Baylor University
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2016
Hillsdale, Michigan, United States of America
  •  203
    In this chapter, we argue for a phenomenal conservative perspective on religious epistemology and attempt to answer some common criticisms of this perspective.
  •  17
    Theoria, EarlyView.
  •  26
    Seemings as sui generis
    Synthese 195 (7): 3079-3096. 2018.
    The epistemic value of seemings is increasingly debated. Such debates are hindered, however, by a lack of consensus about the nature of seemings. There are four prominent conceptions in the literature, and the plausibility of principles such as phenomenal conservatism, which assign a prominent epistemic role to seemings, varies greatly from one conception to another. It is therefore crucial that we identify the correct conception of seemings. I argue that seemings are best understood as sui gene…Read more
  • A Return to Common Sense: Restorationism and Common Sense Epistemology
    In J. Caleb Clanton (ed.), Restoration & Philosophy, University of Tennessee Press. pp. 35-78. 2019.
    Alexander Campbell once declared “a solemn league and covenant” between philosophy and common sense. Campbell’s pronouncement is representative of a broader trend in the Restorationist movement to look favorably on the common sense response to skepticism—a response originating in the work of Scottish philosopher and former minister Thomas Reid. I recount the tumultuous history between philosophy and common sense followed by the efforts of Campbell and Reid to reunite them. Turning to the prese…Read more
  •  23
    The Perspective of Faith: It's Nature and Epistemic Implications
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 92 (3): 515-533. 2018.
    A number of philosophers, going back at least to Kierkegaard, argue that to have faith in something is, in part, to have a passion for that thing—to possess a lasting, formative disposition to feel certain positive patterns of emotion towards the object of faith. I propose that (at least some of) the intellectual dimensions of faith can be modeled in much the same way. Having faith in a person involves taking a certain perspective towards the object of faith—in possessing a lasting, formative di…Read more
  •  70
    Alvin Plantinga theorizes the existence of a sensus divinitatis – a special cognitive faulty or mechanism dedicated to the production and non-inferential justification of theistic belief. Following Chris Tucker, we offer an evidentialist-friendly model of the sensus divinitatis whereon it produces theistic seemings that non-inferentially justify theistic belief. We suggest that the sensus divinitatis produces these seemings by tacitly grasping support relations between the content of ordinary ex…Read more
  •  41
    Seemings as sui generis
    Synthese 1-18. 2017.
    The epistemic value of seemings is increasingly debated. Such debates are hindered, however, by a lack of consensus about the nature of seemings. There are four prominent conceptions in the literature, and the plausibility of principles such as phenomenal conservatism, which assign a prominent epistemic role to seemings, varies greatly from one conception to another. It is therefore crucial that we identify the correct conception of seemings. I argue that seemings are best understood as sui gene…Read more
  •  40
    Divine Command Theory and Moral Supervenience
    Philosophia Christi 18 (1): 65-78. 2016.
    Mark Murphy argues that the property identity version of divine command theory, coupled with the doctrine that God has freedom in commanding, violates the supervenience of the moral on the nonmoral. In other words, they permit two situations exactly alike in nonmoral facts to differ in moral facts. I give three arguments to show that a divine command theorist of this sort can consistently affirm moral supervenience. Each argument contends that there are always nonmoral differences between worlds…Read more
  •  10
    William Lane Craig offers two philosophical arguments for the conclusion that the universe began to exist. To be compelling, these arguments must not only be sound—we must also have reasons to believe that they are sound. I determine that these arguments do not provide such reasons to many individuals. The arguments ultimately rely on supposedly intuitively obvious absurdities. However, if one fails to see these ostensible absurdities—as many philosophers do—then for her, Craig’s arguments lack …Read more
  •  115
    Adequate and Inadequate Ideas in Spinoza
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 31 (2): 119-136. 2014.
    Adequate and inadequate ideas play a central role in Spinoza’s system. A number of recent commentators have suggested that the internality or externality of an idea’s immediate cause is a necessary and sufficient condition of the idea’s adequacy or inadequacy, respectively. I show that this thesis is subject to counterexample and briefly explore the significance of this critique for recent interpretations. I offer an alternative interpretation on which adequate and inadequate ideas are character…Read more
  •  113
    Re-evaluating Reid's Response to Skepticism
    Journal of Scottish Philosophy 14 (3): 317-339. 2016.
    I argue that some of the most prominent interpretations of Reid's response to skepticism marginalize a crucial aspect of his thought: namely, that our common sense beliefs meet whatever normative standards of rationality the skeptic might fairly demand of them. This should be seen as supplementary to reliabilist or proper functionalist interpretations of Reid, which often ignore this half of the story. I also show how Reid defends the rationality of believing first principles by appealing to the…Read more
  •  47
    I examine Leibniz’s version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason with respect to free will, paying particular attention to Peter van Inwagen’s argument that this principle leads to determinism. Ultimately I conclude that Leibniz’s formulation is incompatible with free will. I then discuss a reformulation of the Principle of Sufficient Reason endorsed by Alexander Pruss that, I argue, manages to both retain the strength of Leibniz’s formulation and remain consistent with free will.