•  3308
    In Aquinas's account of the beatific vision, human beings are joined to God in a never-ending act of contemplation of the divine essence: a state which utterly fulfills the human drive for knowledge and satisfies every desire of the human heart. In this paper, I argue that this state represents less a fulfillment of human nature, however, than a transcendence of that nature. Furthermore, what’s transcended is not incidental on a metaphysical, epistemological, or moral level.
  •  1882
    Rather than dismissing mysticism as irrelevant to the study of medieval philosophy, this chapter identifies the two forms of mysticism most prevalent in the Middle Ages from the twelfth to the early fifteenth century - the apophatic and affective traditions - and examines the intersections of those traditions with three topics of medieval philosophical interests: the relative importance of intellect and will, the implications of the Incarnation for attitudes towards the human body and the materi…Read more
  •  1246
    Discipline and the Docile Body: Regulating Hungers in the Capitol
    In G. Dunn & N. Michaud (eds.), The Hunger Games and Philosophy, Wiley-blackwell. pp. 250-264. 2012.
    When Katniss first arrives in the Capitol, she is both amazed and repulsed by the dramatic body- modifications and frivolous lives of its citizens. “What do they do all day, these people in the Capitol,” she wonders, “besides decorating their bodies and waiting around for a new shipment of tributes to roll in and die for their entertainment?” In this paper, I argue that the more time and energy the Capitol citizens focus on body-modification and their social lives, the more self-focused they bec…Read more
  •  613
    The reintroduction of Aristotle's Analytics to the Latin West—in particular, the reintroduction of the Posterior Analytics—forever altered the course of medieval epistemological discussions. Although the Analytics fell decidedly from grace in later centuries, the sophisticated account of human cognition developed in the Posterior Analytics appealed so strongly to thirteenth-century European scholars that it became one of the two central theories of knowledge advocated in the later Middle Ages. R…Read more
  •  508
    Aquinas’s account of the human soul is the key to his theory of human nature. The soul’s nature as the substantial form of the human body appears at times to be in tension with its nature as immaterial intellect, however, and nowhere is this tension more evident than in Aquinas’s discussion of the ‘separated’ soul. In this paper I use the Biblical story of the rich man and Lazarus (which Aquinas took to involve actual separated souls) to highlight what I will call the Two-Person Problem facing h…Read more
  •  412
    In current society, eating is most definitely a gendered act: that is, what we eat and how we eat it factors in both the construction and the performance of gender. Furthermore, eating is a gendered act with consequences that go far beyond whether one orders a steak or a salad for dinner. In the first half of this paper, I identify the dominant myths surrounding both female and male eating, and I show that those myths contribute in important ways to cultural constructions of male and female appe…Read more
  •  362
    Animal Interrupted, or Why Accepting Pascal's Wager Might Be the Last Thing You Ever Do
    with Sam Baron
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (S1): 109-133. 2014.
    According to conventionalist accounts of personal identity, persons are constituted in part by practices and attitudes of certain sorts of care. In this paper, we concentrate on the most well-developed and defended version of conventionalism currently on offer (namely, that proposed by David Braddon-Mitchell, Caroline West, and Kristie Miller) and discuss how the conventionalist appears forced either (1) to accept arbitrariness concerning from which perspective to judge one's survival or (2) to …Read more
  •  310
    Can the persistence of a human being's soul at death and prior to the bodily resurrection be sufficient to guarantee that the resurrected human being is numerically identical to the human being who died? According to Thomas Aquinas, it can. Yet, given that Aquinas holds that the human being is identical to the composite of soul and body and ceases to exist at death, it's difficult to see how he can maintain this view. In this paper, I address Aquinas's response to this objection . After making a…Read more
  •  233
    Like Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas holds that the rational soul is the substantial form of the human body. In so doing, he takes himself to be rejecting a Platonic version of substance dualism; his criticisms, however, apply equally to a traditional understanding of Cartesian dualism. Aquinas’s own peculiar brand of dualism is receiving increased attention from contemporary philosophers—especially those attracted to positions that fall between Cartesian substance dualism and reductive materialism. W…Read more
  •  214
    Manly Meat and Gendered Eating: Correcting Imbalance and Seeking Virtue
    In Andrew Chignell, Terence Cuneo & Matthew C. Halteman (eds.), Philosophy Comes to Dinner: Arguments on the Ethics of Eating, Routledge Press. pp. 39-55. 2016.
    The ecofeminist argument for veganism is powerful. Meat consumption is a deeply gendered act that is closely tied to the systematic objectification of women and nonhuman animals. I worry, however, that presenting veganism as "the" moral ideal might reinforce rather than alleviate the disordered status quo in gendered eating, further disadvantaging women in patriarchal power structures. In this chapter, I advocate a feminist account of ethical eating that treats dietary choices as moral choices i…Read more
  •  207
    An Aristotelian Theory of Divine Illumination: Robert Grosseteste's Commentary on the Posterior Analytics
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (4): 685-704. 2009.
    Two central accounts of human cognition emerge over the course of the Middle Ages: the theory of divine illumination and an Aristotelian theory centered on abstraction from sense data. Typically, these two accounts are seen as competing views of the origins of human knowledge; theories of divine illumination focus on God’s direct intervention in our epistemic lives, whereas Aristotelian theories generally claim that our knowledge derives primarily (or even entirely) from sense perception. In thi…Read more
  •  202
    Eat Y’Self Fitter: Orthorexia, Health, and Gender
    In Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson & Tyler Doggett (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics, Oxford University Press. pp. 553-571. 2017.
