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?Lean toward: yes
Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism?Lean toward: nominalismI'm inclined to think that if 'abstract' objects really were indispensable, this would suggest that they were not abstract but causally efficacious.
Aesthetic value: objective or subjective?Accept an intermediate viewI'm a Hutchesonian. Aesthetic values are powers in things to excite certain responses in us.
Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no?Lean toward: yesBUT, it's messy and vague and much more complex than the positivists thought. I am much impressed with Gillian Russell's recent work on the topic.
Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism?Lean toward: externalism
External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism?Lean toward: non-skeptical realismThough of course, I don't think we have ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN knowledge of the external world.
Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will?Lean toward: no free willIssue a bit complex. I think determinism is near enough true. I think that determinism is incompatible with TRADITIONAL conceptions of free will. However, there may be a 'best heir' conception of free will which IS compatible with determinism and which gives us MOST of what we want.
God: theism or atheism?Accept: atheism
Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism?Lean toward: rationalismThough MOST of our knowledge is in some sense grounded in experience, I don't think this is true of ALL of it.
Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism?Insufficiently familiar with the issue
Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?Lean toward: non-HumeanHume's views on this topic philosophically disastrous
Logic: classical or non-classical?Lean toward: non-classicalI'm a fellow-traveller with the paraconsistentists
Mental content: internalism or externalism?Lean toward: externalism
Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?Accept: moral anti-realismI'm an error-theorist.
Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism?Lean toward: naturalism
Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?Lean toward: physicalism
Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism?Accept: cognitivismAs an error-theorist I am a cognitivist. Falsity is a truth-value.
Moral motivation: internalism or externalism?Accept: externalismI think BELIEF externalism (moral beliefs don't motivate without pre-existing passions) is consistent with FACT internalism, the view that it is a conceptual truth that the moral facts (if any) would be such as to motivate any rational being that became aware of them. It's just that given belief externalism, there are no such facts.
Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?Agnostic/undecided
Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?Lean toward: consequentialism
Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory?Reject one or two, undecided between othersDisjunctivism is obviously silly, sense-datum theory clearly false. Don't know about the others
Personal identity: biological view, psychological view, or further-fact view?Lean toward: psychological view
Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism?Lean toward: egalitarianismWhen I hear the word 'community' I reach for my gun.
Proper names: Fregean or Millian?Lean toward: MillianI am a tentative Millian about proper names but not about theoretical terms.
Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?Accept: scientific realism
Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death?Lean toward: death
Time: A-theory or B-theory?Lean toward: B-theoryI'm a reluctant B-theorist, having been persuaded of this by a colleague. I'd dearly love to reconcile the A theory with Special Relativity.
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: correspondenceOnce you dispense with propositions as truth bearers (see my tentative rejection of Platonism) deflationist theories of truth tend to morph into correspondence theories.
Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible, or metaphysically possible?Accept: conceivable but not metaphysically possible