Welcome to the website of Nichi Yes. On this page, I have a directory of what I do. As of Oct 8, 2019, it’s an early work in progress.

You can also see my  blog here.

Philosophy

I’m currently focusing most on Transformative Choices–the kind of choice you make where you don’t know what you’ll know afterwards, and you also don’t know what values you’ll have. In other words, the kinds of decisions where you can’t really know what you’re getting yourself into until you do it. I study how these choices are to be made, at the applied level.

The application I’m currently working on is the choiceworthiness of near-death experiences (NDEs). I ask wheter an NDE i ever choiceworthy, and under what conditions? This involves getting detailed descriptions of the NDEs, focusing on necessary and contingent features. They have several standard features, including travelling through a dark tunnel towards a bright light and a reflection on one’s life considered in total. But attempts to define NDEs are complicated by the variety of fuzzy cases. Some putative NDEs have only some of the common features, and some we seem to be able to induce with certain drugs that do not bring the subject near death, at least as we commonly understand nearness to death. However, my purpose is to explore what sorts of choices we should make with regard to NDEs, so if some of the fuzzy cases turn out to be more choiceworthy than bona fide NDEs, then so be it. My primary focus is on the potential improvement or worsening of life for the subject of an NDE. This culminates in practical payoffs, in minimizing the costs of having NDEs, maximizing their benefits, and identifying the correct situations in which an NDE is advisable. Because of the extreme nature of NDEs, I also frame many of the conclusions as normative suggestions for psychiatry.

Primary Areas of Interest/Specialization: Philosophy of Consciousness, Philosophy of Psychiatry and Psychopathology, Philosophy of Neuroscience, Applied Ethics
Secondary Areas of Interest/Competence: Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Engineering, Philosophy of Technology, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of Race, Metaphilosophy, Philosophy of Science, Personhood, Philosophy of Biology, Idealism, Ethics, Meta-ethics, Feminist Philosophy, Queer Philosophy, Logic
Tertiary Areas of Interest: Metaphysics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Religion, Biomedical Ethics, Philosophy of Mathematics, Logic, Philosophy of Cognitive Science
Historical Figures and Settings of Interest: Plato, Aristotle, Early Modern Europe, 19th Century Europe, 20th Century, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, Berkeley, Kant, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Sartre
I received my Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of California, Riverside, in 2019. You can read my thesis here: Against_Intuition

Current Papers and Projects

  • Intuitions should not be used as evidence in the investigation of phenomenal consciousness. (See Against_Intuition for a recent draft. Email for more recent updates.)
  • Willpower is not a thing. (Draft: Willpower_is_Not_a_Thing)
  • How can we define phenomenal consciousness? (Reading)
  • How do race, racism, racialism, etc. affect consciousness and how we ought to study it? (Reading)
  • We should shift from a therapeutic model of psychopharmacology to an enhancement model. (Reading)
  • Kant’s idea of a metametamaxim as found in the Religion is best understood as identical with one’s actions (as Sussman argues), but it needs expansion in the form of other values to be better. (Draft: Kant_s_Metamaxims.  Currently revising, comments welcome.)
  • The important difference between external and internal reasons is best captured by expressing reasons is a three-place relation of the reason, the reason whom its for, and whom the reason is applied to, and determining whether the last two are the same in any instance of a reason statement. (Draft)
  • Mental attitudes can be usefully modelled without content. (Draft in progress)

Past Papers and Projects

See also the philosophy tag on my blog.

Poetry

Most of my best work can be seen via the poetry tag on my blog.
My less-finished work is available on my DeviantArt.
I’ve been involved with UC Riverside’s Verbal Coliseum since 2018. With this group I have worked on writing and performing poetry, and performed at UCR.

Poetry-Selections

Music

I enjoy making electronic, jazz, rock, metal, punk, and a variety of other kinds of music.

Releases

Composition

Performance

I have performed a number of times, and will post recordings here.

Radio

I served as the Assistant Music Director of WVUR-FM from 2014-2015 where I talked with music promoters and put new music on rotation. I also managed the automated rotation software (ENCO, and then DAD).

Following this I was the Program Director from 2015-2017. I managed the DJs, the schedule, negotiated between music, news, sports, and the management.

For a time in 2016, I was the General Manager. I put on a few events and maintained the station during a tumultuous time for the station.

From 2013-2017 I was a DJ at WVUR-FM. Check out the intro to Nichi’s Metal Beatdown

I also participated in research with Valparaiso University’s Christ College and the PoCoMuse on a very old radio, available here.

