•  183
    Tropes and ordinary physical objects
    Philosophical Studies 104 (3): 269-290. 2001.
    I argue that a solution to puzzles concerning the relationship ofobjects and their properties – a version of the `bundle' theory ofparticulars according to which ordinary objects are mereologicalfusions of monadic and relational tropes – is also a solution topuzzles of material constitution involving the allegedco-location of material objects. Additionally, two argumentsthat have played a prominent role in shaping the current debate,Mark Heller's argument for Four Dimensionalism and Peter vanInw…Read more
  •  95
    Metaphysics, History, Phenomenology
    Res Philosophica 91 (3): 339-365. 2014.
    There are three interconnected goals of this paper. The first is to articulate and motivate a view of the methodology for doing metaphysics that is broadly phenomenological in the sense of Husserl circa the Logical Investigations. The second is to articulate an argument for the importance of studying the history of philosophy when doing metaphysics that is in accordance with this methodology. The third is to confront this methodology with a series of objections and determine how well it fares in…Read more
  •  162
    Existence and Number
    Analytic Philosophy 54 (2): 209-228. 2013.
    The Frege-Russell view is that existence is a second-order property rather than a property of individuals. One of the most compelling arguments for this view is based on the premise that there is an especially close connection between existence and number. The most promising version of this argument is by C.J.F Williams (1981, 1992). In what follows, I argue that this argument fails. I then defend an account according to which both predications of number and existence attribute properties to ind…Read more
  •  288
    Being and Almost Nothingness
    Noûs 44 (4): 628-649. 2010.
    I am attracted to ontological pluralism, the doctrine that some things exist in a different way than other things.1 For the ontological pluralist, there is more to learn about an object’s existential status than merely whether it is or is not: there is still the question of how that entity exists. By contrast, according to the ontological monist, either something is or it isn’t, and that’s all there is say about a thing’s existential status. We appear to be to be ontological committed to what I …Read more
  •  2060
    Edith Stein: On the Problem of Empathy
    In Eric Schliesser (ed.), Ten Neglected Philosophical Classics, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    I will discuss Stein’s first major philosophical work, On the Problem of Empathy. I’ll first present some of the background context to the composition of this work and then discuss some of the themes of the work that I find intriguing.
  •  163
    Propositions: Individuation and Invirtuation
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4): 757-768. 2015.
    The pressure to individuate propositions more finely than intensionally—that is, hyper-intensionally—has two distinct sources. One source is the philosophy of mind: one can believe a proposition without believing an intensionally equivalent proposition. The second source is metaphysics: there are intensionally equivalent propositions, such that one proposition is true in virtue of the other but not vice versa. I focus on what our theory of propositions should look like when it's guided by metaph…Read more
  •  115
    Heidegger and the ‘There Is’ of Being
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2): 306-320. 2016.
    Heidegger also famously says that Being depends on Dasein, even though beings in general do not. This is perplexing. “Heidegger and the “There Is” of Being” offers an interpretation of what’s going on in the passages in which this sort of assertion is made.
  •  238
    Desires
    Mind 117 (466): 267-302. 2008.
    We argue that desire is an attitude that relates a person not to one proposition but rather to two, the first of which we call the object of the desire and the second of which we call the condition of the desire. This view of desire is initially motivated by puzzles about conditional desires. It is not at all obvious how best to draw the distinction between conditional and unconditional desires. In this paper we examine extant attempts to analyse conditional desire. From the failures of those …Read more
  •  127
    A Moorean View of the Value of Lives
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4): 23-46. 2014.
    Can we understand being valuable for in terms of being valuable? Three different kinds of puzzle cases suggest that the answer is negative. In what follows, I articulate a positive answer to this question, carefully present the three puzzle cases, and then explain how a friend of the positive answer can successfully respond to them. This response requires us to distinguish different kinds of value bearers, rather than different kinds of value, and to hold that among the value bearers are totalit…Read more
  •  237
    Modal realisms
    Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1). 2006.
    Possibilism—the view that there are non-actual, merely possible entities—is a surprisingly resilient doctrine.1 One particularly hardy strand of possibilism—the modal realism championed by David Lewis—continues to attract both foes who seek to demonstrate its falsity (or at least stare its advocates into apostasy) and friends who hope to defend modal realism (or, when necessary, modify modal realism so as to avoid problematic objections).2 Although I am neither a foe nor friend of modal realism …Read more
  •  347
    Extended simples
    Philosophical Studies 133 (1). 2007.
    I argue that extended simples are possible. The argument given here parallels an argument given elsewhere for the claim that the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, not intrinsic as is commonly supposed. In the final section of the paper, I show that if the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, the most popular argument against extended simples fails.
  •  52
    Brutal Simples
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 3 233. 2007.
    I argue that there are is no informative statement of necessary and sufficient conditions for being a mereological simple.
  •  43
    From the perspective of a contemporary metaphysician, Metaphysical Themes 1274–1671 is a fantastic book. It is an impressively rich, detailed, and thorough examination of a multitude of important metaphysical puzzles and arguments, written in a clear, engaging, lively, funny, and even on one occasion vulgar manner. The number of topics covered is astonishing: substance, attribute, form, matter, the metaphysics of predication, parts and wholes, the metaphysics of extension across space, persisten…Read more
  •  195
    Heidegger's Metaphysics of Material Beings
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2): 332-357. 2013.
    Heidegger distinguishes between things that are present-at-hand and things that are ready-to-hand. I argue that, in Heidegger, this distinction is between two sets of entities rather than between two ways of considering one and the same set of entities. I argue that Heidegger ascribes distinct temporal, essential, and phenomenological properties to these two different kinds of entities.
  •  144
    Distance and Discrete Space
    Synthese 155 (1): 157-162. 2007.
    Given Lewis’s views about recombination and spatial relations, there are possible worlds in which space is discrete and yet the Pythagorean theorem is true – contrary to the so-called Weyl-Tile argument that concluded that the Pythagorean theorem must fail if space is discrete.
  •  133
    I introduce a methodology for doing the history of philosophy called philosophical modeling. I then employ this methodology to give a theory of Kant's distinction between things in themselves and appearances. This theory models Kant's distinction on the distinction between a constituting object and the object it constitutes.