•  2103
    What is Apophaticism? Ways of Talking About an Ineffable God
    with Scott Michael
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 8 (4): 23--49. 2016.
    Apophaticism -- the view that God is both indescribable and inconceivable -- is one of the great medieval traditions of philosophical thought about God, but it is largely overlooked by analytic philosophers of religion. This paper attempts to rehabilitate apophaticism as a serious philosophical option. We provide a clear formulation of the position, examine what could appropriately be said and thought about God if apophaticism is true, and consider ways to address the charge that apophaticism is…Read more
  •  1018
    Dreams, Nightmares, and a Defense against Arguments From Evil
    Faith and Philosophy 32 (3): 247-270. 2015.
    This paper appeals to the phenomenon of dreaming to provide a novel defense against arguments from evil. The thrust of the argument is as follows: when we wake up after a nightmare we are often filled entirely with relief, and do not consider ourselves to have actually suffered very much at all; and since it is epistemically possible that this whole life is simply a dream, it follows that it is epistemically possible that in reality there is very little suffering. This epistemic possibility deci…Read more
  •  545
    This chapter examines Wittgenstein’s battles with the profound anxiety that can arise in response to a sense of the radical contingency of everything one is and everything one cares about. By giving particular attention to entries in Wittgenstein’s ‘Koder Diaries’ from the 1930s, the chapter analyses the nature of ‘the problem of life’ both as it manifested in Wittgenstein’s own life and as a universally relevant problem. It then defends the seriousness of the problem by reconstructing ways in w…Read more
  •  320
    Jewish Philosophical Conceptions of God
    In Yitzhak Melamed & Paul Franks (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Philosophy, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    There is no single Jewish philosophical conception of God, and the array of competing conceptions does not lend itself to easy systemization. Nonetheless, it is the aim of this chapter to provide an overview of this unruly theological terrain. It does this by setting out ‘maps’ of the range of positions which Jewish philosophers have taken regarding key aspects of the God-idea. These conceptual maps will cover: (i) how Jewish philosophers have thought of the role and status of conceiving of God …Read more
  •  312
    The predominant interpretation of Wittgenstein's later remarks on religion takes him to hold that all religious utterances are non-scientific, and to hold that the way to show that religious utterances are non-scientific is to identify and characterise the grammatical rules governing their use. This paper claims that though this does capture one strand of Wittgenstein's later thought on religion, there is an alternative strand of that thought which is quite different and more nuanced. In this al…Read more
  •  304
    Wittgenstein’s writings and lectures during the first half of the 1930s play a crucial role in any interpretation of the relationship between the Tractatus and the Philosophical Investigations . G. E. Moore’s notes of Wittgenstein’s Cambridge lectures, 1930-1933, offer us a remarkably careful and conscientious record of what Wittgenstein said at the time, and are much more detailed and reliable than previously published notes from those lectures. The co-authors are currently editing these notes …Read more
  •  240
    What qualities do we need in order to be good philosophers? Wittgenstein insists that virtues of character – such as honesty, humility, courage, and strength – are more important for our philosophizing than the relevant intellectual talents and skills. These virtues are essential because doing good philosophy demands both knowing and overcoming the deep-seated desires and inclinations which lead us astray in our thinking, and achieving such self-knowledge and self-overcoming demands all of these…Read more
  •  214
    A Discussion Between Wittgenstein and Moore on Certainty : From the Notes of Norman Malcolm
    with Ludwig Wittgenstein, G. E. Moore, and Norman Malcolm
    Mind 124 (493): 73-84. 2015.
    In April 1939, G. E. Moore read a paper to the Cambridge University Moral Science Club entitled ‘Certainty’. In it, amongst other things, Moore made the claims that: the phrase ‘it is certain’ could be used with sense-experience-statements, such as ‘I have a pain’, to make statements such as ‘It is certain that I have a pain’; and that sense-experience-statements can be said to be certain in the same sense as some material-thing-statements can be — namely in the sense that they can be safely cou…Read more
  •  162
    There has been much recent debate over the meaning of the claim that God is good and loving. Although the participants in this debate strongly disagree over the correct analysis of the claim, there is nonetheless agreement across all parties that there is a single correct analysis. This paper aims to overthrow this consensus, by showing that sentences such as ‘There is a good and loving God’ are often used to express a variety of beliefs with quite different logico-grammatical characteristics. B…Read more
  •  140
    Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Conversations with Rush Rhees : From the Notes of Rush Rhees
    with Ludwig Wittgenstein and Rush Rhees
    Mind 124 (493): 1-71. 2015.
    Between 1937 and 1951 Wittgenstein had numerous philosophical conversations with his student and close friend, Rush Rhees. This article is composed of Rhees’s notes of twenty such conversations — namely, all those which have not yet been published — as well as some supplements from Rhees’s correspondence and miscellaneous notes. The principal value of the notes collected here is that they fill some interesting and important gaps in Wittgenstein ’s corpus. Thus, firstly, the notes touch on a wide…Read more
  •  3
    Wittgenstein: Lectures, Cambridge 1930–1933, From the Notes of G. E. Moore
    with David Stern and Brian Rogers
    In Aidan Seery, Josef G. F. Rothhaupt & Lars Albinus (eds.), Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Frazer: The Text and the Matter, De Gruyter. pp. 85-98. 2016.
  •  2
    This edition of G. E. Moore's notes taken at Wittgenstein's seminal Cambridge lectures in the early 1930s provides, for the first time, an almost verbatim record of those classes. The presentation of the notes is both accessible and faithful to their original manuscripts, and a comprehensive introduction and synoptic table of contents provide the reader with essential contextual information and summaries of the topics in each lecture. The lectures form an excellent introduction to Wittgenstein's…Read more