PHILOSOPHY

Outside the Mews
Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park
KCL Philosophy Department Annual Trip
21 October 2023

Some of the things I am interested in.

THE BASIC OBLIGATION TO NOT DESTROY HERITAGE

Is it by default wrong to destroy heritage without justification, just because it is heritage? In other words, is there a pro tanto obligation to not destroy heritage, grounded in an essential property of heritage? I think so. I also think the main theories of why destroying heritage unjustifiably is wrong may be true in many circumstances, but fail to account for this basic obligation that applies to all heritage objects. I believe that the answer is a special kind of aesthetic value that is essential to heritage. As a sceptic, this experientialist turn is very much welcome.

HEDONISM ABOUT WELL-BEING

Hedonism is the view that pleasurable experiences are the only positive factor, and painful experiences are the only negative factor, in determining well-being (welfare). Hedonism is different from welfarism — the view that all value stems from contributions to welfare (although I am a welfarist too). Hedonism need not be a coarse-grained “doctrine worthy only of swine”, for it offers refined versions that are sensitive to faculties. Hedonism is currently an unpopular view, of which I hope to see new defences soon.

HUMEANISM ABOUT THE LAWS OF NATURE

Humeanism is the view that there are no necessary relations between distinct entities, and the laws of nature (e.g., F=ma in physics, or demand and supply in economics) that are seemingly necessary are just descriptions of patterns of observations. Think of it as existentialism (existence precedes essence) but in science. There are many philosophers trained in physics working on this topic, and I hope to see advances in the Humean position.