•  329
    Explaining identity and distinctness
    Philosophical Studies 177 (7): 2073-2096. 2020.
    This paper offers a metaphysical explanation of the identity and distinctness of concrete objects. It is tempting to try to distinguish concrete objects on the basis of their possessing different qualitative features, where qualitative features are ones that do not involve identity. Yet, this criterion for object identity faces counterexamples: distinct objects can share all of their qualitative features. This paper suggests that in order to distinguish concrete objects we need to look not only …Read more
  •  176
    Humeans are out of this World
    Synthese. forthcoming.
    I defend the following argument in this paper. Premise 1: Laws of nature are intrinsic to the universe. Premise 2: Humeanism maintains that laws of nature are extrinsic to the universe. Conclusion: Humeanism is false. This argument is inspired by John Hawthorne’s (2004) argument in “Why Humeans are out of their Minds”. My argument differs from his; Hawthorne focuses on Humean views of causation and how they interact with judgments about consciousness. He thinks Humeans are forced to treat certai…Read more
  •  153
    Laws of Nature, Explanation, and Semantic Circularity
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3): 787-815. 2019.
    Humeans and anti-Humeans agree that laws of nature should explain scientifically particular matters of fact. One objection to Humean accounts of laws contends that Humean laws cannot explain particular matters of fact because their explanations are harmfully circular. This article distinguishes between metaphysical and semantic characterizations of the circularity and argues for a new semantic version of the circularity objection. The new formulation suggests that Humean explanations are harmful…Read more
  •  131
    The Metaphysics of Identity: Is Identity Fundamental?
    Philosophy Compass 12 (1). 2017.
    Identity and distinctness facts are ones like “The Eiffel Tower is identical to the Eiffel Tower,” and “The Eiffel Tower is distinct from the Louvre.” This paper concerns one question in the metaphysics of identity: Are identity and distinctness facts metaphysically fundamental or are they nonfundamental? I provide an overview of answers to this question.
  •  73
    Identity
    In Michael J. Raven (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding, Routledge. pp. 413-424. 2020.
    I explore proposals for stating identity criteria in terms of ground. I also address considerations for and against taking identity and distinctness facts to be ungrounded.
  •  60
    I discuss Bennett's characterization of the "more fundamental than" relation.
  •  41
    Do identity and distinctness facts threaten the PSR?
    Philosophical Studies 1-19. forthcoming.
    One conception of the Principle of Sufficient Reason maintains that every fact is metaphysically explained. There are different ways to challenge this version of the PSR; one type of challenge involves pinpointing a specific set of facts that resist metaphysical explanation. Certain identity and distinctness facts seem to constitute such a set. For example, we can imagine a scenario in which we have two qualitatively identical spheres, Castor and Pollux. Castor is distinct from Pollux but it is …Read more