Art

Pen/cil, charcoal, sculpture, acrylic paint, watercolor

Digital artwork

 

Organization/Management Experience

I have a wide range of experience and training in maintaining records for large organizations, making reports for higher strata of management, sorting and filtering data, distributing information, collecting information, and delegating work. I’ve worked on a number of decision-making boards, and with external organizations, both those that operate above or below the ones I have, as well as laterally. Additionally, I have handled several organizations’ email, social media, phone, in person, web, and print communication. I have cultural competence and conflict resolution training.

Fashion

I enjoy outfit design/coordination, sewing and clothing construction, creating accessories, and modelling.

Writing

I am proficient in writing in a wide variety of genres including professional, business, technical, popular, academic, non-fiction, persuasive, argumentative, political, and promotional.

On Religion

Teaching

I have TAed the following at University of California, Riverside: Philosophy of Evil, Introduction to the History of Philosophy (Ancient), Introduction to Philosophy, Logic.

Evil_Summer_2019_Section_Syllabus

I have TAed the following at Valparaiso University: Discrete Mathematics, Logic and Critical Thinking, Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III, Linear Algebra, Finite Mathematics, and Transitions in Mathematics (an introduction to proof and professional mathematics).

Outside of institutions, I have tutored high school geometry, algebra, precalculus, and statistics. I also have taught basic music theory, composition, piano, guitar, and drumset.

Mathematics

I earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Valparaiso University with a major in Mathematics in 2017.

I’ve taken upper level work in logic, combinatorics, algebra, analysis, number theory, experimental mathematics, topology, graph theory, and knot theory.

In summer 2016, I did work on integer partitions with Prof. Brandt Kronholm at SUNY Potsdam. You can see slides from a presentation here: Log_Concavity_of_Restricted_Integer_Partitions:_The_Game. Most of the calculations can be done with these Maple programs: Calculator, ErhardtLog ConcavityMod, and Quasi. These programs I wrote allow you to do a wide variety o

In winter 2017, I presented What Are Numbers? to the Mathematics Colloquium at Valparaiso University, sharing my exploration into the nature of what numbers are.

Games

All Your Friends are Assholes is a party game involving asking silly and extreme questions to one another, and trying to guess the answers. While I’m working on a fundamentally renovated version currently, the original is available here.

LGBTQ

In 2012, I founded the VHS Gay-Straight Alliance. In 2014 I served as the webmaster of Valparaiso University’s Alliance, and then as co-President in 2015. At UCR, I work with CORE to regularly advocate for LGBTQ people.

About Me & Contact

I can be reached by email at nichi@nichiyes.com

 

Education

  • Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and Philosophy from Valparaiso University, 2017, Summa cum Laude
  • Masters of Arts in Philosophy from University of California, Riverside, 2019
  • REU in Integer Partition Theory, Summer 2016
  • SAMSI Workshop in Computational Neuroscience, 2015
  • Substantial college coursework in Social Work
  • Substantial college coursework in Computer Science
  • Substantial college coursework in Political Science
  • Substantial college coursework in Humanities (Christ College Associate, 2017)
  • Substantial college coursework in Digital Media
  • Substantial college coursework in Psychology

    Graduate Seminars Taken:

  • Proseminar on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason with Prof. Pierre Keller
  • Proseminar on Hot Stuff in Philosophy of Mind with Prof. Eric Schwitzgebel (Imaginative Transportation and The Self Box seminar paper)
  • Proseminar on Value Theory with Prof. Agniezska Jaworska (The_Circles_of_External_Reason_Statements seminar paper)
  • Two-part on Practical and Theoretical Reasoning with Profs. Michael Nelson and Luca Ferrerro
  • Two-part on Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals and Kant’s moral philosophy with Prof. Andrews Reath (Kant’s_Metamaxims seminar paper – revising, comments welcome)
  • Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil with Prof. Maudemarie Clark
  • Wittgenstein’s On Certainty with Profs. Larry Wright and Howie Wettstein
  • Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit with Prof. Andreja Novakovic (Hegel’s-Irony seminar paper)
  • Consciousness with Prof. Eric Scwitzgebel
  • Plato’s Protagoras with Prof. Jozef Muller (Handout from presentation on Penner, On the Stability View seminar paper)
  • Workshop on Contemporary work on Nietzsche and Agency with Prof. Maudemarie Clark (Nihilism in The Antichrist – revising, comments welcome)
  • Seminar in Developmental Psychology with Prof. Cecilia Cheung (Psychology)