About Jimmy

I am an undergraduate philosophy student in CA.

I have had a passion for philosophy for the last couple of years. I am mostly interested in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion and social philosophy. I am especially interested in philosophical cosmology and anthropology, mental causation, mind-body problem, persistence in personal identity, Christian and theistic apologetics, the existence and nature of God, the normative role of the state, social construction, metaphilosophy, death, the nature of history and the past and so on.

I am currently attempting to gain access to the University of California, Davis. They have an excellent graduate program in philosophy, with a special emphasis in the philosophy of biology and action.

I enjoy philosophy (obviously), being in love, history, racial issues, economics, Noam Chomsky, Unsolved Mysteries (i.e. Roswell, Shroud of Turin, etc), arcades, music, movies, Seinfeld and the X-Files.

In my personal life, I am engaged to the most beautiful, sexy, intelligent and sweet woman in the world: Megan Daniel. She is a sociology major, with minors in psychology and African American studies at University of California, Davis. She enjoys fine dining, arcades, dancing, cleaning, television, sociology of race and social work, and being in love.

Our wedding date is tentatively set for our post-Bachelor degree life. For more information about us, go here.

PHILOSOPHICAL INTERESTS

I am interested in a number of extremely vexing philosophical questions from a number of philosophical sub-topics. These questions have fascinated me at one point or another during my philosophical career (as short as it may be). The questions below are ones that I look forward to working on for a good many years.

Metaphysics

Can anything be said for Platonism in general? Can a modern platonist respond to the Third Man Argument? Do philosophers like John Leslie, Robert S. Brumbaugh and Michael Jubien represent a coherent and equally defensible metaphysical position as their metaphysical rivals? Do fictional objects ‘exist’ in some sense? If so, what is there nature? What is relationship between an author and their fictional creation? Can authors say anything fiction, and it be true of the fiction? What is the relationship between consumer and author of fiction and the fiction? Do numbers exist at all, in the same way as fictional objects, in a different way? How can we have knowledge of such objections should they exist? If we do not have such knowledge, is that enough to conclude that they probably do not exist?

What can metaphysicians say about the nature of the universe? About its origins? Do scientists have exclusive access to any kind of cosmology? If so, what justifies this? If not, what other kinds of cosmology are there? Is there a future for philosophical cosmology? Will the question, ‘why is there something rather than nothing?’ ever be answered? Could it in principle ever be answered? Could is be answered philosophically? Scientificially? Theologically? Do our knowledge of the universe exhaust our knowledge of reality?

What is the relationship between the actual world and possible worlds? What is the relationship between modality and the actual universe? What is the nature of logical necessity? Is logical necessity the same thing as analyticity? What is the relationship between physical necessity and logical necessity? Can we take modal realism seriously? Can we talk about possible worlds, without possible worlds? What are possible worlds? How can we talk about anything at all? What the relationship between the actual world and language? What is relationship between what is empirically known and language?

Philosophy of Mind

What is the nature of mind? Is there a general nature, or just a family of resemblances? What types of mental objects are there? Is there a mental ontology? Can there be? What is the relationship between a mental ontology and a physical ontology? Can they be joined under a metaphysical ontology? What is the relationship between the mind and body? Is the mind a separate substance from the body? Is the mind reducible to the physical, in whole or part? Is the mental dependent on the physical? Do type identity theories capture the mind body relationship? Does functionalism? Non-reductive theories? Is consciousness to mysterious to be understood scientifically, or philosophically? Would robots or artificial intelligence help us elucidate, or even solve, the mind-body problem? Is the mind-body problem simply modern, or does it have ancient variants? What is qualia? Does it really exist? Is it eliminatable? Is propositional mental content eliminatable? Does mental causation create problems for different theories of mind and mind-body relationships? Are zombies possible? What does Mary know? What is it like to be a bat? How would anyone know if other minds existed? How is the mind capable of representing the world? Does it do so accurately?

