Ralph Wedgwood University of Southern California
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Affiliations
  • Faculty, University of Southern California
  • PhD, Cornell University, 1994.

Areas of specialization

Areas of interest

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?Accept: PlatonismPlatonism rocks!
Aesthetic value: objective or subjective?Lean toward: objective
Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no?Accept: yes
Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism?Accept: internalismI accept the "mentalist" version of internalism only. I'm not an "access internalist"!
External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism?Accept: non-skeptical realism
Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will?Accept: compatibilismI don't accept any of the positive theories of free will and responsibility that any compatibilists have developed so far. So I may try to develop my own compatibilist theory myself one of these days...
God: theism or atheism?Accept: atheism
Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism?Accept: rationalism
Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism?Accept: contextualism
Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?Lean toward: non-Humean
Logic: classical or non-classical?Accept: classical
Mental content: internalism or externalism?Accept an intermediate viewI'm an externalist about what is attributed by "that..." clauses and the like; I deny the existence of "narrow content". However, there are also purely narrow or internal mental properties (not content but "types of content" as I put it) that play an important explanatory role in psychology.
Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?Accept: moral realism
Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism?Accept an intermediate viewPhilosophy must take note of and aim to cohere with what has been discovered by the natural sciences. Moreover, this is not a trivial constraint on philosophy. However, philosophy does have a priori methods of its own, which are epistemically and methodologically legitimate.
Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?Lean toward: physicalismBut only non-reductive physicalism!
Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism?Accept: cognitivism
Moral motivation: internalism or externalism?Accept: internalism
Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?Accept: two boxesMy intuitions are those of a two-boxer, but I don't accept causal decision theory. So I have tried to develop a different story about why two-boxing is right...
Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?Accept: deontologyMy intuitions are distinctly deontological. I am opposed to the vague and pretentious moral theories that most deontologists have devised, however, and so my moral theory has much more in common with consequentialists than most deontologists.
Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory?Accept more than oneAlthough I reject both disjunctivism and sense-datum theory, I accept both representationalism and qualia theory. Perceptual experience is a many-splendoured thing!
Personal identity: biological view, psychological view, or further-fact view?Lean toward: biological view
Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism?Accept more than oneI'm inclined to accept forms of all three -- at least when they are carefully adapted to allow them to be consistent with each other.
Proper names: Fregean or Millian?Accept: FregeanLike most Oxford philosophers, I venerate the memory of Gareth Evans.
Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?Lean toward: scientific realism
Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death?Lean toward: deathI strongly lean towards animalism, and I suspect that the right biological theory of animal life will entail that an organism like an animal can't survive a sudden total replacement of all its matter.
Time: A-theory or B-theory?Lean toward: 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?Lean toward: correspondence
Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible, or metaphysically possible?Accept: conceivable but not metaphysically possibleNot metaphysically possible, but at least possibly possibly possibly.... possible. (This is one place where the failure of S4 turns out to matter!)