•  85
    Varieties of Theism and Explanations of Moral Realism
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (1): 25-50. 2021.
    Does theism make a difference to whether there are moral facts? In this paper I suggest that, despite how much uptake this question gets in philosophical literature, it is not well formed. “Theism” leaves too indeterminate what God is like for us to discern what difference God’s existence would make to moral facts. Arguments like the explanans-driven argument for theistic moral realism and the explanationist argument for naturalist moral realism both require extra substantive assumptions about G…Read more
  •  30
    Fluctuating maximal God
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 88 (3): 231-47. 2020.
    This paper explores a variety of perfect being theism that combines Yujin Nagasawa’s maximal God thesis with the view that God is not atemporal. We argue that the original maximal God thesis still implicitly relies on a “static” view of divine perfections. Instead, following the recent re-evaluation of divine immutability by analytic philosophers, we propose that thinking of divine great-making properties as fluctuating but nevertheless remaining maximal either for every time t or across all tim…Read more
  •  14
    Hope in Christianity
    In Titus Stahl & Claudia Blöser (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Hope. pp. 37-56. 2019.
    In this essay I aim to illuminate the nature of Christian hope by looking at the tradition’s answers to three philosophical questions and then comparing them to those of contemporary secular accounts. First, What are the possible objects of hope? Next, What are the psychological conditions a person must meet to have hope? Finally, What makes a hope rational and what makes it good for human life? I conclude by suggesting that the role of hope in bringing about social goods (or evils) might be rec…Read more
  •  19
    A Thomistic View of Conscience and Guilt
    In Corey Maley & Bradford Cokelet (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Guilt. pp. 243-268. 2019.
    According to the Conscience Principle, it is never morally permissible to act contrary to conscience. The plausibility of this being a genuine moral principle depends on what conscience is, whether it can be mistaken, and what its role is in general moral psychology. Thomas Aquinas endorses and defends a unique version of the Conscience Principle. What’s especially interesting about his unorthodox (for his time) view on conscience is that it seems to split the difference between the views we mig…Read more
  •  17
    Is the atonement necessary or fitting?
    Religious Studies 55 1-9. 2019.
    In her impressive Atonement, Eleonore Stump claims that her novel Marian theory of the atonement meets a desideratum for a successful theory that Aquinas's theory does not, namely, showing that Christ's passion and death are essential to the solution to the problem of human sin. Here I suggest reasons to side with Aquinas, who says that Christ's suffering and death are not necessary, but merely a fitting way of solving the problem. If the fittingness of Christ's passion and death is a good enoug…Read more
  •  21
    Hoping for Metanormative Realism
    Erkenntnis 86 1-15. 2019.
    Debates in metaethics about metanormative realism, quasi-realism, anti-realism, and nihilism mostly focus on epistemic reasons for beliefs about values. Very little has been said about our practical reasons for metaethical beliefs, and even less is said about practical reasons for other attitudes we might take toward metaethical views. This paper shows why a recent argument bucking that trend fails to show that we have practical reasons to believe realism over nihilism, but that for many of us, …Read more
  •  55
    God and Morality
    Cambridge University Press. 2019.
    This Element has two aims. The first is to discuss arguments philosophers have made about the difference God's existence might make to questions of general interest in metaethics. The second is to argue that it is a mistake to think we can get very far in answering these questions by assuming a thin conception of God, and to suggest that exploring the implications of thick theisms for metaethics would be more fruitful.
  •  29
    Limited epistocracy and political inclusion
    Episteme 15 (4): 412-432. 2018.
    ABSTRACTIn this paper I defend a form of epistocracy I call limited epistocracy – rule by institutions housing expertise in non-political areas that become politically relevant. This kind of limited epistocracy, I argue, isn't a far-off fiction. With increasing frequency, governments are outsourcing political power to expert institutions to solve urgent, multidimensional problems because they outperform ordinary democratic decision-making. I consider the objection that limited epistocracy, while…Read more
  •  704
    In this paper I defend a form of epistocracy I call limited epistocracy— rule by institutions housing expertise in non-political areas that become politically relevant. This kind of limited epistocracy, I argue, isn’t a far-off fiction. With increasing frequency, governments are outsourcing political power to expert institutions to solve urgent, multidimensional problems because they outperform ordinary democratic decision-making. I consider the objection that limited epistocracy, while more eff…Read more
  •  42
    Does hope morally vindicate faith?
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (1-2): 193-211. 2017.
    Much attention in philosophy of religion has been devoted to the question of whether faith is epistemically rational. But is it morally and practically permissible? This paper explores a response to a family of arguments that Christian faith is morally impermissible or practically irrational, even if epistemically justified. After articulating the arguments, I consider how they would fare if they took seriously the traditional notion that genuine faith is always accompanied by Christian hope. I …Read more
  •  64
    How Aristotelians Can Make Faith a Virtue
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (2): 393-409. 2017.
    Neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics identifies the virtues with the traits the fully virtuous person possesses. Further, it depicts the fully virtuous person as having all the cognitive perfections necessary for possessing practical wisdom. This paper argues that these two theses disqualify faith as trust, as construed on contemporary accounts of faith, as a virtue. For faith’s role as a virtue depends on limitations of its possessor that are incompatible with the psychological profile of the fully v…Read more