Project Description

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Jordon Craib


  • Philosophy of Mind

  • Value Theory



Doctoral Student;
Department of Philosophy, Western University

I am currently an PhD student in philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. Prior to this, I received my M.A. and B.A. in Honours Specialization In Philosophy (also from the University of Western Ontario). Broadly, my research interests focus on the intersection between Philosophy of Mind and Value Theory.

My current research project (supervised by Anthony Skelton) is focused on evaluating the role that the concept(s) of ​opposition​ (the concept(s) by which we label or discern pairs of entities and properties as related to one another as polar, scalar, and logical opposites) plays in developing and assessing theories of prudential value (i.e. theories concerning what is intrinsically good or bad for individuals). For instance: while there is a relatively large body of writing concerning what is intrinsically ​good​ for an individual, there is comparatively less literature on what is intrinsically ​bad​ for an individual. The presumption seems to be (as Shelly Kagan notes in ​An Introduction To Ill-Being​) that once one has discerned what is intrinsically good for an individual, one can easily discern what is intrinsically ​bad​ for an individual, as whatever is intrinsically bad must simply be the ​opposite​ of whatever one believes to be intrinsically good. Of course, presumptions such as these rely on a rather robust notion of opposition, and my research is focused on analysing such concepts and evaluating the inferences and assumptions in which they feature heavily.

Further questions relating to the topic of opposition and its role in developing theories of prudential value reveal several areas in which value theory and philosophy of mind intersect, such as: How is it that we come to view ​pleasure​ as the opposite of ​pain​? What is it about these distinct qualities of experience that justifies the conclusion that they are (some form of) opposites of one another, and in what way does this relationship of opposition ground prudential theories such as ​hedonism​? If the way in which we come to view pleasure and pain as opposites of one another is dependent on attitudes and responses such as desire and aversion, what impact does such a conclusion have on e.g. desire satisfaction theories of prudential value and e.g. hedonistic theories of prudential value?

Conference Presentations

“Supervenience Physicalism And Aristotle’s Treatise On Time”, presented at the CPA Conference in Congress 2019 at UBC.

Fall 2018 & Winter 2019, Introduction To Critical Thinking And Reasoning, University of Western Ontario, T.A.