Rachael Briggs Australian National University
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  • Research staff, Australian National University
  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2009.

Areas of specialization

Areas of interest

My philosophical views

Edited categories


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 answerI am not sure how to distinguish a priori beliefs from a posteriori beliefs in a principled way.
Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism?Accept: Platonism
Aesthetic value: objective or subjective?Lean toward: objectiveOn the one hand, the subjective view makes most sense from a meta-aesthetic standpoint. On the other hand, some version of the objective view seems methodologically necessary for creating art. Since I want to write poetry, I'm methodologically compelled to lean toward the objective view.
Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no?Lean toward: yesI think there's a sensible distinction; I'm not sure whether it's precise enough to be useful. Perhaps an analytic-synthetic spectrum would be preferable. (Does that amount to a distinction? I think there's a red-orange distinction.)
Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism?Accept: externalism
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?Accept: atheism
Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism?Accept an intermediate view
Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism?Agnostic/undecided
Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?Lean toward: non-Humean
Logic: classical or non-classical?Accept bothLet a thousand truth trees bloom.
Mental content: internalism or externalism?Accept: externalism
Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?Lean toward: moral anti-realism
Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism?The question is too unclear to answerIt depends on how you distinguish the natural from the non-natural. I don't go in for gods or crystal healing or any of that crap, but I do go in for beliefs, numbers, and normativity of some sort, all of which might be considered spooky.
Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?Accept: physicalism
Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism?Lean toward: cognitivism
Moral motivation: internalism or externalism?Accept: externalismI can have the concept of kosher, so I suppose an amoralist can have the concept of good.
Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?Lean toward: two boxesI vacillate between thinking that two-boxing is right and worrying that the Newcomb scenario is somehow incoherent.
Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?Accept: consequentialismI think consequentialism is the right normative theory, but not always the right decision procedure. Deontological and virtue ethical notions are good fast and frugal heuristics.
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: psychological viewI'd like to add the provisos that I think interpersonal factors as well as intrapersonal ones are important, and that I'm not sure whether and to what degree the relevant sorts of psychological continuity are constituted by certain types of brain (hence biological) continuity.
Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism?Accept more than oneI think libertarianism and communitarianism are right answers to different questions. What is intrinsically valuable is individual exercise of freedom (a libertarian idea), but collective coordination is an important means to realizing this value (a communitarian idea). I do not think there is anything intrinsically valuable about equality of outcome, though I think that equality of outcome in some domains is instrumentally important for maximizing the amount of individual freedom.
Proper names: Fregean or Millian?Lean toward: Fregean
Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?Accept: scientific realism
Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death?Lean toward: survival
Time: A-theory or B-theory?Accept: B-theory I've argued in print for an A-theory, and I'll do it again, but my heart belongs to the 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: deflationary
Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible, or metaphysically possible?Accept: conceivable but not metaphysically possible