Ryan Ravanpak

MIT Department of Philosophy

Please feel free to email me for available drafts.

Should Suboxone Clinics Report to Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs?
(In Progress)

Until recently, federal patient confidentiality laws prohibited the recording of prescription data of controlled medications in state prescription drug monitoring programs when the underlying reason for that prescription was the patient’s engagement in addiction therapy. This restriction was recently lifted. I argue that this change in policy is insufficiently justified by empirical evidence pertaining to the deterrence and abuse of medication used to manage addiction, is in tension with the rest of our medical privacy practices, and furthermore stands to advance the stigmatization of those struggling with addiction.

Functional Continuity and You

I defend a performance-centered account of the persistence of biological life. A living thing x persists as y if and only if there is intra-functional and inter-functional continuity between the performance of the biological functions of x and the performance of the biological functions of y. Intra-functional continuity consists of chains of appropriate causal dependence between token instances of the same function-type. Inter-functional continuity consists in chains of appropriate causal dependence between token instances of distinct function-types.

Psychological Continuity and Biological Persistence

Parfitians say we are essentially persons (P1) and that our persistence has to do with psychological continuity (P2). Animalists say we are essentially animals (P3) and that our persistence has to do with the continuity of metabolic functions (P4). (P1) and (P3) are false. (P2) and (P4) are true. I explain how. Then, I go on to argue that we are essentially organisms, contingently animals, and contingently persons.

Partiality, Biological Life, and Prudential Concern

Using the metaphysics of personal identity developed in previous work, I argue that one of the primary sources of the special reasons of partiality is the same as the source of reasons that having to do with a certain prudential concern about biological life.