What am I? Do I depend on something for my existence (identity)? What conditions must obtain for my identity to persist through time? Can I know what those conditions are? Are reductionists, simple or non-reductionists, right about identity? If those conditions cannot be known, then why? Does that condition, or set of conditions, that guarantees my identity at any particular time t, allow my persistence through time to t(n), t(n)+1 etc.? In other words, does what guarantees my identity, allow me to persist through time? Am I essentially, or accidentially a material being? How can a person’s identity be dependent on something material? How can a person be material? If I do persist from t to t(n), does that condition, or conditions, which allow me to persist, allow me to persist after death? Is disembodied existence, incoherent? If so, why?

Am I free? Do I possess free-will? If I am a material being essentially, how might I be free? What grounds my freedom? Do I have agency, and am I a freely choosing agent? Are there good arguments for libertarian free-will? Are there good reasons to adopt compatiblism? Might I have done otherwise? Does ‘might have done otherwise’ make me responsible for what I have done freely? Am I condemned to be free? Am I absolutely and continually free to choose my project? Does my “fear” of responsibility result from bad faith?

Philosophy of Religion

Is there a God? If so, how do we know? Are there arguments that can demonstrate the existence of a God? The nature of God? What is the relationship between knowledge of the world and knowledge of God? What is the relationship between theism, evidence, justification and faith? Is faith knowledge? Can it provide knowledge? Does reformed epistemology help the theist? Can it in conjunction with evidential claims and arguments? Is belief in God properly basic? Are there good reasons to believe in a God in general? Does the theistic hypothesis make more sense of our experience and evidence than naturalism, materialism, or atheism? Does the cosmological argument work? Is it sound? Is it rational for some people to find it convincing, even if others do not? Is the design argument sound? If so, why? If not, why not? Why was Paley’s version of the design argument dismissed after Darwin? What does evolution have to do with design? What about the ontological argument? Is it even possible that the ontological argument is valid? Cogent? What about miracles, religious experience, consciousness, love and meaning? How can these be explained without a God? Do they need to be explained at all?

Are there any good arguments against God’s existence? Are they overwhelming? Should one use the arguments for disbelief in God? In agnosticism? Does the problem of evil count against God’s existence? Should theists give up their belief in God because there is suffering at all? Is the logical problem of evil really dead, or is it just temporally out of fashion? Does the amount of evil in the world constitute evidence against God’s existence? Should a believer give up their faith given all the suffering in the world? Even if they think the problem of evil is a decisive one against God? Can one continue to belief on faith anyway? Are there any good theistic replies to the problem of evil? Does free will provide a sufficient answer, or do we need to include other things such as punishment for sin, or the structure of natural law?

What is the nature of God? Is he simple? Or complex? How can we know about God? About his nature? About his relationship to humankind? Does he have a relationship? Can religious experience provide evidence for God in an analogous manner to sense perception? Do we take perception on faith? If not, then what justifies our belief in our perceptual experience? If so, how is religious experience any different? Can we know whether miracles happen? Contemporarily, or historically? Can we predict the nature of the world based on God’s existence? Or the nature of God, from the nature of the world?

Social Philosophy

What is the nature of rights? How do we justify this account of rights? Who has rights? Do animals have them? Does everyone have equal rights? What duties do right impose on us? Do we have moral (normative) knowledge? How can we give an account of this knowledge? Does empathy require knowledge by acquaintance? Is gender socially constructed? If so, how? Can there be a social ontology? Do social facts always supervene on physical, or mental facts? Is beauty/art relative, or subjective? If so, how does one justify this? If not, how does we know what is beauty? What is art? What is the nature of the state? How can we justify the state at all? Is democracy ever justified? Can a welfare state be justified?

What is the ontology of love? Does love supervene on the physical? What is love? What justifies one person’s love for another? How should we deal with our own death? The death of those we love? Do children have rights? Should parents be licensed? How ought parents decide to raise their children? Is it their decision to make? What grounds their authority? Genetics? What is a parent? What is an education? What is it to be educated? What is the purpose of an education, and how does one justify that conception? What ought an education to consist in? Do parents have a duty to provide an education to their children? Is education a right?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Frank  |  May 1, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Jimmy, I just stumbled upon your site today. Since you are a philosopher and a theist, I’m curious if you’ve ever read some of my favorite authors: Mortimer Adler’s books–especially “How to Think About God” and “The Difference of Man & the Difference it Makes”? Or G.K. Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy”? Or Norm Geisler’s “Christian Apologetics” and “Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Perspective”?

    Reply

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