•  42
    Liturgical Philosophy of Religion: An Untimely Manifesto on Sincerity, Acceptance, and Hope
    Boston Studies in Philosophy, Religion, and Public Life 8 73-94. 2021.
    This loosely-argued manifesto contains some suggestions regarding what the philosophy of religion might become in the 21st century. It was written for a brainstorming workshop over a decade ago, and some of the recommendations and predictions it contains have already been partly actualized (that’s why it is now a bit "untimely"). The goal is to sketch three aspects of a salutary “liturgical turn” in philosophy of religion. (Note: “liturgy” here refers very broadly to communal religious service…Read more
  •  12
  •  1
    Real Repugnance and our Ignorance of Things-in-Themselves: A Lockean Problem in Kant and Hegel
    In Jürgen Stolzenberg, Fred Rush & Karl P. Ameriks (eds.), Glaube Und Vernunft/Faith and Reason, De Gruyter. pp. 135-159. 2010.
  •  3
    The Problem of Particularity in Kant’s Aesthetic Theory
    The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 1 18-26. 1998.
    In moving away from the objective, property-based theories of earlier periods to a subject-based aesthetic, Kant did not intend to give up the idea that judgments of beauty are universalizable. Accordingly, the "Deduction of Judgments of Taste" aims to show how reflective aesthetic judgments can be "imputed" a priori to all human subjects. The Deduction is not successful: Kant manages only to justify the imputation of the same form of aesthetic experience to everyone; he does not show that this …Read more
  •  22
    After providing a brief overview of Marcus Willaschek's Kant on the Sources of Metaphysics, I critically reconstruct his account of ‘transcendental realism’ and the role that it plays in the dramatic narrative of the Critique of Pure Reason. I then lay out in detail how Willaschek generates and evaluates various versions of transcendental realism and raise some concerns about each. Next, I look at precisely how Willaschek's Kant thinks we can avoid applying the ‘supreme’ dialectical principle to…Read more
  •  255
    A review of "Fellow Creatures: Our Obligations to the Other Animals," by Christine M. Korsgaard. New York: Oxford, 2018. Pp. 271.
  •  120
    Kant seems to think of our own mental states or representations as the primary objects of inner sense. But does he think that these states also inhere in something? And, if so, is that something an empirical substance that is also cognized in inner sense? This chapter provides textual and philosophical grounds for thinking that, although Kant may agree with Hume that the self is not ‘given’ in inner sense exactly, he does think of the self as cognized through inner sense. It is also argued that …Read more
  •  319
    In this paper we look at a few of the most prominent ways of articulating Kant’s critical argument for Noumenal Ignorance — i.e., the claim that we cannot cognize or have knowledge of any substantive, synthetic truths about things-in-themselves — and then provide two different accounts of our own.
  •  124
    This is a talk given in honor of O'Neill at the Pacific APA when she won the Berggruen Prize in 2018.
  •  216
    Religious dietary practices foster a sense of communal identity, certainly, but traditionally they are also regarded as pleasing to God (or the gods, or the ancestors) and spiritually beneficial. In other words, for many religious people, the effects of fasting go well beyond what is immediately observed or empirically measurable, and that is a large part of what motivates participation in the practice. The goal of this chapter is to develop that religious way of thinking into a response to a mo…Read more
  •  214
    Kant's theory of causation and its eighteenth-century German background
    Philosophical Review 119 (4): 565-591. 2010.
    This critical notice highlights the important contributions that Eric Watkins's writings have made to our understanding of theories about causation developed in eighteenth-century German philosophy and by Kant in particular. Watkins provides a convincing argument that central to Kant's theory of causation is the notion of a real ground or causal power that is non-Humean (since it doesn't reduce to regularities or counterfactual dependencies among events or states) and non-Leibnizean because it d…Read more
  •  2871
    Religion and the Sublime
    In Timothy M. Costelloe (ed.), The Sublime: From Antiquity to the Present, Cambridge University Press. 2012.
    An effort to lay out a kind of taxomony of conceptual relations between the domains of the sublime and the religious. Warning: includes two somewhat graphic images.
  •  2
    Evil: A History (Oxford Philosophical Concepts) (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2019.
    Thirteen original essays examine the conceptual history of evil in the west: from ancient Hebrew literature and Greek drama to Darwinism and Holocaust theory. Thirteen reflections contextualize the philosophical developments by looking at evil through the eyes of animals, poets, mystics, witches, librettists, film directors, and tech executives.
  •  59
    Everyone is talking about food. Chefs are celebrities. "Locavore" and "freegan" have earned spots in the dictionary. Popular books and films about food production and consumption are exposing the unintended consequences of the standard American diet. Questions about the principles and values that ought to guide decisions about dinner have become urgent for moral, ecological, and health-related reasons. In _Philosophy Comes to Dinner_, twelve philosophers—some leading voices, some inspiring new o…Read more
  •  23
    Kant's Modal Metaphysics, by Nicholas Stang (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 16. 2016.
