•  14
    Practical Rationality: Some Kantian Reflections
    Journal of Philosophical Research 15 57-77. 1990.
    Recent views on practical rationality harmonize well with a fundamentally Kantian conception of the foundations of morality. Rationality in practical thinking is not a matter of valid reasoning, or of foIlowing maximization principles. From an agent-centered perspective, it consists in observing certain standards of consistency. In themselves, these standards lack the force of duties, hence there can be no irresolvable conflict between rationality and morality. Furthermore, the Kantian test of u…Read more
  •  24
    God, sin, and Rogers on Anselm: A reply
    Faith and Philosophy 26 (4): 420-431. 2009.
    Based on views she draws from Anselm, Katherin Rogers mounts an extend­ed attack on my account of God’s relationship to human sin. Here I argue first that if Anselm’s view of the relationship in question is different from my own, then Rogers fails to locate any reason for thinking his account is correct. I argue further that Rogers fails to demonstrate her claim that my account of God’s relation to sin makes him a deceiver, that her criticisms of my theodicy of sin are misguided, and that she is…Read more
  • Pointless Suffering? How to Make the Problem of Evil Sufficiently Serious
    Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 2 (1). 2010.
  •  12
    Dretske on the Metaphysics of Freedom
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 23 (4): 619-630. 1993.
    Most philosophers of action have seen little or no connection between the individuation of action and questions of freedom and responsibility. Is this a mistake? According to a recent suggestion by Fred Dretske it may be. Dretske views overt actions not as observable events with a distinctive sort of causal history, but rather as causal sequences, in which a distinctive sort of inner cause produces the appropriate outcome. So when Jimmy voluntarily wiggles his ears, the motion of his ears is not…Read more
  •  6
    Springs of Action: Understanding Intentional Behavior
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (4): 979-982. 1994.
  •  24
    Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason
    Noûs 25 (2): 230. 1991.
  •  8
    Practical Reason: Philosophical Papers, Volume I
    with G. H. Von Wright
    Noûs 22 (1): 150. 1988.
  •  1
    The articles in the present collection deal with the religious dimension of the problem of free will. All of the papers also have implications for broader philosophical and theological issues, and will thus be of interest to a wide variety of scholars, both religious and secular. Together they provide a historical and contemporary overview of problems in the theology of freedom, together with recent work by some important philosophers in the field aimed at resolving those problems. The chapters …Read more
  •  94
    Di Nucci on the simple view
    Analysis 70 (1): 53-59. 2010.
    (No abstract is available for this citation)
  •  50
    Atheism and Theism
    Philosophical Review 107 (3): 462. 1998.
    In this volume, the sixth in Blackwell's Great Debates in Philosophy series, Smart and Haldane discuss the case for and against religious belief. The debate is unusual in beginning with the negative side. After a short jointly authored introduction, there is a fairly extended presentation of the atheist position by Smart. Haldane then offers an equally extended defense of theism. The authors respond to one another in the same order, and the book concludes with a brief co-authored treatment of an…Read more
  •  85
    The Author of Sin?
    Faith and Philosophy 22 (2): 144-159. 2005.
    Sin
  •  50
    Individuating Actions: The Fine—Grained Approach
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 13 (4). 1983.
    When Booth moved his finger, thereby firing a gun, thereby killing Lincoln, did he perform three discrete actions, or were there relations of identity or inclusion among them? Most treatments of this problem have tended to assume there is but one sort of entity properly to be called an action, and hence that one answer to this question must be established to the exclusion of all others. And the favored answer has been that Booth's actions are not discrete, or indeed even overlapping, but identic…Read more
  •  47
    ``Divine Sovereignty and the Freedom of the Will"
    Faith and Philosophy 12 (4): 582-598. 1995.
    Libertarian treatments of free will face the objection that an uncaused human decision would lack full explanation, and hence violate the principle of sufficient reason. It is argued that this difficulty can be overcome if God, as creator, wills that I decide as I do, since my decision could then be explained in terms of his will, which must be for the best. It is further argued that this view does not make God the author of evil in any damaging sense. Neither does it impugn my freedom. God’s cr…Read more
  •  35
    A Paradigm Theory of Existence: Onto-Theology Vindicated (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 58 (3): 687-688. 2005.
