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: yesKripke, Chomsky, Kant, it seems clear we do have a priori knowledge of some sort.
Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism?Accept an intermediate viewSpeaking as someone who is not a particular fan of Aristotle, it seems he may have been right or very close to all along. Platonic realism is too strong, classical nominalism is too weak. As nominalism develops, it moves closer and closer to the Aristotelean position. I think eventually the most advanced nominalist positions will be so close to Aristotelean realism, that to choose between the nominalist and realist option will not have much import for the rest of ones metaphysics.
Aesthetic value: objective or subjective?Accept: subjectiveDon't see any need to admit it into the domain of value.
Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no?Lean toward: noQuine's attack seems persuasive
Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism?Lean toward: internalismFocusing solely on justification, internalism seems more sensible.
External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism?Accept: non-skeptical realismIn line with my support for disjunctivism.
Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will?Accept an intermediate viewDeterminism might be true or false. Moral responsibility needs grounding. I am neutral on how we define free will, so long as we succeed in grounding moral responsibility.
God: theism or atheism?Accept: atheismAgnostic Atheist
Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism?Accept an intermediate viewWe are not blank slates, Chomsky shows this. However the grand rationalist claims of people like Malebranche are clearly wrong. I am yet to study Kant.
Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism?Accept: contextualismThere do not seem to be significant problems with contextualism. We are semantically blind no matter what as I believe Hawthorne shows?
Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?Accept: HumeanI accept the view that the non-Humean view harks back to a time when the laws of nature were thought to be written by God (even where it does not reference God). Laws need not be demands.
Logic: classical or non-classical?Accept: classicalI desperately hope any perceived problems with classical logic are soluble.
Mental content: internalism or externalism?Accept an intermediate viewInternalism gives a better account of what we think we are doing when we declare a belief justified, however externalism in particular successfully responds to scepticism, and in general tracks more closely our ordinary intuitions about knowledge attribution. Lewis's externalist epistemic contextualism is an attractive intermediate position that seems to capture the insights of both internalism and externalism-assuming no great difficult lurks beneath the rule of relevance then I would be happy to endorse his view.
Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?Agnostic/undecidedI am agnostic about moral obligation of any kind.
Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism?Agnostic/undecidedI need to study more philosophy to develop a view on this matter.
Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?Accept: physicalismI believe in functionalism, but feel the need to provide some response to Kripke's objections, something I am not yet equipped to do.
Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism?Accept: cognitivismFrege-Geach problem is a killing objection.
Moral motivation: internalism or externalism?Insufficiently familiar with the issue
Newcomb's problem: one box or two boxes?Accept: two boxesIt can't make any difference. Rationality requires taking both boxes. However, were such a situation to be likely to occur regularly, it would be a good idea to cultivate new motivations, such as the motivation to take one box. As I understand it this is the orthodox position.
Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?Accept: consequentialismI am strongly consequentialist. The maximisation axiom seems fine. Welfarism seems fine. Hedonism is less certain, but when I consider some change to states of affairs that makes no individual happier or unhappier I find it hard to care about it.
Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory?Accept: disjunctivismIt is an elegant view, and preferable to scepticism.
Personal identity: biological view, psychological view, or further-fact view?Insufficiently familiar with the issueI agree with Derek Parfit
Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism?Lean toward: egalitarianismCapitalism has advantages and disadvantages. Environmental destruction is the greatest problem of our time. Ethno-nationalism is sickening.
Proper names: Fregean or Millian?Insufficiently familiar with the issue
Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?Lean toward: scientific realismBayesianism can solve all problems.
Teletransporter (new matter): survival or death?Accept another alternativeI accept Parfit's view.
Time: A-theory or B-theory?Reject bothI have not actually studied McTaggart's argument. From everything I do know about it, it seems valid to me-as a result I accept his conclusion, time is unreal.
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?Accept: correspondenceBut I am sometimes tempted by coherentism.
Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible, or metaphysically possible?Agnostic/undecidedThey may or may not be conceivable. In any case holding that they are not metaphysically possible has great upshots in philosophy of mind. As a result so long as we have this I am neutral over whether we regard the situation as conceivable or inconceivable.