reid blackman, ph.d.

Research


I came to philosophy for two reasons.

First, I needed to know. I needed to know whether morality was objective or a matter of social convention. I needed to know whether we have free will. I needed to know if the great philosopher David Hume was right that “reason is the slave of the passions.” After years of research, it would be hubris to say I possess that knowledge. I have, however, achieved a gratifyingly deep understanding that spurs me on to keep digging.

Second, I can’t stand bullshit, and when philosophy is done well, there’s none of that. Instead, there’s rigorous argumentation, subtle but game-changing distinctions that open new vistas, and a willingness by all involved to be challenged at the extremes of one’s intellectual abilities.

I left academic philosophy, but my passion for the inquiry remains. Here’s some of the work I’ve published; you can read those papers here.

Taken at a bookstore in Harare, Zimbabwe. I liked this picture and never knew what to do with it. Problem solved.

Taken at a bookstore in Harare, Zimbabwe. I liked this picture and never knew what to do with it. Problem solved.

Publications