    Orthorexia is a condition in which the subject becomes obsessed with identifying and maintaining the ideal diet, rigidly avoiding foods perceived as unhealthy or harmful. In this paper, I examine widespread cultural factors that provide particularly fertile ground for the development of orthorexia, drawing out social and historical connections between religion and orthorexia (which literally means “righteous eating”), and also addressing how ambiguities in the concept of “health” make it particu…Read more
  •  152
    This paper highlights the corrective and complementary role that historically informed philosophy can play in contemporary discussions. What it takes for an experience to count as genuinely mystical has been the source of significant controversy; most current philosophical definitions of ‘mystical experience’ exclude embodied, non-unitive states -- but, in so doing, they exclude the majority of reported mystical experiences. I use a re- examination of the full range of reported medieval mystical…Read more
  •  133
    The End of (Human) Life as We Know It
    Modern Schoolman 89 (3-4): 243-257. 2012.
    Is the being in an irreversible persistent vegetative state as the result of a horrible accident numerically identical to the human person, Lindsay, who existed before the accident? Many proponents of Thomistic metaphysics have argued that Aquinas’s answer to this question must be “yes.” In particular, it seems that Aquinas’s commitment to both Aristotelian hylomorphism and the unity of substantial form (viz., that each body/soul composite possesses one and only one substantial form) entails the…Read more
  •  118
    Self-Knowledge, Abnegation, and Ful llment in Medieval Mysticism
    In Ursula Renz (ed.), Self-Knowledge, Oxford University Press. pp. 131-145. 2016.
    Self-knowledge is a persistent—and paradoxical—theme in medieval mysticism, which portrays our ultimate goal as union with the divine. Union with God is often taken to involve a cognitive and/or volitional merging that requires the loss of a sense of self as distinct from the divine. Yet affective mysticism—which emphasizes the passion of the incarnate Christ and portrays physical and emotional mystical experiences as inherently valuable—was in fact the dominant tradition in the later Middle Age…Read more
  •  103
    “Many Know Much but Do Not Know Themselves”: Self-Knowledge, Humility, and Perfection in the Medieval Affective Contemplative Tradition
    Proceedings of the Society for Medieval Logic and Metaphysics 14 (Consciousness and Self-Knowledge): 89-106. 2018.
    Today, philosophers interested in self-knowledge usually look to the scholastic tradition, where the topic is addressed in a systematic and familiar way. Contemporary conceptions of what medieval figures thought about self-knowledge thus skew toward the epistemological. In so doing, however, they often fail to capture the crucial ethical and theological importance that self-knowledge possesses throughout the Middle Ages. Human beings are not transparent to themselves: in particular, knowing ones…Read more
  •  24
    In their introduction to the first volume of The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts, Norman Kretzmann and Eleonore Stump—the founding editors of this series—noted the lack of access contemporary scholars have to medieval texts, commenting that “Most of the surviving philosophical literature of the Middle Ages is still unavailable in printed editions of the Latin texts, let alone translations into modern languages”. They then explained that both “this volume and its projected …Read more
  •  21
    Is the being in an irreversible persistent vegetative state as the result of a horrible accident numerically identical to the human person, Lindsay, who existed before the accident? Many proponents of Thomistic metaphysics have argued that Aquinas’s answer to this question must be “yes.” In particular, it seems that Aquinas’s commitment to both Aristotelian hylomorphism and the unity of substantial form entails the position that the human person remains alive as long as biological life persists.…Read more
  •  18
    In their introduction to the first volume of The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts, Norman Kretzmann and Eleonore Stump—the founding editors of this series—noted the lack of access contemporary scholars have to medieval texts, commenting that “Most of the surviving philosophical literature of the Middle Ages is still unavailable in printed editions of the Latin texts, let alone translations into modern languages”. They then explained that both “this volume and its projected …Read more
  •  16
    The Soul
    Philosophical Review 111 (3): 456-458. 2002.
  •  6
    Aquinas's Moral Theory: Essays in Honor of Norman Kretzmann (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 39 (1): 143-144. 2001.
  •  6
    The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy (edited book)
    Cambridge University Press. 2010.
    The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy comprises over fifty specially commissioned essays by experts on the philosophy of this period. Starting in the late eighth century, with the renewal of learning some centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, a sequence of chapters takes the reader through developments in many and varied fields, including logic and language, natural philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, and theology. Close attention is paid to the context of medieval philosophy, with d…Read more
  •  3
    Knuuttila, S. -Emotions in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (review)
    Philosophical Books 47 (2): 155-157. 2006.
  •  2
    A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages
    Philosophia Christi 8 (1): 202-204. 2006.
  •  1
    I See Dead People
    Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 2 (1). 2014.
    This chapter addresses a difficulty facing Aquinas’s view of post-mortem identity that is posed by his account of the separated soul. Called the Two-Person Problem, the difficulty is that—although Aquinas denies that the human soul is identical to either the human being or the human person—the disembodied soul has agency and self-reference in the period between death and bodily resurrection. If the soul is not identical to you, however, who is it? And how can you be brought back at the resurrect…Read more
  • Book Review (review)
    Philosophia Christi 5 (2): 603-604. 2003.