Henry Laycock Queen's University, Clare Hall Cambridge

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: yesEndorsing the claim does not amount to access to a transcendent reality, but to grasping the logical structures of and relationships between semantic categories
Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism?Accept bothThe terminology of 'abstract objects' is very unfortunate, strongly suggesting outright Platonic 'non-concrete substances', which I take to be absurd. Numbers, e.g., are akin to attributes; numbers are the numbers OF things; the number of legs on a spider is larger than the number of legs on a rabbit; the number of numbers is infinite.
Aesthetic value: objective or subjective?Lean toward: objectivesupervenience, surely
Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no?Accept: yesYes, Virginia, there are meanings.
Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism?Accept: externalism
External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism?Lean toward: non-skeptical realismI affirm realism outright. Unlike scepticism, realism is an ontic doctrine.
Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will?The question is too unclear to answer
God: theism or atheism?Accept: atheismThere are no good arguments for the existence of gods, one or many, and plenty of arguments against.
Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism?Reject bothBut moderate rationalism is much closer to the mark
Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism?Accept: invariantism
Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?Accept: non-Humean
Logic: classical or non-classical?The question is too unclear to answer
Mental content: internalism or externalism?Lean toward: externalism
Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?Accept: moral realism
Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism?The question is too unclear to answerThere are too many varieties of naturalism, and positivism is not dead yet.
Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?The question is too unclear to answer
Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism?Accept: cognitivism
Moral motivation: internalism or externalism?Lean toward: externalism
Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?Agnostic/undecided
Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?Accept more than one
Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory?The question is too unclear to answerBut if representationalism means that perceptual experience is 'referential' or has objective content, then it is correct.
Personal identity: biological view, psychological view, or further-fact view?Accept: biological view
Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism?Lean toward: egalitarianism
Proper names: Fregean or Millian?Lean toward: Fregean
Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?Accept: scientific realism
Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death?Accept: death
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: deflationaryBut Aristotelian correspondence is a virtual truism
Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible, or metaphysically possible?Lean toward: metaphysically possible