•  1183
    In this paper I argue that there is a difficulty for Fine's exact semantics for counterfactuals. The difficulty undermines Fine's reasons for preferring exact semantics to possible worlds semantics.
  •  725
    Descartes on Free Will and Moral Possibility
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 380-398. 2016.
    An early modern scholastic conception of moral possibility helps make sense of Descartes's own perplexing use of that concept and solves the exegetical puzzles surrounding Descartes's conflicting remarks about free will.
  •  723
    Seventeenth century scholastics had a rich debate about the ontological status and nature of lacks, negations, and privations. Realists in this debate posit irreducible negative entities responsible for the non-existence of positive entities. One of the first scholastics to develop a realist position on negative entities was Thomas Compton Carleton. In this paper I explain Carleton's theory of negative entities, including what it is for something to be negative, how negative entities are individ…Read more
  •  607
    Truth and Truthmakers in Early Modern Scholasticism
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2): 196-216. 2015.
    17th-century Iberian and Italian scholastics had a concept of a truthmaker [verificativum] similar to that found in contemporary metaphysical debates. I argue that the 17th-century notion of a truthmaker can be illuminated by a prevalent 17th-century theory of truth according to which the truth of a proposition is the mereological sum of that proposition and its intentional object. I explain this theory of truth and then spell out the account of truthmaking it entails.
  •  405
    A seventeenth-century scholastic attempt to restrict the truthmaker principle to positive truths.
  •  240
    Francisco Suárez on Eternal Truths, Eternal Essences, and Extrinsic Being
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4. 2017.
    It is necessarily true that water is H2O, but it is a contingent fact that there is any water at all. Water therefore seems ill suited to ground the necessary truth that water is H2O. One view traditionally attributed to Scotus and Henry of Ghent was that while water is contingent, the essence of water is necessary; hence, the essence of water can ground the so-called eternal truth that water is H2O. Francisco Suárez rejects this view on the grounds that it contradicts the Christian doctrine of …Read more
  •  232
    On (Not) Believing That God Has Answered a Prayer
    Faith and Philosophy (1): 132-141. 2017.
    Scott Davison has raised an epistemic challenge to the doctrine of petitionary prayer. Roughly, the challenge is that we cannot know or have reason to believe that a prayer has been answered. Davison argues that the epistemic challenge undermines all the extant defenses of petitionary prayer. I argue that it does not.
  •  162
    For Francisco Suárez, beings of reason are non-existent objects that we can think about, objects like goat-stags and round squares. The first section of the fifty-fourth of Suárez’s Metaphysical Disputations is about the ontological status of beings of reason. Suárez’s view has been the subject of disagreement in the literature because he sometimes says that there are beings of reason, and he sometimes says there are not. In this paper, I argue for and explain an ontological pluralist reading of…Read more
  •  45
    Cartesian Composites and the True Mode of Union
    Tandf: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4): 629-645. 2020.
    Descartes argues that the mind and body are really distinct substances. He also insists that minds and bodies compose human beings. But how are mind and body united to compose a human? This question is crucial to understanding the place of human beings in Descartes’s ontology. Many scholars argue that Descartes has no solution to the unity problem, and they call into question the ontological status of mind- body composites. On some views, Cartesian humans are mere aggregates, like stacks of panc…Read more
  •  30
    Sebastián Izquierdo's (1601–1681) Theory of Priority
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (4): 491-509. 2018.
    This paper explains Sebastián Izquierdo's (1601-1681) theory of priority. Izquierdo was a seventeenth-century Spanish scholastic philosopher who was best known in the seventeenth century for his ambitious work, Pharus Scientiarum (“Lighthouse of the Sciences”), which attempts to carry out the Baconian project of establishing a universal art of acquiring and disseminating knowledge. Disputation 15 of the Pharus contains one of the most detailed treatments of priority in the history of philosophy.…Read more
  •  2
    How Not to Be a Truthmaker Maximalist
    Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 4 (1). 2016.
    Like many contemporary truthmaker theorists, seventeenth-century scholastics were concerned about the problem of finding truthmakers for negative truths such as “Pegasus does not exist.” This paper argues that the early modern scholastic Francisco Peinado’s solution to the problem of negative truths is to claim, roughly, that negative truths do not have truthmakers. The position attributed to Peinado is widely rejected nowadays as ad hoc, but this paper argues that Peinado’s position is independ…Read more