Eric Schwitzgebel University of California, Riverside
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Affiliations
  • Faculty, University of California, Riverside
  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1997.

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: yesbut not of anything substantive.
Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism?Accept: nominalism
Aesthetic value: objective or subjective?Accept an intermediate viewI accept roughly a secondary-quality view -- is that subjective or objective?
Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no?Accept: yesbut vague.
Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism?Accept an intermediate viewThere is an internal and an external face to epistemic justification.
External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism?Accept: non-skeptical realismHowever, I can't entirely rule out the possibility that there are sufficient limitations on our (or my) capacities or sufficient dissimilarity between our (or my) conception of the world and the real features of the world to justify skepticism or something like transcendental idealism.
Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will?Accept: compatibilism
God: theism or atheism?Accept: atheism
Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism?Accept: empiricism
Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism?Accept: contextualism
Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?Agnostic/undecidedI'm not sure how we could know.
Logic: classical or non-classical?Accept bothLet a thousand logics bloom.
Mental content: internalism or externalism?Accept: externalismthough I'm nervous about the metaphorical word "content".
Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?Accept an intermediate viewI lean toward something in the ballpark of a secondary-quality view, which seems to be to be realism in a way, anti-realism in a way.
Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism?Accept: naturalism
Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?Lean toward: physicalismnot as a metaphysical position of the sort that can be addressed a priori with thought experiments and conceptual analysis but rather as an empirical claim that could be shown false with enough weird psi phenomena or physics.
Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism?Accept: cognitivism
Moral motivation: internalism or externalism?Accept an intermediate viewIt's a pragmatic issue about what sorts of psychological states we want to attach what labels to -- about what we should think of as sufficient to qualify as making a moral judgment, and for different purposes we might cut the psychological pie differently.
Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?Accept: two boxes
Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?Lean toward: virtue ethicsI doubt there's a clean fact of the matter on this issue.
Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory?Lean toward: qualia theory
Personal identity: biological view, psychological view, or further-fact view?Accept: psychological viewBut not as a deep metaphysical matter, rather as a matter of what we care about and how it makes the most sense, given our values, to classify hard cases.
Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism?Reject allI don't like the choice categories.
Proper names: Fregean or Millian?Accept an intermediate viewIt's an empirical issue about language use and psychology, and our language use and psychology do not break cleanly in favor of one or the other but are a muddy mess.
Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?Accept: scientific realismMostly.
Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death?Accept: survivalBut this is not a metaphysically deep fact, it's more a matter of how it's most practically useful to think about people.
Time: A-theory or B-theory?Accept both
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 possiblebut metaphysical possibility is a lot less important than it's ordinarily cooked up to be, and the falsity of materialism does not follow from the metaphysical possibility of zombies.