A reader writes with an unusual question:
I am in my early 40s. I did some grad school work in philosophy focusing on Phil. Language and meta-ethics in my early 20s, but I dropped out after failing to complete my thesis.
Since college I had been interested in the status of ethical statements. Even long after I quit philosophy I couldn’t help thinking about these things. In my late 30s a person close to me harmed me in a serious way and it sent me into a depression, but it was the kind of depression where you wonder if you’re right to be so upset. This led to reading On What Matters by Parfit, a bunch of Nagel, and some Bernard Williams. I was worried that Williams was right and I really wanted Parfit to be right. If you asked me, I would probably have said that there are objective mind independent ethical facts.
Things got worse and eventually I ended up on anti-depressants. Re-reading these authors, I was now in the Williams camp. Further, the whole issue was no longer pressing for me. Whereas I once desperately needed tI know the truth of the matter, it now seemed entirely inconsequential.
So, I’m wondering: is this common? Do you know of other people who have changed their views due to changing the chemistry in their heads?
Thoughts from readers? Have any philosophers written about this?