•  3070
  •  1531
    Simplicity and aseity
    In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology, Oxford University Press. pp. 105-28. 2009.
    There is a traditional theistic doctrine, known as the doctrine of divine simplicity, according to which God is an absolutely simple being, completely devoid of any metaphysical complexity. On the standard understanding of this doctrine—as epitomized in the work of philosophers such as Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas—there are no distinctions to be drawn between God and his nature, goodness, power, or wisdom. On the contrary, God is identical with each of these things, along with anything else th…Read more
  •  1117
    Matter, form, and individuation
    In Brian Davies & Eleonore Stump (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas, Oxford University Press. pp. 85-103. 2011.
    Few notions are more central to Aquinas’s thought than those of matter and form. Although he invokes these notions in a number of different contexts, and puts them to a number of different uses, he always assumes that in their primary or basic sense they are correlative both with each other and with the notion of a “hylomorphic compound”—that is, a compound of matter (hyle) and form (morphe). Thus, matter is an entity that can have form, form is an entity that can be had by matter, and a hylomor…Read more
  •  941
    Making Sense of Divine Simplicity
    Faith and Philosophy 25 (1): 3-30. 2008.
    According to the doctrine of divine simplicity, God is an absolutely simple being lacking any distinct metaphysical parts, properties, or constituents. Although this doctrine was once an essential part of traditional philosophical theology, it is now widely rejected as incoherent. In this paper, I develop an interpretation of the doctrine designed to resolve contemporary concerns about its coherence, as well as to show precisely what is required to make sense of divine simplicity
  •  700
    It is standardly assumed that there are three — and only three — ways to solve problem of temporary intrinsics: (a) embrace presentism, (b) relativize property possession to times, or (c) accept the doctrine of temporal parts. The first two solutions are favoured by endurantists, whereas the third is the perdurantist solution of choice. In this paper, I argue that there is a further type of solution available to endurantists, one that not only avoids the usual costs, but is structurally identica…Read more
  •  595
    The Cambridge Companion to Abelard (edited book)
    with Kevin Guilfoy
    Cambridge University Press. 2004.
    Peter Abelard is one of the greatest philosophers of the medieval period. Although best known for his views about universals and his dramatic love affair with Heloise, he made a number of important contributions in metaphysics, logic, philosophy of language, mind and cognition, philosophical theology, ethics, and literature. The essays in this volume survey the entire range of Abelard's thought, and examine his overall achievement in its intellectual and historical context. They also trace Abela…Read more
  •  420
    Trinity
    In Jeffrey E. Brower & Kevin Guilfoy (eds.), _The Cambridge Companion to Abelard_, Cambridge University Press. pp. 223-257. 2004.
    Theology is the preeminent academic discipline during the Middle Ages and, as a result, most of great thinkers of this period are highly trained theologians. Although this is common knowledge, it is sometimes overlooked that the systematic nature of medieval theology led its practitioners to develop full treatments of virtually every area within philosophy. Indeed, theological reflection not only provides the main context in which the medievals theorize about what we would now recognize as disti…Read more
  •  390
    Aristotelian vs. Contemporary Perspectives on Relations
    In Anna Marmodoro & David Yates (eds.), The Metaphysics of Relations, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
  •  379
    Aquinas on Mental Representation: Concepts and Intentionality
    Philosophical Review 117 (2): 193-243. 2008.
    This essay explores some of the central aspects of Aquinas's account of mental representation, focusing in particular on his views about the intentionality of concepts (or intelligible species). It begins by demonstrating the need for a new interpretation of his account, showing in particular that the standard interpretations all face insurmountable textual difficulties. It then develops the needed alternative and explains how it avoids the sorts of problems plaguing the standard interpretations…Read more
  •  364
    I think it would be fair to say that, until about 1900, philosophers were generally reluctant to admit the existence of what are nowadays called polyadic properties.1 It is important to recognize, however, that this reluctance on the part of pre-twentieth-century philosophers did not prevent them from theorizing about relations. On the contrary, philosophers from the ancient through the modern period have had much to say about both the nature and the ontological status of relations. In this pape…Read more
  •  342
    Aquinas’s Metaphysics of Modality: A Reply to Leftow
    Modern Schoolman 83 (3): 201-212. 2005.
    Brian Leftow sets out to provide us with an account of Aquinas’s metaphysics of modality. Drawing on some important recent work, which is surely close to the spirit (if not quite the letter) of Aquinas’s thought, he frames his discussion in terms of “truthmakers”: what is it that makes true claims about possibility and necessity—that is to say, what serves as their ontological ground or ultimate metaphysical explanation? Leftow’s main thesis is that, for Aquinas, all true modal claims are made t…Read more
  •  263
    The Problem with Social Trinitarianism: A Reply to Wierenga
    Faith and Philosophy 21 (3): 295-303. 2004.
