Philosophy

I’m currently focusing most on Transformative Choices–the kind of choice you make where you don’t know what you’ll be getting yourself into until you act or what values you’ll hold after. where do I factor in, you ask? Well, you see, my main focus is on how these choices are made, how they are applied, and the effects that they have.

The application I’m currently working on is the choice worthiness of near-death experiences (NDEs). I ask whether or not a near-death experience is ever choice worthy, and if so, under what circumstances? This involves getting detailed descriptions of the NDEs, focusing on the necessary yet contingent features. There are several features that can standardize most NDEs such as traveling through a dark tunnel toward a bright light, and a reflection on one’s life, but attempts to more accurately define NDEs become complicated by all of the unclear cases. Some reputable NDEs have only a few of the common features, and some have the ability to be induced by certain drugs that can imitate the feeling near-death without damaging the body or causing fatality. which calls into question the legitimacy of being an NDE. However, my purpose in this is to determine what choices should be made in regards to NDEs, so even if some seem not so legitimate, then so be it. My primary focus is on the potential to improve or worsen the life of a subject to an NDE. This culminates in practical payoffs, 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