•  19
    Paradise and Growing in Virtue
    In T. Ryan Byerly & Eric Silverman (eds.), Paradise Understood: New Philosophical Essays about Heaven, Oxford University Press. pp. 97-109. 2017.
    The present volume is devoted to philosophical reflection on the nature of paradise. Our contribution to this larger project is an extension of previous work that we’ve done on the nature of human agency and virtue in heaven. Here, we’d like to focus on three things. First, we will discuss in greater detail what it is we mean by “growth in virtue.” Second, we will answer a number of objections to that understanding of growth in virtue. Third, we will show two benefits of this understanding of gr…Read more
  • The Incarnation and Vicarious Agency
    Christian Psychology 7 (2): 19-21. 2013.
  •  764
    Cooperative Grace, Cooperative Agency
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (3): 223--245. 2015.
    In an earlier paper, I argued for an account of the metaphysics of grace which was libertarian in nature but also non-Pelagian. My goal in the present paper is to broaden my focus on how the human and divine wills relate in graced activities. While there is widespread agreement in Christian theology that the two do interact in an important way, what’s less clear is how the wills of two agents can be united in one of them performing a particular action via a kind of joint or unitive willing. Inso…Read more
  • Free Will in Analytic Theology
    with Richard Tamburro
    Rivista Teologica di Lugano 3 441-448. 2015.
  • Review of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (review)
    Metapsychology 13 (52). 2009.
  •  15
    Review of Freedom and Self-Creation: Anselmian Libertarianism (review)
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 90 (4): 765-767. 2016.
  •  69
    Free WIll
    In Neil Manson & Bob Barnard (eds.), Continuum Companion to Metaphysics, Continuum. pp. 223-243. 2012.
    It is sometimes said that Augustine discovered the faculty of the will, and as a result inaugurated philosophy’s fascination with issues related to free will. While philosophers prior to Augustine clearly discussed related issues of, for example, voluntariness and agency, one finds in Augustine a focus on a faculty distinct from reason which is necessary for praise and blame that one would be hard-pressed to find in earlier thinkers. Augustine addressed the importance of free will in many of his…Read more
  •  110
    A critique of Frankfurt-libertarianism
    Philosophia 34 (2): 189-202. 2006.
    Most libertarians think that some version of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP) is true. A number of libertarians, which I call ‘Frankfurt-libertarians,’ think that they need not embrace any version of PAP. In this paper, I examine the writings of one such Frankfurt-libertarian, Eleonore Stump, for her evaluation of the impact of Frankfurt-style counterexamples (FSCs) to PAP. I show how, contrary to her own claims, Stump does need a PAP-like principle for her account of free action…Read more
  •  2
    Review of Can God be Free? (review)
    with Shannon Murphy
    Philosophia Christi 8 (2): 497-501. 2006.
  •  714
    Pride in Christian Philosophy and Theology
    In J. Adam Carter Emma C. Gordon (ed.), The Moral Psychology of Pride, Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 211-234. 2017.
    Our focus in this chapter will be the role the pride has played, both historically and contemporarily, in Christian theology and philosophical theology. We begin by delineating a number of different types of pride, since some types are positive (e.g., when a parent tells a daughter “I’m proud of you for being brave”), and others are negative (e.g., “Pride goes before a fall”) or even vicious. We then explore the role that the negative emotion and vice play in the history of Christianity, with pa…Read more
  •  360
    Incompatibilism, Sin, and Free Will in Heaven
    Faith and Philosophy 26 (4): 396-417. 2009.
    The traditional view of heaven holds that the redeemed in heaven both have free will and are no longer capable of sinning. A number of philosophers have argued that the traditional view is problematic. How can someone be free and yet incapable of sinning? If the redeemed are kept from sinning, their wills must be reined in. And if their wills are reined in, it doesn’t seem right to say that they are free. Following James Sennett, we call this objection to the traditional view of heaven ‘the Prob…Read more
  •  26
    Executive Function, Disability, and Agency
    Res Philosophica 93 (4): 767-796. 2016.
    This paper considers how a number of particular disabilities can impact agency primarily by affecting what psychologists refer to as ‘executive function.’ Some disabilities, I argue, could decrease agency even without fully undermining it. I see this argument as contributing to the growing literature that sees agency as coming in degrees. The first section gives a broad outline of a fairly standard approach to agency. The second section relates that framework to the existing literature, which su…Read more
  •  69
    An Analogical Approach to Divine Freedom
    Proceedings of the Irish Philosophical Society 88-99. 2012.
    Assuming an analogical account of religious predication, this paper utilizes recent work in the metaphysics of free will to build towards an account of divine freedom. I argue that what actions an agent is capable of freely performing depends on his or her moral character.
  •  70
    Truth-Making and Divine Eternity
    Religious Studies 43 (3). 2007.