    This book offers an extended argument that the existence of contingent things is grounded in and hence accounted for by a paradigm existent, which is none other than existence itself—in effect, the ipsum esse subsistens of traditional philosophical theology. Much of the focus is on the nature of contingent existence, which the author contends is a genuine determination of real individuals, though not a property in the usual sense. This implies rejection of a number of other accounts of individua…Read more
  •  212
    Volition and basic action
    Philosophical Review 83 (4): 451-473. 1974.
    The purpose of this paper is to defend the view that the bodily actions of men typicaly involve a mental action of voliton or willing, and that such mental acts are, in at least one important sense, the basic actions we perform when we do things like raise an arm, move a finger, or flex a muscle
  •  43
    The Works of Agency: On Human Action, Will, and Freedom
    with Carl Ginet
    Philosophical Review 109 (4): 632. 2000.
    This book comprises eleven essays in the philosophy of action, six of which were previously published. The book has a fairly extensive index. The essays are arranged in four groups. The first group contains two essays on the individuation of action. The second contains four essays that argue for the view that what makes an event an action is, not how it is caused, but that it is, or begins with, a volition, “an intrinsically actional” mental event. The third contains three essays that defend the…Read more
  •  36
    Sovereignty and freedom: A reply to Rowe
    Faith and Philosophy 18 (1): 110-116. 2001.
    I have defended the view that God’s complete sovereignty over the universe, which requires that he be creatively responsible for our decisions, is compatible with libertarian free will. William Rowe interprets me as holding that this is entirely owing to God’s being timelessly eternal, and argues that God’s decisions as creator would still be determining in a way that destroys freedom. His argument overlooks an important part of my view-an account of creation according to which God’s will as cre…Read more
  •  89
    Making decisions
    Philosophical Issues 22 (1): 246-263. 2012.
  •  546
    Intentional action and intending: Recent empirical studies
    Philosophical Psychology 18 (6): 737-748. 2005.
    Recent empirical work calls into question the so-called Simple View that an agent who A’s intentionally intends to A. In experimental studies, ordinary speakers frequently assent to claims that, in certain cases, agents who knowingly behave wrongly intentionally bring about the harm they do; yet the speakers tend to deny that it was the intention of those agents to cause the harm. This paper reports two additional studies that at first appear to support the original ones, but argues that in fact…Read more
  •  40
    Dretske on the metaphysics of freedom
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 23 (4): 619-630. 1993.
    Contrary to Dretske's view, treating actions as causal complexes wherein inner states produce external results does not permit us to claim that even if their components are caused, the actions are not. What triggers the initial element of a causal sequence causes the sequence itself, so whatever might cause the relevant inner state would also cause the action. Dretske's claim that the failure of my agency to extend to the results of actions I induce in others is owing to the "sensitivity" of tho…Read more
  •  159
    Responsibility for an action requires what Professor McCann calls an exercise of legitimate agency of the part of an agent, a necessary condition for which is libertarian freedom. Free decisions are to be explained teleologically, not causally. Agent causation cannot account for the existence of a free decision, but neither does event causation account for the existence of determined events. The problem of accounting for the existence of a free decision is therefore of a piece with the problem o…Read more
  •  110
    The Simple View again: a brief rejoinder
    Analysis 71 (2): 293-295. 2011.
    In a recent issue of Analysis I gave a critique of some arguments made by Di Nucci concerning the so-called Simple View – the view that an agent performs an action intentionally only if he intends so to act. In turn Di Nucci offers a reply that concentrates on two points. The first has to do with a group of examples, one having to do with waking a flatmate, and the others with routine actions such as shifting gears while driving. I rejected these examples, arguing that it is not at all obvious t…Read more
  •  46
    Paralysis and the spring of action
    Philosophia 25 (1-4): 481. 1997.
  •  69
  •  87
    Divine Sovereignty and the Freedom of the Will
    Faith and Philosophy 12 (4): 582-598. 1995.
    Libertarian treatments of free will face the objection that an uncaused human decision would lack full explanation, and hence violate the principle of sufficient reason. It is argued that this difficulty can be overcome if God, as creator, wills that I decide as I do, since my decision could then be explained in terms of his will, which must be for the best. It is further argued that this view does not make God the author of evil in any damaging sense. Neither does it impugn my freedom. God’s cr…Read more
  •  12
    Book reviews (review)
    Mind 103 (409): 99-102. 1994.
  •  54
    Rationality and the Range of Intention
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 10 (1): 191-211. 1986.