Steven Luper, Ph.D.
- Professor , Philosophy
Born in Bremerton WA.; employed in San Antonio, TX.
I have contributed to three areas of philosophy: epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics. Currently I am working on topics I discuss in my latest book, Mortal Objects.
Epistemology: In "The Epistemic Predicament" Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (1984) 26-50, p. 38, I defended the condition that has come to be called the safety condition for knowledge. My version was that S knows P only if S's belief P is caused by a sequence of events E each of which is such that if E were to occur P would be true. I then argued that knowledge construed as safety is closed under entailment, and that, as G. E. Moore claimed, we know the denials of skeptical hypotheses.
Ethics: Much of my work on ethics concerns the philosophy of death. In "Annihilation" The Philosophical Quarterly 37 (1985) 233-252, I argued that Epicurus's position that death is not bad for us makes sense only if life is not good for us. In The Philosophy of Death (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009) I argue that death is sometimes bad for its victims both in a timeless sense and also retroactively.
Metaphysics: In Mortal Objects (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) I defend a version of the animalist account of our nature. On my version, being a human animal is a contingent feature of an object that is a human animal. In this book I also offer accounts of the nature of material objects, of organisms, and of species. In the latter part of the book I discuss what it is to be alive and what it is to die, and consider related value questions, such as the significance of extinction.