University of Oklahoma
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2010
Notre Dame, Indiana, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Philosophy of Religion
Meta-Ethics
Areas of Interest
Normative Ethics
  •  416
    Even if the question, “What is the meaning of life?” is coherent, the fact remains that it is vague. Its vagueness largely centers on the use of the term “meaning.” The most prevalent strategy for addressing this vagueness is to discard the word “meaning” and reformulate the question entirely into questions such as, “What is the purpose of life?” or “What makes life valuable?” among others. This approach has philosophical merit but does not account for the intuitions and sub-questions driving th…Read more
  •  286
    Weighing evils: the C. S. Lewis approach
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 62 (2): 81-88. 2007.
    It is often argued that the great quantity of evil in our world makes God’s existence less likely than a lesser quantity would, and this, presumably, because the probability that some evils are gratuitous increases as the overall quantity of evil increases. Often, an additive approach to quantifying evil is employed in such arguments. In this paper, we examine C. S. Lewis’ objection to the additive approach, arguing that although he is correct to reject this approach, there is a sense in which h…Read more
  •  81
    It is a common pessimistic worry among both philosophers and non-philosophers that our lives, viewed sub specie aeternitatis, are meaningless given that they make neither a noticeable nor lasting impact from this vast, cosmic perspective. The preferred solution for escaping this kind of pessimism is to adopt a different measure by which to evaluate life’s meaningfulness. One of two primary routes is often taken here. First, one can retreat back to the sub specie humanitatis perspective, and argu…Read more
  •  45
    Death, Futility, and the Proleptic Power of Narrative Ending
    Religious Studies 47 (2): 141-163. 2011.
    Death and futility are among a cluster of themes that closely track discussions of life’s meaning. Moreover, futility is thought to supervene on naturalistic meta-narratives because of how they will end. While the nature of naturalistic meta-narrative endings is part of the explanation for concluding that such meta-narratives are cosmically or deeply futile, this explanation is truncated. I argue that the reason the nature of the ending is thought to be normatively important is first anchored in…Read more
  •  45
    A striking feature of Confucius' grief at the death of his beloved disciple Yan Hui is its profound intensity, an intensity detectable nowhere else in the <span>Analects</span>. Like his disciples, the reader of the <span>Analects</span> may be puzzled by the depth of Confucius' grief in this instance. In distinct accounts, Philip Ivanhoe and Amy Olberding bring some measure of intelligibility to the Master's grief. While partially plausible, I think their offerings on the matter fall short of b…Read more
  •  35
    The Purpose of Life: A Theistic Perspective, by Stewart Goetz (review)
    Faith and Philosophy 31 (2): 232-236. 2014.
  •  19
    Meaning of Life: The Analytic Perspective
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2011.
  •  13
    Much more than just an anthology, this survey of humanity's search for the meaning of life includes the latest contributions to the debate, a judicious selection of key canonical essays, and insightful commentary by internationally respected philosophers. Cutting-edge viewpoint features the most recent contributions to the debate Extensive general introduction offers unprecedented context Leading contemporary philosophers provide insightful introductions to each section
  •  3
    Claims that talk of life’s meaning is misguided, unmanageable or, worse, nonsensical, are overblown. Such claims especially track the cosmically focused the meaning of life. “The meaning of life” is perfectly intelligible, and is centered on a cluster of ideas encapsulated by what I call the “meaning triad.” One component of this triad—I-MEANING—provides the hermeneutical and conceptual resources for understanding the question “What is the meaning of life?” as asking for a single thing, in contr…Read more
  •  1
  • Life: Meaning of
    In Robert Fastiggi & Joseph Koterski (eds.), New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2012-13: Ethics and Philosophy, Cengage Learning and Catholic University of Americapress. 2013.
  • God and Meaning: New Essays
    with Stewart Goetz
    Bloomsbury. 2016.
    Over the past decade, there has been a growing interest among analytic philosophers in life's meaning, but this surge of work is nearly all by naturalists theorizing from non-theistic starting points. To answer the need for a theistic philosophical perspective, God and Meaning features leading thinkers in analytic philosophy of religion and theology exploring important issues in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and biblical theology that intersect with life's meaning.
  • A debate between Thaddeus Metz and Joshua Seachris on what makes life meaningful, with emphasis on the potential relevance of God, immortality, narrative and achievements.