Allen University
  •  26
    Leibniz on Causation and Agency by Julia Jorati (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 57 (1): 171-172. 2019.
    In Leibniz on Causation and Agency, Julia Jorati provides an account of Leibniz’s mature views regarding causation, freedom, and moral responsibility. Few monographs treat these central topics in Leibniz in such a sustained and helpful way. The focus on appetition and action is most welcome, and the book is well written and usually well argued. Even on the few occasions when Jorati’s arguments are unpersuasive, the theoretical benefits of her readings are clear, and the work displays an impressi…Read more
  •  301
    Wagering with and without Pascal
    Res Philosophica 95 (1): 95-110. 2018.
    Pascal’s wager has received the attention of philosophers for centuries. Most of its criticisms arise from how the wager is often framed. We present Pascal’s wager three ways: in isolation from any further apologetic arguments, as leading toward a regimen intended to produce belief, and finally embedded in a larger apology that includes evidence for Christianity. We find that none of the common objections apply when the wager is presented as part of Pascal’s larger project. Pascal’s wager is a s…Read more
  •  18
    Leibniz's Theodicies
    Dissertation, University of South Florida. 2014.
    Evil poses a particular problem to early modern thinkers. Late scholasticism, while itself variegated, provided a number of resources for dispelling concerns about the justice of God raised by the existence of evil. With much of the metaphysics of the scholastics rejected, the new philosophers needed either to find inventive ways to make the old solutions fit into their new systems, to come up with new resources for dispelling the difficulties, or to accept the difficulties as insurmountable, li…Read more
  •  13
    French philosophy, 1572–1675 (review)
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (1): 208-209. 2018.
  •  30
    Descartes’s very brief explanations of human responsibility for sin and divine innocence of sin include references to the idea that evil is a privation rather than a real thing. It is not obvious, though, that privation fits naturally in Descartes’s reductionistic metaphysics, nor is it clear precisely what role his privation doctrine plays in his theodicy. These issues are made clear by contrasting Descartes’s use of privations with that of Suarez, particularly in light of reoccurring objection…Read more
  •  1
    Leibniz and Bayle on Divine Permission
    In Christian Leduc, Paul Rateau & Jean-Luc Solere (eds.), Leibniz et Bayle: confrontation et dialogue, Franz Steiner Verlag. pp. 383-396. 2015.
    In popular opinion, Leibniz’s work on the problem of evil is thought to begin and end with the claim that this is the best of all possible worlds, as if this were all that Leibniz needed to defend the justice of God. In many places, however, Leibniz is concerned to remove from God the actual agency for the evils in the world. By examining Leibniz’s uses of the concept of divine permission, one might find a Leibniz for whom the best-possible-world thesis answers only some of the difficulties re…Read more
  •  8
    Necessitarianism in Leibniz's Confessio Philosophi
    Society and Politics 6 (2): 114-123. 2012.
    Leibniz’s Confessio philosophi (1672–1673) appears to provide an anti-necessitarian solution to the problem of the author of sin. I will give here a brief reading of what appear to be two solutions to the problem of the author of sin in the Confessio. The first solution appears to commit Leibniz’s spokesman (the Philosopher) to necessitarianism. The Theologian (Leibniz’s interlocutor) objects to this necessitarianism, prompting the Philosopher to offer a modified version that appears to exorcise…Read more