• This collection of new essays focuses on metaethical views from outside the mainstream European tradition. The guiding motivation is that important discussions about the ultimate nature of morality can be found far beyond ancient Greece and modern Europe. The volume’s aim is to show how rich the possibilities are for comparative metaethics, and how much these comparisons can add to contemporary discussions of the foundations of morality. Representing five continents, the thinkers discussed range…Read more
  •  6
    Mendelssohn, Kant, and the Mereotopology of Immortality
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4. 2017.
  •  36
    According to strong metaphysical readings of Kant, Kant believes there are noumenal substances and causes. Proponents of these readings have shown that these readings can be reconciled with Kant’s claims about the limitations of human cognition. An important new challenge to such readings, however, has been proposed by Markus Kohl, focusing on Kant’s occasional statements about the divine or intuitive intellect. According to Kohl, how an intuitive intellect represents is a decisive measure for h…Read more
  •  10
    Compassionate Moral Realism
    Oxford University Press. 2018.
    This book offers a ground-up defense of objective morality, drawing inspiration from a wide range of philosophers, including John Locke, Arthur Schopenhauer, Iris Murdoch, Nel Noddings, and David Lewis. The core claim is compassion is our capacity to perceive other creatures' pains, pleasures, and desires. Non-compassionate people are therefore perceptually lacking, regardless of how much factual knowledge they might have. Marshall argues that people who do have this form of compassion thereby f…Read more
  •  8
    Mendelssohn, Kant, and the Mereotopology of Immortality
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4. 2017.
    In the first Critique, Kant claims to refute Moses Mendelssohn’s argument for the immortality of the soul. But some commentators, following Bennett (1974), have identified an apparent problem in the exchange: Mendelssohn appears to have overlooked the possibility that the “leap” between existence and non-existence might be a boundary or limit point in a continuous series, and Kant appears not to have exploited the lacuna, but to have instead offered an irrelevant criticism. Here, we argue that e…Read more
  •  22
    Jahresinhalt Kant-Studien
    with Ian Blecher, Anil Gomes, Joel Thiago Klien, Alexei N. Krouglov, and Samuel Loncar
    Kant-Studien 104 (4): 563-566. 2013.
  •  834
    Does Kant Demand Explanations for All Synthetic A Priori Claims?
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (3): 549-576. 2014.
    Kant's philosophy promises to explain various synthetic a priori claims. Yet, as several of his commentators have noted, it is hard to see how these explanations could work unless they themselves rested on unexplained synthetic a priori claims. Since Kant appears to demand explanations for all synthetic a priori claims, it would seem that his project fails on its own terms. I argue, however, that Kant holds that explanations are required only for synthetic a priori claims about (purportedly) exp…Read more
  •  158
    Kant's Metaphysics of the Self
    Philosophers' Imprint 10 1-21. 2010.
    I argue that Kant's Critique of Pure Reason offers a positive metaphysical account of the thinking self. Previous interpreters have overlooked this account, I believe, because they have held that any metaphysical view of the self would be incompatible with both Kant's insistence on the limitations of cognition and with his project in the Paralogisms. Closer examination, however, shows that neither of those aspects of the Critique precludes a metaphysical account of the self, and that other aspec…Read more
  •  130
    Lockean Empathy
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (1): 87-106. 2016.
    This paper offers an epistemic defense of empathy, drawing on John Locke's theory of ideas. Locke held that ideas of shape, unlike ideas of color, had a distinctive value: resembling qualities in their objects. I argue that the same is true of empathy, as when someone is pained by someone's pain. This means that empathy has the same epistemic value or objectivity that Locke and other early modern philosophers assigned to veridical perceptions of shape. For this to hold, pain and pleasure must be…Read more
  •  66
    Skorupski, John., The Domain of Reasons (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 66 (4): 852-854. 2013.
  •  10
    Review: Ameriks, Karl, Kant's Elliptical Path (review)
    Philosophy in Review 34 (1-2): 1-3. 2014.
  •  149
    Hume versus the vulgar on resistance, nisus, and the impression of power
    Philosophical Studies 172 (2): 305-319. 2015.
    In the first Enquiry, Hume takes the experience of exerting force against a solid body to be a key ingredient of the vulgar idea of power, so that the vulgar take that experience to provide us with an impression of power. Hume provides two arguments against the vulgar on this point: the first concerning our other applications of the idea of power and the second concerning whether that experience yields certainty about distinct events. I argue that, even if we accept Hume’s conception of the vulg…Read more
  •  168
    The Mind and the Body as 'One and the Same Thing' in Spinoza
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (5): 897-919. 2009.
