•  905
    Although there has been much discussion regarding shame and guilt, not enough has been said about the complexities of the relationship between the two. In this paper, I examine one way in which I take shame and guilt to interact – namely in cases of so-called “survivor’s guilt” among victims of trauma. More specifically, I argue that survivor’s guilt may represent a kind of response to feelings of shame – one which is centrally tied to the central philosophical notions of autonomy and integrity.
  •  331
    (Ad-)ventures in faith: a critique of Bishop's doxastic venture model
    Religious Studies 51 (4): 513-529. 2015.
    While some philosophical models reduce religious faith to either mere belief or affect, more recent accounts have begun to look at the volitional component of faith. In this spirit, John Bishop has defended the notion of faith as a ‘doxastic venture’. In this article, I consider Bishop's view in detail and attempt to show that his account proves on the one hand too permissive and on the other too restrictive. Thus, although the doxastic-venture model offers certain advantages over other prominen…Read more
  •  195
    This article (in German) explores divine activity, human passivity, and the role played by grace in the medieval image-and-verse program "Christ and the Loving Soul". After discussing the historical context and target readers and laying out the story of CMS, I show how this popular piece of late medieval devotional literature expresses complex theological and philosophical ideas that central to understanding the narrative. I argue for a new way of reading CMS that places emphasis on movement and…Read more
  •  177
    It is commonly supposed that a certain kind of belief is necessary for religious experience. Yet it is not clear that this must be so. In this article, I defend the possibility that a subject could have a genuine emotional religious experience without thereby necessarily believing that the purported object of her experience corresponds to reality and/or is the cause of her experience. Imaginative engagement, I argue, may evoke emotional religious experiences that may be said to be both genuine a…Read more
  •  128
    In this article, I explore the possibility of what I call “non-doxastic theistic prayer”, namely prayer that proceeds without full belief in God – or in the kind of God who could be the recipient of such prayer. After developing a working definition of prayer, I proceed to discuss a few prominent forms of prayer and explore the ways in which such prayer might legitimately be performed non-doxastically. I conclude by examining the possibility that some forms of what I call “prayerful pretense” ma…Read more
  •  123
    Sich in die eigene Tasche lügen? Selbsttäuschung als irrationales Projekt
    PHILOKLES: Zeitschrift Für Populäre Philosophie 21 4-23. 2017.
    This article for the PHILOKLES Journal for Popular Philosophy surveys a few common theoretical approaches to the phenomenon of self-deception before putting forward a thus far relatively unexplored intentionalist option, namely what the author calls the "project model of self-deception". On this model, self-deception is understood as a dynamic, diachronic activity, aimed at the preservation of a certain self-image, to which an agent is implicitly committed. The author shows how this model can ma…Read more
  •  115
    There are at least three basic phenomena that philosophers traditionally classify as paradigm cases of irrationality. In the first two cases, wishful thinking and self-deception, a person wants something to be true and therefore ignores certain relevant facts about the situation, making it appear to herself that it is, in fact, true. The third case, weakness of will, involves a person undertaking a certain action, despite taking herself to have an all-things-considered better reason not to do so…Read more
  •  107
    In this chapter, I first explore the possible meanings of the expression 'non-metaphysical religion' and its relation to the realism and cognitivism debates (as well as these debates' relation to each other). I then sketch out and defend the germs of an alternative semantics for religious language that I call 'religious imaginativism'. This semantics attempts to move us away from the realism-antirealism debates in Philosophy of Religion and in this sense might count as 'non-metaphysical'. At the…Read more
  •  83
    This dissertation focuses on questions regarding the metaphysical and psychological possibility of self-deception and attempts to show that self-deception is a phenomenon best characterized as both motivated and intentional, such that self-deceivers can be held responsible for their deceptions in a stronger sense than that of being merely epistemically negligent. In Chapter One, I introduce the paradoxes of self-deception, which arise when one attempts to draw a close analogy between self- and o…Read more
  •  82
    Why Jim Joyce Wasn’t Wrong: Baseball and the Euthyphro Dilemma
    Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 42 (3): 327-348. 2015.
