•  866
    A Universe of Explanations
    In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Oxford University Press. pp. 345-375. 2015.
    This article defends the principle of sufficient reason (PSR) from a simple and direct valid argument according to which PSR implies that there is a truth that explains every truth, namely an omni-explainer. Many proponents of PSR may be willing to bite the bullet and maintain that, if PSR is true, then there is an omni-explainer. I object to this strategy by defending the principle that explanation is irreflexive. Then I argue that proponents of PSR can resist the conclusion that there is an om…Read more
  •  686
    Merely possible explanation
    Religious Studies 47 (3): 359-370. 2011.
    Graham Oppy has argued that possible explanation entails explanation in order to object to Richard Gale and Alexander Pruss’s new cosmological argument that it does not improve upon familiar cosmological arguments. Gale and Pruss as well as Pruss individually have granted Oppy’s inference from possible explanation to explanation and argue that this inference provides a reason to believe that the strong principle of sufficient reason is true. In this article, I shall undermine Oppy’s objection to…Read more
  •  588
    Spinoza on Composition and Priority
    In Philip Goff (ed.), Spinoza on Monism, Palgrave-macmillan. 2011.
    This article has two goals: a historical and a speculative one. The historical goal is to offer a coherent account of Spinoza’s view on mereological composition. The speculative goal is to show that Spinoza’s substance monism is distinct from versions of monism that are currently defended in metaphysics and that it deserves the attention of contemporary metaphysicians. Regarding the second goal, two versions of monism are currently defended and discussed in contemporary metaphysics: existence mo…Read more
  •  529
    Overall similarity, natural properties, and paraphrases
    Philosophical Studies 167 (2): 387-399. 2014.
    I call anti-resemblism the thesis that independently of any contextual specification there is no determinate fact of the matter about the comparative overall similarity of things. Anti-resemblism plays crucial roles in the philosophy of David Lewis. For instance, Lewis has argued that his counterpart theory is anti-essentialist on the grounds that counterpart relations are relations of comparative overall similarity and that anti-resemblism is true. After Lewis committed himself to a form of rea…Read more
  •  491
    Coextension and Identity
    In Ghislain Guigon & Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra (eds.), Nominalism About Properties: New Essays, Routledge. pp. 135-155. 2015.
    This chapter is concerned with the coextension difficulty for nominalist theories of properties that reject tropes alongside universals. After carefully explaining the coextension difficulty and describing the theories it targets, the chapter describes different solutions to the difficulty. These solutions differ with respect to how much involved they are into a dualist approach to coextension. A dualist approach to a case of coextension consists in agreeing with the realist that the relevant as…Read more
  •  428
    Church and Fitch have argued that from the verificationationist thesis “for every proposition, if this proposition is true, then it is possible to know it” we can derive that for every truth there is someone who knows that truth. Moreover, Humberstone has shown that from the latter proposition we can derive that someone knows every truth, hence that there is an omniscient being. In his article “Omnificence”, John Bigelow adapted these arguments in order to argue that from the assumption "every c…Read more
  •  391
    Truths qua Grounds
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1): 99-125. 2018.
    A number of philosophers have recently found it congenial to talk in terms of grounding. Grounding discourse features grounding sentences that are answers to questions about what grounds what. The goal of this article is to explore and defend a counterpart-theoretic interpretation of grounding discourse. We are familiar with David Lewis's applications of the method of counterpart theory to de re modal discourse. Counterpart-theoretic interpretations of de re modal idioms and grounding sentences …Read more
  •  367
    This is a review (in French) of the French translation and edition of D.M. Armstrong's Universals: An Opiniated Introduction.
  •  250
    Meinong on magnitudes and measurement
    Meinong Studies 1 255-296. 2005.
