Robert Williams University of Leeds
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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?Accept: nominalismthough I want to defend the literal truth of ordinary maths talk. So on some categorizations that'd be platonist.
Aesthetic value: objective or subjective?Lean toward: subjective
Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no?Lean toward: yesthough I'm never quite sure what the point of it is.
Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism?Lean toward: internalism
External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism?Accept: non-skeptical realism
Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will?Accept: compatibilism
God: theism or atheism?Lean toward: atheismactually, this is one where I'm not sure of my own views. I must have been having a slightly more atheist day when I answered this.
Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism?Accept: empiricism
Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism?Lean toward: invariantism
Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?Accept: HumeanI was greatly distressed to find myself in the minority on this one...
Logic: classical or non-classical?Lean toward: classicalI'm default-classical, though lots of my work at the moment is trying to figure out what living with non-classicism would be like.
Mental content: internalism or externalism?Lean toward: internalism
Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?Lean toward: moral realism
Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism?Lean toward: naturalismUm, maybe I'm not so sure now what this is asking about. I guess I interpreted it as a "no deep difference in kind between philosophical and scientific inquiry".
Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?Accept: physicalism
Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism?Accept: cognitivism
Moral motivation: internalism or externalism?Lean toward: internalism
Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?Lean toward: one boxThis is one where I really go back and forth. I think the analogue of 1-boxing in medical Newcombe cases is terrible---but it's not obvious that we can't explain that within e.g. an EDT framework. And while I'm prepared to think that CDT, and 2-boxing, is the "rational" thing to do in our ordinary sense of rational, I'm not sure what we gain from having this concept of rationality as opposed to a concept rational* that aligned with EDT rather than CDT (and hence recommended 1-boxing). But there is at least one reading of the question which has a clear answer: the question of what's the best strategy to bind yourself to ahead of time. And all sides agree that 1-boxing strategy beats out the alternatives.
Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?Accept: consequentialism
Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory?Lean toward: representationalism
Personal identity: biological view, psychological view, or further-fact view?Lean toward: biological viewThis is in the moods where I'm inclined to take relative naturalness of macro things seriously, and think that the naturalness of the biological organism (as opposed to e.g. whatever fusions track psychology) makes it win out in the race to be me.
Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism?Lean toward: egalitarianism
Proper names: Fregean or Millian?Accept another alternative
Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?Accept: scientific realism
Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death?Accept: survivalSo, given my leaning towards the bio view, this means I must lean toward survival not being identity. So what I'm reporting here is the view that what we most fundamentally care about is preserved in new-matter teletransportation.
Time: A-theory or B-theory?Accept: B-theory
Trolley problem (five straight ahead, one on side track, turn requires switching, what ought one do?): switch or don't switch?Accept: switch
Truth: correspondence, deflationary, or epistemic?Accept: correspondenceThough I'm often confused by what apparently gets packed into "correspondance". What matters to me is referential semantics.
Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible, or metaphysically possible?Lean toward: conceivable but not metaphysically possible