•  8
    Mystery of the Trinity: a Reply to Einar Bøhn
    Sophia 58 (2): 301-307. 2019.
    In this journal, Einar Bøhn has proposed a solution to the so-called Trinitarian Paradox. After summarizing the Paradox and Bøhn’s proposed solution, I argue that those committed to Christian orthodoxy cannot accept the solution, for three reasons: First, it requires positing more kinds of divine entity than God and the Persons of the Trinity; second, it is based upon a false assumption; and, finally, the proposed solution amounts at best to a form of obscurantism.
  •  3
    At the intersection of meta-ethics and philosophy of science, Nicholas Sturgeon’s “Moral Explanation” ([1985] 1988), Richard Boyd’s “How to be a Moral Realist” (1988), and David Brink’s Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics (1989) inaugurated a sustained argument for the claim that moral kinds like right action and virtuous agent are scientifically investigable natural kinds. The corresponding position is called “non-reductive ethical naturalism,” or “NEN.” Ethical nonnaturalists, by contr…Read more
  •  40
    Gabriele Contessa has recently introduced and defended a view he calls ‘non-eliminative nihilism’. Non-eliminative nihilism is the conjunction of mereological nihilism and non-eliminativism about ordinary objects. Mereological nihilism is the thesis that composite objects do not exist, where something is a composite object just in case it has proper parts. Eliminativism about ordinary objects denies that ordinary objects exist. Eliminativism thus implies, for example, that there are no galaxies,…Read more
  •  510
    Rightness = right-maker
    Disputatio 7 (41): 193-206. 2015.
    I have recently argued that if the causal theory of reference is true, then, on pain of absurdity, no normative ethical theory is true. In this journal, Michael Byron has objected to my reductio by appealing to Frank Jackson’s moral reductionism. The present essay defends reductio while also casting doubt upon Jackson’s moral reductionism.
  •  110
    According to Cian Dorr, non-cognitivism has the implausible implication that arguments like the following are cases of wishful thinking: If lying is wrong, then the souls of liars will be punished in the afterlife; lying is wrong; therefore, the souls of liars will be punished in the afterlife. Dorr further claims that if non-cognitivism implies that the above argument and similar arguments are cases of wishful thinking, then non-cognitivism remains implausible even if one solves the so-called F…Read more
  •  87
    Right-making and Reference
    American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (3): 277-80. 2012.
    The following is a prominent version of the causal theory of reference, held by certain moral philosophers and philosophers of science: (CTR) A general term 'T' rigidly designates a property F iff the use of 'T' by competent users of the term is causally regulated by F. In a series of papers, Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons present a thought experiment our intuitive responses to which provide evidence against (CTR). The present essay goes beyond Horgan and Timmons by offering a metaphysical arg…Read more
  •  106
    Cornell realists claim, among other things, that moral knowledge can be acquired in the same basic way that scientific knowledge is acquired. Recently in this journal Elizabeth Tropman has presented two arguments against this claim. In the present article, I attempt to show that the first argument attacks a straw man and the second mischaracterizes the Cornell realists' epistemology and ends up begging the question. I close by suggesting that, given Tropman's own apparent views, her objections a…Read more