Howard Robinson Central European University
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  • Faculty, Central European University
  • PhD, University of Liverpool, 2000.

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: yes
Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism?Accept: Platonism
Aesthetic value: objective or subjective?Lean toward: objective
Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no?Accept: yes
Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism?Lean toward: internalism
External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism?Accept: idealism
Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will?Accept: libertarianism
God: theism or atheism?Accept: theism
Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism?The question is too unclear to answerIs a Berkelian neo-platonist and empiricist or a rationalist?
Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism?Lean toward: contextualism
Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?The question is too unclear to answerIn the empirical world it is Humean, but this is underpinned by the Divine Will. That is, Berkeley is correct which both is and is not Humean.
Logic: classical or non-classical?Accept: classicalI am assuming that logic concerns valid argument not some ground for the structure of language or a so-called formal semantics.
Mental content: internalism or externalism?Accept: internalism
Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?Accept: moral realism
Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism?Accept: non-naturalism
Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?Accept: non-physicalism
Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism?Accept: cognitivismCognitivism depends on a 'thick' and probably theistic metaphysics. It cannot be derived by conceptual analysis alone. That gives only the 'universal prescriptivism' of 'The Languague of Morals' but metaphysical facts can determine what it is rational to prescribe (contrary to what Hare thought).
Moral motivation: internalism or externalism?Skip
Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?Insufficiently familiar with the issue
Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?Accept more than one
Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory?Accept: sense-datum theoryI'm not sure that I regard the sense datum theory and qualia theory as exclusive.
Personal identity: biological view, psychological view, or further-fact view?Accept: further-fact view
Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism?Lean toward: communitarianismI don't know much about this, but I get the impression that communitarians accept all traditions just because they are the practices of a community. I don't believe that. There are objectively correct traditions (perhaps the plural is a mistake).
Proper names: Fregean or Millian?Accept another alternativeMill is not the opponent of Frege. His view was that names have no 'connotation' but that they rest on background knowledge. The current Mill/Kripke versus Frege idea rests on taking Frefe/Russell logic as a model for language and thought ('it's either a logically proper name or a description') and I think this is wrong.
Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?The question is too unclear to answerThere is one true scientific account but in a sense that is compatible with Berkelian idealism.
Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death?Lean toward: deathMaybe the mind woujld go with the simulacrum, under these circumstances
Time: A-theory or B-theory?Accept: A-theory
Trolley problem (five straight ahead, one on side track, turn requires switching, what ought one do?): switch or don't switch?Lean toward: switch
Truth: correspondence, deflationary, or epistemic?Accept: correspondence
Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible, or metaphysically possible?Accept: metaphysically possibleWith this proviso. Strictly, zombies assume epiphenomenalism. If you ditch that error, some modification of physical law (or extra physical apparatus) is needed to compensate for the loss of the interacting mind. But the basic point is that something could behave jyst like a conscious being without being one.