    According to a widespread tradition in philosophical theology, God is necessarily simple and eternal. One objection to this view of God's nature is that it would rule out God having foreknowledge of non-determined, free human actions insofar as simplicity and eternity are incompatible with God's knowledge being causally dependent on those actions. According to this view, either (a) God must causally determine the free actions of human agents, thus leading to a theological version of compatibilis…Read more
  •  64
    Free Will in Philosophical Theology
    Bloomsbury Academic. 2013.
    Natural theology's name can be misleading, for it sounds like what is being done is a kind of theology, not philosophy. But natural theology is better understood to be primarily philosophical rather than theological for it is, most generally, the ...
  •  12
    Free Will and Theism: Connections, Contingencies, and Concerns (edited book)
    with Daniel Speak
    Oxford University Press UK. 2016.
    This volume presents a systematic exploration of the relationship between religious beliefs and various accounts of free will in the contemporary domain. With a particular eye on how theological commitments might shape our views about the nature of free will, a team of leading experts in the field explores an important gap in the current debate. They focus their attention on this crucial point of intellectual intersection with surprising and illuminating results.
  •  34
    Review of Rethinking Responsibility (review)
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1): 205-206. 2014.
    No abstract
  •  63
    Freedom and the Incarnation
    Philosophy Compass 11 (11): 743-756. 2016.
    In this paper, we explore how free will should be understood within the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation, particularly on the assumption of traditional Christology. We focus on two issues: reconciling Christ's free will with the claim that Christ's human will was subjected to the divine will in the Incarnation; and reconciling the claims that Christ was fully human and free with the belief that Christ, since God, could not sin.
  •  30
    Review of Philosophical Theology and Christian Doctrine (review)
    Faith and Philosophy 25 (3): 329-331. 2008.
  •  31
    Neo-classical Theism
    In Jeanine Diller & Asa Kasher (eds.), Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities, Springer. pp. 195-204. 2013.
    This is a section introduction which attempts to capture current neo-classical approaches to the nature of God. I begin by introducing the distinction between classical and neo-classical ways of conceiving the divine nature. I then I attempt to rebut a general objection to neo-classical models by drawing a comparison with the development of orthodoxy. I close by introducing the four readings in this section of the volume, and show how they each relate to the larger discussion of neo-classical m…Read more
  •  20
    Review of Four Views on Free Will (review)
    Social Theory and Practice 35 (2): 319-326. 2009.
  •  105
    An Argument for Limbo
    The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4): 277-292. 2015.
    In this paper I argue from a number of positions that are, while not uncontested, at least common among analytic philosophers of religion for the possibility, and indeed the plausibility, of a doctrine of limbo. The account of limbo that I advocate is substantially different than the element of Catholic speculative theology that goes by the same name. According to that doctrine, the limbus infantium is a place or state of perfect natural happiness for those who, prior to the age of reason, die w…Read more
  •  121
    Tracing and the Epistemic Condition on Moral Responsibility
    Modern Schoolman 88 (1/2): 5-28. 2011.
    In “The Trouble with Tracing,” Manuel Vargas argues that tracing-based approaches to moral responsibility are considerably more problematic than previously acknowledged. Vargas argues that many initially plausible tracing-based cases of moral responsibility turn out to be ones in which the epistemic condition for moral responsibility is not satisfied, thus suggesting that contrary to initial appearances the agent isn’t morally responsible for the action in question. In the present paper, I outli…Read more
  •  34
    Disability and the Theodicy of Defeat
    with Aaron D. Cobb
    Journal of Analytic Theology 5 100-120. 2017.
    Marilyn McCord Adams argues that God’s goodness to individuals requires God to defeat horrendous evils; it is not enough for God to outweigh these evils through compensatory goods. On her view, God defeats the evils experienced by an individual if and only if God’s goodness to the individual enables her to integrate the evil organically into a unified life story she perceives as good and meaningful. In this essay, we seek to apply Adams’s theodicy of defeat to a particular form of suffering. We …Read more
  •  61
    On Analytic Theology
    Scientia et Fides 3 (2): 1-13. 2015.
    My primary aims in this paper are to give an overview of a recent movement which goes by the name of ‘analytic theology’, to locate that movement within the larger context of contemporary philosophy of religion, and to identify some of the weakness or objections that analytic theology will need to address moving forward. While I think that some of these objections have merit, I also think that the promise of analytic theology’s contribution to theology more broadly is, in my view, sufficiently r…Read more
  •  129
    Causal History Matters, but Not for Individuation
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (1): 77-91. 2009.
    In ‘Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility,’ Harry Frankfurt introduces a scenario aimed at showing that the having of alternative possibilities is not required for moral responsibility. According to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), an agent is morally responsible for her action only if she could have done otherwise; Frankfurt thinks his scenario shows that PAP is, in fact, false. Frankfurt thinks that the denial of PAP gives credence to compatibilism, the thesis that …Read more