•  18
    Salvaging Truth from Ontological Scrap
    Philosophy 1-23. 2021.
    What should one do when one's philosophical conclusions run counter to common sense? Bow to the might of ordinary opinion or follow the indiscriminate force of philosophical reason, no matter where it leads? A few strategies have recently been proposed which suggest we needn't have to make this difficult choice at all. According to these views, we can accept the truths of common sense whilst simultaneously endorsing philosophical views with which they seem to conflict. We can, for instance, acce…Read more
  •  36
    Material Composition
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2018.
    A material composite object is an object composed of two or more material parts. The world, it seems, is simply awash with such things. The Eiffel Tower, for instance, is composed of iron girders, nuts and bolts, and so on. You and I, as human beings, are composed of flesh and bone, and various organs. Moreover, these parts themselves are composed of further parts, such as molecules, which themselves are composed of atoms, which are composed of sub-atomic particles. Material composite objects ar…Read more
  •  110
    Mereological Nihilism and the Problem of Emergence
    American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (1): 77-87. 2017.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that there are no composite objects; everything in existence is mereologically simple. The view is subject to a number of difficulties, one of which concerns what I call the problem of emergence. Very briefly, the problem is that nihilism seems to be incompatible with emergent properties; it seems to rule out their very possibility. This is a problem because there are good independent reasons to believe that emergent properties are possible. This paper provides …Read more
  •  167
    Taking monism seriously
    Philosophical Studies 173 (9): 2397-2415. 2016.
    Monism is the view that there is only a single material object in existence: the world. According to this view, therefore, the ordinary objects of common sense—cats and hats, cars and stars, and so on—do not actually exist; there is only the world. Because of this, monism is routinely dismissed in the contemporary literature as being absurd and obviously false. It is simply obvious that there is a plurality of material things, thus it is simply obvious that monism is false, or so the argument go…Read more
  •  223
    Monism and statespace: a reply to Sider
    Analysis 73 (2): 230-236. 2013.
    According to Existence Monism, there is only one concrete object in existence—the world. This view is to be contrasted with Existence Pluralism, which posits multiple concrete objects. In a recent Analysis paper, Sider (Analysis 2007; 67:1–7) presents arguments against Existence Monism claiming that there are evident features of statespace, which the monist is at a loss to explain. Given that the pluralist can give plausible and satisfying explanations of these features, we have good reason to f…Read more