Ronnie Hawkins University of Central Florida

  • Faculty, University of Central Florida
  • PhD, University of Florida, 1994.

Areas of specialization
  • None specified

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?The question is too unclear to answerPlease define. Are we born with a large repertoire of tendencies acquired during our species' evolution? Yes. Did God inscribe "knowledge" into our heads when He sent the soul into our zygote? I think not.
Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism?Accept another alternativeHuman social constructions--and in a very practical sense that philosophers should speak to, since this category includes debt, compound interest, "the economy," nation-states, etc
Aesthetic value: objective or subjective?Accept both
Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no?Accept: noReframe this as issue regarding boundary of linguistic/symbolic realm shared by a social grouping
Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism?Accept an intermediate view
External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism?Accept: non-skeptical realism
Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will?Reject allI think the way contemporary philosophers continue to accept a "free will vs. determinism" debate is absolutely hopeless. I would accept that all living beings have multiple dimensions of "choice," with increasing degrees of freedom correlating with increasing neurological development. Fear of a laplacean demon is rooted in antiquated billiard-ball metaphysics.
God: theism or atheism?Accept another alternativeWhat is the definition of "God"--an old man in the sky, anthropocentric projection of patriarchal power? No thanks. Something awe-inspiring in all of Nature, much bigger than us humans and worthy of respect and reverence? You bet.
Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism?Accept an intermediate view
Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism?Lean toward: contextualism
Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?Reject bothNature much too complex to be fit within the framework of "laws"
Logic: classical or non-classical?Accept both
Mental content: internalism or externalism?Accept an intermediate view
Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?The question is too unclear to answerAgain--depends what you mean by "moral realism." Yes, I believe we have an innate sense of right and wrong, developed while our ancestors learned how to cooperate so as to survive in small groups.
Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism?Lean toward: naturalism
Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?Accept an intermediate viewMind as emergent phenomenon of Life. Important distinction between living organisms and the nonliving, graded development of "mind" along with sense organs/central nervous system, but all Life intentional. Billiard-ball Cartesianism left far behind.
Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism?Reject bothI see particular moral judgments as lying on sliding scales along several dimensions: emotional, cognitive, resonance with others in language/culture community maintaining social norms
Moral motivation: internalism or externalism?Accept an intermediate viewAgain, these terms require definition.
Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?Insufficiently familiar with the issue
Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?Accept more than oneTraditional ethical theories variously useful depending on the context
Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory?Reject allNeed a new metaphysics upon which to conceptualize a living subject's "experience"
Personal identity: biological view, psychological view, or further-fact view?Insufficiently familiar with the issue
Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism?Accept another alternativebioregionalism (can combine the 3 choices in ways that contribute to intelligently sustaining human communities within local bioregions)
Proper names: Fregean or Millian?Insufficiently familiar with the issue
Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?Accept: scientific realismAgree with Searle on the importance of accepting Realism-in-general, especially given anthropogenic destabilization of the biosphere. Theoretical construction of string theory, multiple universes, etc increasingly based on abstract mathematics, detached from the experiential and open to question; realm of the biological quite real, increasingly visualizable at nanoscale and conceptualizable at multiple higher levels, including superorganismic "group" level for social organisms.
Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death?Agnostic/undecided
Time: A-theory or B-theory?Insufficiently familiar with the issueSorry, no clue about ABC theories of time. I think what we generally mean by "time" is an abstract projection from out of the (apparently unidirectional) trajectory of human (and other biological) lives.
Trolley problem (five straight ahead, one on side track, turn requires switching, what ought one do?): switch or don't switch?Accept: switchExample of overly simplistic, dualistic construction of "moral dilemma"--human society's pressing moral problems not reducible to this form.
Truth: correspondence, deflationary, or epistemic?Accept: correspondenceLike Searle's defense of correspondence as well as of realism
Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible, or metaphysically possible?Accept: metaphysically possibleDepends on definition of zombies. Entirely mechanistic robots with no conscious experience but capable of fooling real people, possible and currently in process of patenting and commodification. To the extent that so many human individuals currently function as if other-directed automatons (dancing to the tune of Heidegger's "the They") rather than thinking and acting autonomously, not only metaphysically possible but biologically extant. The zombies of our students' graphic novels, a population of infectious, cannabalistic "walking dead" following the collapse of our Platonic-realism-based civilization, also metaphysically and biologically possible, if not probable in near future.