McMaster University
Anderson College Of Health, Business And Technology
  • McMaster University
    Department of Philosophy
    Graduate student
  • Anderson College Of Health, Business And Technology
    Education Manager
McMaster University
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2012

My philosophical views

Question Answer Comments
A priori knowledge: yes and no Lean toward: no
Abstract objects: Platonism and nominalism Accept: nominalism
Aesthetic value: objective and subjective Accept an intermediate view I don't believe that objectivity and subjectivity can be properly understood according to any simple polarity (either/or) of concepts. I think the entire philosophical vocabulary here needs a serious overhaul.
Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes and no Lean toward: no
Epistemic justification: internalism and externalism There is no fact of the matter See earlier comments about huge swaths of epistemology consisting of pseudo-problems.
External world: idealism, skepticism or non-skeptical realism Accept: non-skeptical realism Another pseudo-problem.
Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism or no free will There is no fact of the matter Free will vs determinism is an enormous pseudo-problem based on mechanistic ways of thinking about the physical that the past century of science has shown to be utter bullshit.
God: theism and atheism Lean toward: atheism
Knowledge: empiricism and rationalism Reject both I suspect most of epistemology to consist of pseudo-problems that appear only because basic concepts of epistemology are not understood well enough to realize that they create unnecessary logical puzzles.
Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism or invariantism Lean toward: contextualism
Laws of nature: Humean and non-Humean Accept: Humean
Logic: classical and non-classical Accept: non-classical
Mental content: internalism and externalism There is no fact of the matter I think the mental content question is a pseudo-problem. One of my long term philosophical projects is to pull a full-Wittgenstein on it.
Meta-ethics: moral realism and moral anti-realism Accept: moral anti-realism
Metaphilosophy: naturalism and non-naturalism Reject both There is no need to think with these stupidly loaded terms.
Mind: physicalism and non-physicalism Accept: physicalism With the caveat that I don't believe in determinism of the physical, so my physicalism doesn't run into any freedom problems.
Moral judgment: cognitivism and non-cognitivism Lean toward: cognitivism
Moral motivation: internalism and externalism Reject both A pseudo-problem that over-simplifies a nuanced situation into an either/or argument.
Newcomb's problem: one box and two boxes Reject both I don't think this is a real problem either. It's only a paradox if you think that truth can't be plural. And I think there are many ways to create rationality, none of which are better than any other in an absolutist sense.
Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism or virtue ethics Accept more than one I don't think any of these three necessarily excludes the validity of any other. A workable ethics can be held based on all these categories. Call me a pragmatist if you must.
Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism or sense-datum theory Reject all This whole debate misunderstands how perception actually works. I think all of these collapse eventually into a solipsistic idealism that is philosophical unworkable and has nothing to do with the way the world generally, and perceiving organisms particularly, are.
Personal identity: biological view, psychological view or further-fact view Reject all The options as labelled are all too reductive, even to combine them. I think my answer to the Platonism-nominalism question about abstract objects might be better suited to my own suspicions.
Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism or libertarianism Accept more than one My own political views are a combination of the three: Libertarian on matters of civil rights and responsibilities, Egalitarian on economic matters, Communitarian on matters of social solidarity and the formation of advocacy groups.
Proper names: Fregean and Millian Reject both
Science: scientific realism and scientific anti-realism Lean toward: scientific anti-realism
Teletransporter (new matter): survival and death Lean toward: survival
Time: A-theory and B-theory Accept: B-theory
Trolley problem (five straight ahead, one on side track, turn requires switching, what ought one do?): switch and don't switch Accept both This is better described, for my thinking, as the field of philosophy of terror: ethical conundrums where no possible action can be rationally or sanely called good.
Truth: correspondence, deflationary or epistemic Lean toward: deflationary
Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible or metaphysically possible Accept: conceivable but not metaphysically possible