view?Accept: biological view
Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism?Insufficiently familiar with the issueFinally a question where I gave an honest answer.
Proper names: Fregean or Millian?Lean toward: MillianIt depends on where we draw the semantics/pragmatics line; and the choice may be somewhat arbitrary. Is that a lean or a none of the above? Much of this quiz is tracking one's meta-multiple-choice-test views, as much as one's views. I lean towards leaning.
Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?Lean toward: scientific realismHaven't really thought about it, but this must be my position: see comment above.
Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death?Accept: deathBut, as a way of avoiding the 405 ...
Time: A-theory or B-theory?Accept: A-theoryThe benefits of eternalism are many and the cost is but one: it's wrong. Reflexive equilibrium works great as a philosophical method until it doesn't.
Trolley problem (five straight ahead, one on side track, turn requires switching, what ought one do?): switch or don't switch?Accept: switchI would switch. Unless I was too busy shoving or exploding the obese. I doubt, however, that this intuition entails I ought to switch.
Truth: correspondence, deflationary, or epistemic?Lean toward: deflationary
Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible, or metaphysically possible?Reject one, undecided between othersThere's a notion of conceivability that rules out conceivable but not metaphysically possible; that notion is the relevant one for the argument; but the argument begs the question in claiming that zombies are conceivable. Sorry, that one wasn't very funny.