    A review of Nicholas Stang's 2016 book, Kant's Modal Metaphysics
  •  108
    Philosophy of religion in the Anglo-American tradition experienced a 'rebirth' following the 1955 publication of New Essays in Philosophical Theology (eds. Antony Flew and Alisdair MacIntyre). Fifty years later, this volume of New Essays offers a sampling of the best work in what is now a very active field, written by some of its most prominent members. A substantial introduction sketches the developments of the last half-century, while also describing the 'ethics of belief' debate in epistemolo…Read more
  •  163
  •  194
    The problem of infant suffering
    Religious Studies 34 (2): 205-217. 1998.
    The problem of infant suffering and death is often regarded as one of the more difficult versions of the problem of evil (see Ivan Karamazov), especially when one considers how God can be thought good to infant victims by the infant victims. In the first section of this paper, I examine two recent theodicies that aim to solve this problem but (I argue) fail. In the second section, I suggest that the only viable approach to the problem rejects the idea that the suffering of such unfortunates must…Read more
  •  519
    In this chapter I highlight the apparent tensions between Kant’s very stringent critique of metaphysical speculation in the “Discipline of Pure Reason” chapter and his endorsement of Belief (Glaube) and hope (Hoffnung) regarding metaphysical theses in the subsequent “Canon of Pure Reason.” In the process I will examine his distinction between the theoretical and the practical bases for holding a “theoretical” conclusion (i.e. a conclusion about “what exists” rather than “what ought to be”) and …Read more
  •  114
    Ockham on Mind-World Relations: What Sort of Nominalism?
    Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 14 (1): 11-28. 1997.
    (Warning: juvenalia from a grad student journal!). On whether Ockham's nominalism is really nominalistic and whether it faces some of the same problems as later nominalisms.
  •  77
    Kant on Cognition, Givenness, and Ignorance
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 55 (1): 131-142. 2017.
    Eric Watkins and Marcus Willaschek provide a valuable service to people working on Kant’s epistemology and philosophy of mind by laying out a synoptic picture of Kant’s view of theoretical cognition. Their picture incorporates admirably clear accounts of the familiar building blocks of cognition—sensation, intuition, concept, and judgment—as well as some innovative interpretive theses of their own. Watkins and Willaschek’s basic claim is that, for Kant, theoretical cognition is “a mental state […Read more
  •  790
    On going back to Kant
    Philosophical Forum 39 (2): 109-124. 2008.
    A broad overview of the NeoKantian movement in Germany, written as an introduction to a series of essays about that movement. -/- .
  •  561
    Beauty as a symbol of natural systematicity
    British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (4): 406-415. 2006.
    I examine Kant's claim that a relation of symbolization links judgments of beauty and judgments of ‘systematicity’ in nature (that is, judgments concerning the ordering of natural forms under hierarchies of laws). My aim is to show that the symbolic relation between the two is, for Kant, much closer than many commentators think: it is not only the form but also the objects of some of our judgments of taste that symbolize the systematicity of nature.
  •  465
    Rational hope, possibility, and divine action
    In Gordon E. Michalson (ed.), Religion within the Bounds of Mere Reason: A Critical Guide, Cambridge University Press. pp. 98-117. 2014.
    Commentators typically neglect the distinct nature and role of hope in Kant’s system, and simply lump it together with the sort of Belief that arises from the moral proof. Kant himself is not entirely innocent of the conflation. Here I argue, however, that from a conceptual as well as a textual point of view, hope should be regarded as a different kind of attitude. It is an attitude that we can rationally adopt toward some of the doctrines that are not able to be proved from within the bounds of …Read more
  •  1281
    Real Repugnance and Belief about Things-in-Themselves: A Problem and Kant's Three Solutions
    In James Krueger & Benjamin Bruxvoort Lipscomb (eds.), Kant's Moral Metaphysics, Walter Degruyter. 2010.
    Kant says that it can be rational to accept propositions on the basis of non-epistemic or broadly practical considerations, even if those propositions include “transcendental ideas” of supersensible objects. He also worries, however, about how such ideas (of freedom, the soul, noumenal grounds, God, the kingdom of ends, and things-in-themselves generally) acquire genuine positive content in the absence of an appropriate connection to intuitional experience. How can we be sure that the ideas ar…Read more
  •  700
    Kant's concepts of justification
    Noûs 41 (1). 2007.
    An essay on Kant's theory of justification, where by “justification” is meant the evaluative concept that specifies conditions under which a propositional attitude is rationally acceptable with a moderate-to-high degree of confidence. Kant employs both epistemic and non-epistemic concepts of justification: an epistemic concept of justification sets out conditions under which a propositional attitude is rationally acceptable with a moderate-to-high degree of confidence and a candidate (if true an…Read more