    This paper introduces the reader to Meinong's work on the metaphysics of magnitudes and measurement in his Über die Bedeutung des Weber'schen Gesetzes. According to Russell himself, who wrote a review of Meinong's work on Weber's law for Mind, Meinong's theory of magnitudes deeply influenced Russell's theory of quantities in the Principles of Mathematics. The first and longest part of the paper discusses Meinong's analysis of magnitudes. According to Meinong, we must distinguish between divisibl…Read more
  •  188
    This paper is a review of Geralding Coggins's book on metaphysical nihilism: Could There Have Been Nothing?
  •  156
    Nominalism
    Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2019.
    ‘Nominalism’ refers to a family of views about what there is. The objects we are familiar with (e.g. hands, laptops, cookies, and trees) can be characterized as concrete and particular. Nominalists agree that there are such things. But one group of nominalists denies that anything is non-particular and another group denies that anything is non-concrete. These two sorts of nominalism, referred to as ‘nominalism about universals’ and ‘nominalism about abstract objects’, have common motivations in …Read more
  •  149
    This is partly fictional. It is chiefly a reconstruction (not always faithful) of Hume’s fundamental uses of notions of similarity, mostly based on Enquiry. It is the first part (out of four) of a monograph on the evolution of similarity toolmaking. Histories of doctrines are common in our discipline, not so for histories of tools; this is what it’s about. What’s disturbing: I write as if I were talking about the customs and beliefs of ancient tribes instead of real philosophers. Advantages: hel…Read more
  •  119
    Nominalism, which has its origins in the Middle Ages and continues into the Twenty-First Century, is the doctrine that there are no universals. This book is unique in bringing together essays on the history of nominalism and essays that present a systematic discussion of nominalism. It introduces the reader to the distinction between particulars and universals, to the difficulties posed by this distinction, and to the main motivations for the rejection of universals. It also describes the main v…Read more
  •  115
    The Metaphysics of Resemblance
    Dissertation, University of Geneva. 2009.
    The topic of this study is the resemblance of individuals. The underlying contention of this dissertation is that the resemblance of individuals is a taxing and challenging philosophical topic. Two main claims are defended in this study to support this contention. The first of these claims is that resemblance is not a binary relation but a monadic multigrade property. The second of these claims is that the metaphysics of resemblance and the metaphysics of properties are distinct, although not in…Read more
  •  69
    Many metaphysicians often appeal to Hume’s dictum (HD), according to which there are no necessary connections between distinct entities (or states of entities), in order to resist theories that commit us to such connections. Some have argued that HD is an unsupported dogma of metaphysics. But theories that commit us to necessary connections between distinct goings-on can also be resisted by invoking a normative twist on HD, which I call the Humean Solvent (HS): “Do not connect distinct entities …Read more
  •  67
    Quidditism and the Resemblance of Properties
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3): 177-184. 2016.
    It is widely agreed that properties play causal roles: they capture the causal powers of things. But do properties have their causal roles essentially? David Lewis did not think so. He adhered to the doctrine of quidditism, namely the doctrine that the identity of properties is primitive and that they can trade their causal roles. Quidditism is controversial. But Lewis did not see why he should want to reject it. He knew that he could avoid quidditism on the cheap by treating individuals and pro…Read more
  •  62
    William of Ockham seems to have endorsed the view (i) that a whole is its parts, (ii) that some things are such that whether they together compose a whole is contingent, and (iii) that parts are ontologically prior to the whole they compose. Ockhamist Composition as Identity is the conjunction of these three claims. It seems doubly absurd since Leibniz’s Law arguments can be run against both the conjunction of (i) and (ii) and that of (i) and (iii). In this article, I appeal to recent developmen…Read more
  •  6
    A universe of explanations
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9. 2015.
    This chapter explores an objection to explanatory universalism, the doctrine that the principle of sufficient reason is true or everything has an explanation. This objection is a direct argument to the conclusion that the PSR yields the existence of an omni-explainer, i.e. something that explains everything. The objection crucially relies on the assumption that explanation is dissective in its explanandum place, and its conclusion conflicts with the irreflexivity of explanation. So the chapter c…Read more