Below you will find select samplings of my work.
(Doctor Who and Philosophy Book Chapter)Wibbley Wobbley Timey Wimey; What the Doctor can and can't change
Could the Doctor have avoided Trenzalore? The Doctor changes things all of the time, and he had certainly heard of Trenzalore before arriving there. Given that it is the known place of his death, could he have simply avoided going there? In the “The Wedding of River Song” (2011), Dorium Maldovar (more specifically Dorium’s head) speaks the prophetic words that would echo throughout season seven: “On the Fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the Eleventh, when no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer, a question will be asked—a question that must never be answered: ‘Doctor who?’”. In “The Name of the Doctor” (2013) we learn from an imprisoned man, Clarence DeMarco, that the Doctor’s grave has been discovered. Later in the episode when the Doctor arrives to confront Dr. Simeon and his gang of Whisper Men, we discover that the Doctor has unknowingly landed on Trenzalore, and that the grave that DeMarco was talking about, is on Trenzalore. Given that the Doctor was able to evade his own death at Lake Silencio, couldn’t he also have avoided Trenzalore? He does have a TARDIS after all, couldn’t he have just used time travel to avoid it?<P>Read more.
(Orphan Black and Philosophy Book Chapter)Rational Disagreements between Reasonable Duplicates
What would Orphan Black be like to watch if our clones always got along, and never disagreed with each other? Pretty dull, I think. Imagine the time that would have been saved if Alison had just agreed with Cosima about telling Sarah that they were clones? If Sarah had listened to Katja in the car before she was shot, or if Hellena wasn’t ignored early on? And that’s just to mention things that happened in the first 3 episodes of season 1! Disagreement amongst the cast of clones largely drives much of the tension and drama that we all know and love. It’s what makes us shout at our TV or computer screen saying, “You know Delphine is your monitor, Cosima! What are you doing?!” just like Sarah did.
A faux dramatic dialogue written in the style of Plato, telling the tale of Kynikes, occurring chronologically after Plato’s Theaetetus. Read more.
PAPER (DRAFT ): A PRÉCISE OF THE EPISTEMIC IMPORTANCE OF SKEPTICAL ARGUMENTS
Epistemology is traditionally defined as the study of knowledge. What that consists in however, can vary depending on whether one approaches knowledge from a pragmatic, or normative viewpoint. All theories, uncontroversially, seem to want to provide an answer to the question: how do we know? What are the constraints of knowledge? Skepticism and the arguments entailed by that view often find no place within these theories. Often, skeptical considerations are given a cursory nod – a mention of Descartes and Brains-in-vats – before moving along. Skepticism is thought of as nothing more than a clever argument, trotted out in introductory classes, like a parlour trick: meant to surprise and confuse, but not be taken seriously. This paper argues that it is to the detriment of any epistemic theory that gives skepticism such a cursory gloss. Read more.
PAPER: SUPPORTING THE SKEPTIC
This paper aims to critically discuss where, if at all, a skeptic might find herself situated in the norms of assertion literature. Much of the assertion literature places at least some emphasis on assertion revolving, if only distantly, around something like truth, justification, or knowledge. The skeptics tongue it would seem, is therefore tied, given her denial of knowledge claims. Read more.
PAPER: HEADACHES FOR HYPOTHETICALISM
In the following paper I will provide an exegesis of what I take to be the core idea of ‘Hypotheticalism’, as discussed by Mark Schroeder in his Reason as Slaves of the Passions (2007). Once this explication has been made, I will analyze and discuss Derek Parfit’s “Agony Argument”, in his On What Matters (2011). It will be against this argument that I will attempt to show that Hypotheticalism at its core, cannot provide a satisfactory response. However that it not to say that it would not provide a response. Parfit also offers two other objections against subjectivist accounts, the “All or Nothing Argument” and the “Incoherence Argument”. Crudely, Parfit’s “All or Nothing Argument” is a worry directed at what we have reasons to do. He claims that, “Either all such desires give us reasons, or none of them do.” (2011, pg. 90). What is being countenanced in the “Incoherence Argument” seems to be the suggestion that we ought to try and inform ourselves as best we can, so as to better inform our desires. Accounts such as Hypotheticalism allegedly do not have the resources to explain how relevant facts can themselves become reason generators such that they give the agent reasons to change their desires. I take it that Schroeder’s chapter 5 (“Too Many Reasons”) and chapter 7 (“Weighting for Reasons”) go far in answering these two of Parfit’s objections. However it is on Parfit’s “Agony Argument” that this paper shall be directed, as I take it that this argument poses the most difficulty for Hypotheticalism. Read more.
PAPER: THE IS-OUGHT QUESTION
The focus of this paper will be to investigate an argument allegedly made by David Hume in his influential A Treatise of Human Nature 1. Called the “Is-Ought” Gap, Hume’s Guillotine or Hume’s Law, it is an argument that most philosophy undergraduates will be exposed to at least once in their philosophical education. Most take it to mean that Hume is arguing that you can’t derive an ought from an is. That is, claims about the way that things are, cannot expressly advise the way things should be. In this paper, I will examine textual evidence in support of the thesis that Hume was not making any sort of logical point here about the validity of inferences. Instead, I will argue that Hume was merely pointing out the question-begging nature of moral rationalist accounts, as part of his defence of his naturalistic account. In the first section of the paper, I will examine what we now take Hume’s “Is-Ought” argument to be, and argue that if this is the proper interpretation, then Hume is the first violator of his own principle. In the second part of the paper, I will provide textual support for the claim that rather than trying to argue against the logical validity of natural rationalism, that Hume is instead noting the question-begging and circular tendencies of those theories. I will provide passages from Wollaston and Clarke whom I take the bulk of Book 3, Part 1, Section 1, to be directed towards. Read more.