•  164
    Proofs for the Existence of God
    In Stephen Gaukroger (ed.), The Blackwell to Descartes’ Meditations, Blackwell. pp. 104--121. 2006.
    We argue that Descartes’s theistic proofs in the ’Meditations’ are much simpler and straightforward than they are traditionally taken to be. In particular, we show how the causal argument of the "Third Meditation" depends on the intuitively innocent principle that nothing comes from nothing, and not on the more controversial principle that the objective reality of an idea must have a cause with at least as much formal reality. We also demonstrate that the so-called ontological "argument" of the …Read more
  •  97
    The Structure of Cartesian Sensations
    Analytic Philosophy 54 (1): 107-116. 2013.
  •  92
    The Correspondence Between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes (review) (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (4): 642-643. 2008.
    Descartes’s correspondence with Elisabeth is among the most important we have for understanding the philosophical thought of a canonical figure. Elisabeth’s perspicacious queries drew forth Descartes’s very famous elaboration of mind/body union. The correspondence also contains the bulk of Descartes’s important statements on morality—a topic touched on only briefly in his books. It seems likely that this part of the correspondence helped set Descartes on the course that resulted in his last book…Read more
  •  78
    How Many Worlds?
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (6). 2011.
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Volume 19, Issue 6, Page 1201-1212, December 2011
  •  73
    Cartesian Actualism in the Leibniz-Arnauld Correspondence
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 23 (4). 1993.
    The correspondence between Leibniz and Arnauld was judged by Leibniz himself to be very useful for understanding his philosophy. Historians have concurred in this judgment. Leibniz did not find any philosophy of independent interest in the letters Arnauld sent him. Historians have, for the most part, also concurred in this finding. I shall argue that on one set of issues at least — modal metaphysics and free will — Arnauld accomplished more than facilitating Leibnizian elucidations. He held his …Read more
  •  68
    A Companion to Rationalism (edited book)
    Wiley-Blackwell. 2005.
    This book is a wide-ranging examination of rationalist thought in philosophy from ancient times to the present day. Written by a superbly qualified cast of philosophers Critically analyses the concept of rationalism Focuses principally on the golden age of rationalism in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries Also covers ancient rationalism, nineteenth-century rationalism, and rationalist themes in recent thought Organised chronologically Various philosophical methods and viewpoints are …Read more
  •  65
    This paper examines the relationship between modern theories of microeconomics and macroeconomics and, more generally, it evaluates the prospects of theoretically reducing macroeconomics to microeconomics. Many economists have shown strong interest in providing "microfoundations" for macroeconomics and much of their work is germane to the issue of theoretical reduction. Especially relevant is the work that has been done on what is called The Problem of Aggregation. On some accounts, The Problem …Read more
  •  36
    Substance and Individuation in Leibniz (review)
    Philosophical Review 113 (1): 136-139. 2004.
    Everyone interested in Leibniz ought to read this fine, stimulating book. It is admirably written in the tradition exemplified by the references below and will especially appeal to those familiar with the analytical exposition in those works.
  •  33
    Social Science and the Mental
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 15 (1): 194-209. 1990.
  •  30
    Problem section
    with Joshua Hoffman and Robert Hoffman
    Philosophia 8 (4): 847-851. 1979.
  •  27
    Descartes on the limited usefulness of mathematics
    Synthese 196 (9): 3483-3504. 2019.
    Descartes held that practicing mathematics was important for developing the mental faculties necessary for science and a virtuous life. Otherwise, he maintained that the proper uses of mathematics were extremely limited. This article discusses his reasons which include a theory of education, the metaphysics of matter, and a psychologistic theory of deductive reasoning. It is argued that these reasons cohere with his system of philosophy.
  •  26
    Descartes’s interrelated theories of attributes and conceptual distinction are developed. This follows Nolan in identifying substances and their attributes as they exist apart from the mind’s concepts. This resource is then used to articulate a solution to a famous problem about Descartes’s concept of substance. The key is that the concept of substance is itself to be regarded as an attribute of independently existing things.
  •  23
    Descartes Reinvented (review)
    International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (3): 378-379. 2006.
  •  18
    Average explanations
    Erkenntnis 30 (1-2). 1989.
    Good scientific explanations sometimes appear to make use of averages. Using concrete examples from current economic theory, I argue that some confusions about how averages might work in explanations lead to both philosophical and economic problems about the interpretation of the theory. I formulate general conditions on potentially proper uses of averages to refine a notion of average explanation. I then try to show how this notion provides a means for resolving longstanding philosophical probl…Read more
  •  15
    Are economic kinds natural
    In C. Wade Savage (ed.), Scientific Theories, University of Minnesota Press. pp. 14--102. 1990.