    In 2010, pitcher Armando Galarraga was denied a perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce called Jason Donald safe at first with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. In the numerous media discussions that followed, Joyce’s ‘blown’ call was commonly referred to as ‘mistaken’, ‘wrong’, or otherwise erroneous. However, this use of language makes some not uncontroversial ontological assumptions. It claims that the fact that a runner is safe or out has nothing to do with the ruling of the umpire himself, but …Read more
  •  71
    Baseball is an exceptionally superstitious sport. But what are we to say about the rationality of such superstitious behavior? On the one hand, we can trace much of the superstitious behavior we see in baseball to a type of irrational belief. But how deep does this supposed irrationality run? It appears that superstitions may occupy various places on the spectrum of irrationality — from motivated ignorance to self-deception to psychological compulsion —depending on the type of superstitious beli…Read more
  •  63
    Medieval Christian and Islamic Mysticism and the Problem of a 'Mystical Ethics'
    with Mohammad Sadegh Zahedi
    In Thomas Williams (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Ethics, Cambridge University Press. pp. 280-305. 2018.
    In this chapter, we examine a few potential problems when inquiring into the ethics of medieval Christian and Islamic mystical traditions: First, there are terminological and methodological worries about defining mysticism and doing comparative philosophy in general. Second, assuming that the Divine represents the highest Good in such traditions, and given the apophaticism on the part of many mystics in both religions, there is a question of whether or not such traditions can provide a coherent …Read more
  •  61
    Review of Terence Cuneo Ritualized Faith: Essays on the Philosophy of Liturgy (review)
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (2): 218-224. 2018.
    Review of Terence Cuneo, "Ritualized Faith: Essays on the Philosophy of Liturgy", Oxford Univ. Press 2016, 228pp.
  •  48
    “In Accordance with the Law”: Reconciling Divine and Civil Law in Abelard
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (2): 307-321. 2007.
    In the "Ethics", Abelard discusses the example of a judge who knowingly convicts an innocent defendant. He claims that this judge does rightly when he punishes the innocent man to the full extent of the law. Yet this claim seems counterintuitive, and, at first glance, contrary to Abelard’s own ethical system. Nevertheless, I argue that Abelard’s ethical system cannot be viewed as completely subjective, since the rightness of an individual act of consent is grounded in objective standards establi…Read more
  •  48
    The term religion is indispensable to the subject matter of both religious studies and theology. Many approaches attempt a reductive, essentialist, functionalist, or other type of unifying definition, but these approaches tend to rest on various, often controversial sets of presuppositions. Indeed, it seems impossible to overcome the vast plurality of understandings of religion as the academic fields that deal with religion splinter and proliferate, thereby inhibiting the rational treatment of a…Read more
  •  42
    Religious Experience and Special Divine Action
    The Special Divine Action Project. 2017.
    This micro-summary and extended overview for the Special Divine Action Project discusses the connection between divine action and religious experience.
  •  36
    From a theoretical standpoint, the problem of human suffering can be understood as one formulation of the classical problem of evil, which calls into question the compatibility of the existence of a perfect God with the extent to which human beings suffer. Philosophical responses to this problem have traditionally been posed in the form of theodicies, or justifications of the divine. In this article, I argue that the theodical approach in analytic philosophy of religion exhibits both morally and…Read more
  •  30
    "Signs for a People Who Reason": Religious Experience and Natural Theology
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 9 (2): 139-163. 2017.
    In this paper, I examine various philosophical approaches to religious experience and natural theology and look at some ways in which the former might be relevant for the latter. I argue that by thinking more about oft-overlooked or -underemphasized understandings of a) what might constitute religious experience and b) what functions natural theology might serve, we can begin to develop a more nuanced approach to natural theological appeals to religious experience — one that makes use of materia…Read more
  •  26
    Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game (review)
    Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 41 (2): 282-287. 2014.
    I begin this review with a brief overview of the book itself, followed by a discussion of its pedagogical usefulness as a text in Philosophy of Sport and Philosophy of Religion courses. I then move on to discuss a few points in the book that I take to be especially interesting and/or problematic from a philosophical point of view.
  •  14
    Analysis of Stephen Colbert's notion of 'truthiness' and its connection to epistemic irrationality and self-deception.