    In a recent article, Edward Wierenga defends a version of Social Trinitarianism according to which the Persons of the Trinity form a unique society of really distinct divine beings, each of whom has its own exemplification of divinity. In this paper, I call attention to several philosophical and theological difficulties with Wierenga’s account, as well as to a problem that such difficulties pose for Social Trinitarianism generally. I then briefly suggest what I take to be a more promising approa…Read more
  •  250
    Richard Cross, Duns Scotus (review)
    Philosophia Christi 3 310-311. 2001.
  •  194
    Anselm on Ethics
    In Brian Davies & Brian Leftow (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Anselm, Cambridge University Press. pp. 222-56. 2004.
    There is a real question about whether Anselm developed anything like a systematic ethical theory.1 Indeed, scholars have sometimes suggested that his treatment of ethical matters consists in little more than recapitulation of ethical principles implicit in Scripture or transmitted to him by Christian thinkers such as Augustine and Boethius.2 The truth of the matter, however, is quite the opposite. Although it is easy to overlook the systematic nature of Anselm’s ethical theorizing, as well as i…Read more
  •  142
    Special Issue of ACPQ on Peter Abelard
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (2). 2007.
  •  137
    Matter
    In Robert Audi (ed.), Cambrige Dictionary of Philosophy, 3rd. ed, Cambridge University Press. forthcoming.
  •  129
    Paul V. Spade (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Ockham (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 38 (4): 588-589. 2000.
  •  115
    Jeffrey E. Brower presents and explains the hylomorphic conception of the material world developed by Thomas Aquinas, according to which material objects are composed of both matter and form. In addition to presenting and explaining Aquinas's views, Brower seeks wherever possible to bring them into dialogue with the best recent literature on related topics. Along the way, he highlights the contribution that Aquinas's views make to a host of contemporary metaphysical debates, including the natur…Read more
  •  113
    Platonism about Goodness—Anselm’s Proof in the Monologion
    TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology 3 (2): 1-28. 2019.
    In the opening chapter of the Monologion, Anselm offers an intriguing proof for the existence of a Platonic form of goodness. This proof is extremely interesting, both in itself and for its place in the broader argument for God’s existence that Anselm develops in the Monologion as a whole. Even so, it has yet to receive the scholarly attention that it deserves. My aim in this article is to begin correcting this state of affairs by examining Anslem’s proof in some detail. In particular, I aim to …Read more
  •  96
    Medieval theories of relations
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2001.
    The purpose of this entry is to provide a systematic introduction to medieval views about the nature and ontological status of relations. Given the current state of our knowledge of medieval philosophy, especially with regard to relations, it is not possible to discuss all the nuances of even the best known medieval philosophers' views. In what follows, therefore, we shall restrict our aim to identifying and describing (a) the main types of position that were developed during the Middle Ages, an…Read more
  •  63
    Reason and Faith: Themes From Swinburne (edited book)
    Oxford University Press UK. 2016.
    The past fifty years have been an enormously fruitful period in the field of philosophy of religion, and few have done more to advance its development during this time than Richard Swinburne. His pioneering work has systematically developed a comprehensive set of positions within this field, and made major contributions to fields such as metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of science. This volume presents a collection of ten new essays in philosophy of religion that develop and critically …Read more
  •  6
    The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus
    Philosophical Review 115 (2): 259-262. 2006.
  •  5
    Duns Scotus
    Philosophia Christi 3 (1): 310-311. 2001.
  • There is a long and rich tradition of thinking about relations, stemming from ancient Greek philosophy and running through the Middle Ages, which has been guided by the intuition that relations reduce to the monadic properties of related things. Despite the prominence of this tradition in the history of philosophy, and despite the stature of philosophers whose support it claims, reductive approaches to relations are now widely rejected on the basis of advances in twentieth-century logic. This di…Read more
  • A Theistic Argument Against Platonism
    In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 2, Oxford University Press. 2006.
  • Aquinas on the Individuation of Substances
    Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 5 (1). 2017.
    Aquinas has much to say about individuation over the course of his career. Although certain aspects of his views appear to undergo development, there is one aspect that remains constant throughout—namely, his commitment to assigning both prime matter and quantity an essential role in the individuation of substances. This paper examines the vexed issue of how either prime matter or quantity, as Aquinas understands them, could have any role to play in this context. In the course of doing so, the a…Read more