My philosophical views

Question Answer Comments
A priori knowledge: yes and no Accept: yes
Abstract objects: Platonism and nominalism Accept: nominalism As a relativist, I reject Platonism entirely, although I love and strongly encourage the study of Plato's work. I read Plato as a satirist and a proponent of Greek mystery-religion, and I read him through Vlastos' interpretation of Socratic and post-Socratic texts.
Aesthetic value: objective and subjective Accept both Aesthetic judgments dialectically synthesize objective properties and subjective experiences, and are therefore always intersubjective.
Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes and no The question is too unclear to answer Much work needs to be done on this issue, not least work on more precise definitions of the alternatives.
Epistemic justification: internalism and externalism Accept both There are different kinds of knowledge, subjective, objective, and intersubjective. Knowledge of my own mood is subjective, scientific knowledge is objective, and ethical knowledge is intersubjective. But for a human person, access to the subjective world and the objective world are both mediated by intersubjectivity. There can be no human mind outside of society, culture, and history.
External world: idealism, skepticism or non-skeptical realism Accept: non-skeptical realism As a Hegelian realist, I have no doubt whatsoever about the objective reality of Nature. As a student of Kaśmir Śaivism, I take Nature to be mind-like. For me the problem of other minds is a pseudo-problem, and solipsism is an indication of complete failure.
Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism or no free will Accept an intermediate view It is the true essence of human beings to be free, yet also deeply imbedded in the natural and cultural worlds. Our dependence upon our bodies and the cultures within which they live is the foundation of the independence of thought and action by which we come to be who we truly are.
God: theism and atheism Accept another alternative I hold a belief called naturalistic panpsychism. The entire universe is mindlike. Individual human minds ere emergent properties of biological material, and represent the unfolding of the mindlike ontological foundation of physical Nature.
Knowledge: empiricism and rationalism Accept both Rationalism and empiricism are both true. They are related dialectically, their apparent opposition resolved under a comprehensive evolutionary epistemology within the framework of naturalistic panpsychism.
Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism or invariantism Accept: relativism It's semantically impossible for the truth to be relative, but empirically obvious that our access to the truth, as individual persons, or groups, or nations, or cultures, or a species, is always relative.
Laws of nature: Humean and non-Humean Accept: non-Humean I take laws of nature to be constructed, neither invented nor discovered, but something in-between. A construct like evolutionary theory or the theory of gravitation represent objectively real patterns in Nature.
Logic: classical and non-classical Accept both Every type of logic can be appropriate according to the issue under analysis, and all types of logic should be capable of integration at a higher, comprehensive register. The greatest logician was Peirce; the greatest philosopher of logic, Hegel.
Mental content: internalism and externalism Accept both There is a variety of mental content, from flight of fancy to mathematical understanding to practical skill. The degree of internal to external varies according to the type of content, so that the most internal and the most external contents are extreme points on a continuum, not opposed and mutually exclusive alternatives.
Meta-ethics: moral realism and moral anti-realism Accept: moral anti-realism It's not possible for ethics to be objective. Objectivity is defined as relative independence from bias, interest, and ideology, and ethics is always inflected by our biases, always concerns our most essential interests, and is never entirely free of ideology. Ethics is essentially intersubjective.
Metaphilosophy: naturalism and non-naturalism Accept another alternative As a relativist, I hold that the question of what philosophy is is itself an irreducibly philosophical question, and therefore worthy of pondering, but recalcitrant to any final solution. My own philosophy aims at wisdom, which I take to be the reconciliation of the opposed desires for happiness and meaning, and that both happiness and meaning will vary with individual, culture, history, and so on.
Mind: physicalism and non-physicalism Accept: non-physicalism The objective physical world is what it is, apart from any conscious mind or body that encounters it. But the whole universe is mindlike in a way that jibes with a robust realism. Physical objects are quite real, and their foundation is a universe that's both completely materiel and structured like a mind, conscious and dreaming.
Moral judgment: cognitivism and non-cognitivism Accept: non-cognitivism Ethics is the process by which we come to be who we desire to be, and includes the philosophical analysis of what that desire is. Ethical principles are necessary but not sufficient conditions for ethical life. In addition, cognition is a necessary but not suficcient condition for rationality itself.
Moral motivation: internalism and externalism Accept both Since a human person is a hybrid of both natural and cultural factors, morality depends upon elements from every component along the universal system, from the rudimentary sense of self in the body's cells, through the historical and cultural belief systems, to the highest level of the universe as panpsychic entity.
Newcomb's problem: one box and two boxes Insufficiently familiar with the issue This is the first time I've heard of Newcomb's problem, but is sounds very interesting. Like all such thought-experiments, it's a way of addressing some fundamental issue, here, lovated at the intersection of epistemology and game theory, if I'm not mistaken.
Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism or virtue ethics Accept an intermediate view Any important ethical decision will involve anticipating the possible consequences of acting on that decision, the role of human purpose and excellence in both individual and general terms, and the question of duty. And I would also include emotivism, as well as utilitarianist calculation under the rubric of analyzing the possible consequences of the decision.
Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism or sense-datum theory Accept another alternative I accept the naïve realist view that there really are trees, tables, and such, coupled with a perspective based on evolutionary epistemology which holds that such perceptions are calibrated to the species-specific biological requirements of homo sapiens.
Personal identity: biological view, psychological view or further-fact view Lean toward: further-fact view The human mind is both natural and cultural, a hybrid entity. From a naturalistic perspective, mind is an emergent property of matter, but matter already has mind-like properties, the potential of which is realized in human thinking.
Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism or libertarianism Lean toward: communitarianism For me, the opposition between individualism and community is false, in a way isomorphic with the false dualism between mind and body. In each case, there is a distinction, not a division. I accept the system of social classes as based upon natural differences of talent and temperament between human beings, but I am committed to the idea that the elites must be carefully controlled. My political views come from Machiavelli's "Discourses on Livy."
Proper names: Fregean and Millian Insufficiently familiar with the issue
Science: scientific realism and scientific anti-realism Accept: scientific anti-realism I accept the naïve realist view that there really are trees, tables, and such, coupled with a perspective based on evolutionary epistemology which holds that such perceptions are calibrated to the species-specific biological requirements of homo sapiens.
Teletransporter (new matter): survival and death Insufficiently familiar with the issue
Time: A-theory and B-theory Insufficiently familiar with the issue I regard time as one of the most difficult of all philosophical questions, and would have to work on it very hard to generate any interesting remarks. But on my naturalistic panpsychist view, time and mind would be inseperable; there can be no philosophy of time, only philosophy in time.
Trolley problem (five straight ahead, one on side track, turn requires switching, what ought one do?): switch and don't switch Insufficiently familiar with the issue
Truth: correspondence, deflationary or epistemic Accept an intermediate view There are different kinds of truths, all of them inhere in what is, some of them verifiable, and others not; some of them amenable to representation, and others not, some of them known, and others, not. What requires work in metaphysics is not the meaning of the term "true," but an understanding of the ontology of various truth conditions and how they are integrated into an all-encompassing Truth.
Zombies: inconceivable, conceivable but not metaphysically possible or metaphysically possible Accept: metaphysically possible I see no reason to reject the possibility of zombies, and would approach the issue with an empirical study of the use of satvia-derived compounds in Voodoo religion. The thought-experiment is superfluous, and here, philosophy should look to ethnopharmacology and medical anthropology for answers.