    I argue that, contrary to how he is often read, Spinoza did not believe that the mind and the body were numerically identical. This means that we must find some alternative reading for his claims that they are 'one and the same thing'
  •  396
    Kant on Impenetrability, Touch, and the Causal Content of Perception
    European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4): 1411-1433. 2017.
    It is well known that Kant claims that causal judgments, including judgments about forces, must have an a priori basis. It is less well known that Kant claims that we can perceive the repulsive force of bodies through the sense of touch. Together, these claims present an interpretive puzzle, since they appear to commit Kant to both affirming and denying that we can have perceptions of force. My first aim is to show that both sides of the puzzle have deep roots in Kant's philosophy. My second aim…Read more
  •  48
    Reason in the Short Treatise
    In Yitzhak Melamed (ed.), The Young Spinoza: A Metaphysician in the Making, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    Spinoza’s account of reason in the Short Treatise has been largely neglected. That account, I argue, has at least four features which distinguish it from that of the Ethics: in the Short Treatise, (1) reason is more sharply distinguished from the faculty of intuitive knowledge, (2) reason deals with things as though they were ‘outside’ us, (3) reason lacks clarity and distinctness, and (4) reason has no power over many types of passions. I argue that these differences have a unified explanation,…Read more
  •  57
  •  36
    Review: Forster, Michael, Kant and Skepticism
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (2). 2009.
    Kant's theoretical philosophy is often read as a response to skeptical challenges raised by his predecessors. Yet Kant himself explicitly discusses skepticism in relatively few places in his published work, so Michael Forster's focused examination of Kant's relation to skepticism is a useful addition to the literature. Forster sets out to distinguish different types of skepticism to which Kant might be responding, determine what responses Kant offers, and evaluate the strength of those responses…Read more
  •  561
    Kant's Appearances and Things in Themselves as Qua‐Objects
    Philosophical Quarterly 63 (252): 520-545. 2013.
    The one-world interpretation of Kant's idealism holds that appearances and things in themselves are, in some sense, the same things. Yet this reading faces a number of problems, all arising from the different features Kant seems to assign to appearances and things in themselves. I propose a new way of understanding the appearance/thing in itself distinction via an Aristotelian notion that I call, following Kit Fine, a ‘qua-object.’ Understanding appearances and things in themselves as qua-object…Read more
  •  26
    Review: Kitcher, Kant's Thinker (review)
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (6). 2011.
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Volume 19, Issue 6, Page 1226-1229, December 2011
  •  249
    Schopenhauer and Non-Cognitivist Moral Realism
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 55 (2): 293-316. 2017.
    schopenhauer has been ignored in contemporary metaethics, and his commentators rarely attempt to analyze his metaethical views in contemporary terms. This is unfortunate. Schopenhauer has something important to teach us about moral realism.1I have both philosophical and interpretive aims in this paper. My philosophical aim is to show how Schopenhauer's views challenge the contemporary understanding of moral realism. The challenge arises from the fact that, while Schopenhauer's view implies that …Read more
  •  370
    Spinoza on Destroying Passions with Reason
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1): 139-160. 2012.
    Spinoza claims we can control any passion by forming a more clear and distinct idea of it. The interpretive consensus is that Spinoza is either wrong or over-stating his view. I argue that Spinoza’s view is plausible and insightful. After breaking down Spinoza’s characterization of the relevant act, I consider four existing interpretations and conclude that each is unsatisfactory. I then consider a further problem for Spinoza: how his definitions of ‘action’ and ‘passion’ make room for passions …Read more
  •  1
    Kant and Skepticism (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (2): 319-320. 2009.
    Kant's theoretical philosophy is often read as a response to skeptical challenges raised by his predecessors. Yet Kant himself explicitly discusses skepticism in relatively few places in his published work, so Michael Forster's focused examination of Kant's relation to skepticism is a useful addition to the literature. Forster sets out to distinguish different types of skepticism to which Kant might be responding, determine what responses Kant offers, and evaluate the strength of those responses…Read more
  •  572
    Name der Zeitschrift: Kant-Studien Jahrgang: 104 Heft: 4 Seiten: 421-441
  •  80
    Melnick, Kant's Theory of the Self (review)
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (5): 950-952. 2010.
    The self for Kant is something real, and yet is neither appearance nor thing in itself, but rather has some third status. Appearances for Kant arise in space and time where these are respectively forms of outer and inner attending (intuition). Melnick explains the "third status" by identifying the self with intellectual action that does not arise in the progression of attending (and so is not appearance), but accompanies and unifies inner attending. As so accompanying, it progresses with that at…Read more