Brown University
Department of Religious Studies
PhD, 1992
Johnson City, Tennessee, United States of America
  • Spinoza on Turning the Other Cheek
    Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 8 96-133. 2019.
  •  20
    Evolution and the Ethics of Animal Research
    with Niall Shanks and Keith Green
    Essays in Philosophy 5 (2): 30. 2004.
  •  28
    Aquinas's Argument against Self-Hatred
    Journal of Religious Ethics 35 (1). 2007.
    Aquinas's argument against the possibility of genuine self-hatred runs counter to modern intuitions about self-hatred as an explanatorily central notion in psychology, and as an effect of alienation. Aquinas's argument does not deny that persons experience hatred for themselves. It can be read either as the claim that the self-hater mistakes what she feels toward herself as hatred, or that, though she hates what she believes is her "self," she actually hates only traits of herself. I argue that …Read more
  •  408
    The Concept of Affectivity in Early Modern Philosophy (edited book)
    with Gábor Boros, Judit Szalai, and Istvan Toth Oliver
    Eötvös Loránd University Press. 2017.
  •  53
    Aquinas on Attachment, Envy, and Hatred in the "Summa Theologica"
    Journal of Religious Ethics 35 (3). 2007.
    This essay examines Aquinas's discussions of hatred in Summa Theologica I-II, Q. 29 and II-II, Q. 34, in order to retrieve an account of what contemporary theorists of the emotions call its cognitive contents. In Aquinas's view, hatred is constituted as a passion by a narrative pattern that includes its intentional object, beliefs, perceptions of changes in bodily states, and motivated desires. This essay endorses Aquinas's broadly "cognitivist" account of passional hatred, in line with his way …Read more
  •  6
    The Nature of the Beast: Hatred in Cross-Traditional Religious and Philosophical Perspective
    with Joel Gereboff, Diana Fritz Cates, and Maria Heim
    Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 29 (2): 175-205. 2009.
    HATRED IS A PHENOMENON OF TREMENDOUS ETHICAL SIGNIFICANCE, YET it is poorly understood today. This essay explores some of the ways in which hatred is conceptualized and evaluated within different philosophical and religious traditions. Attention is focused on the Hebrew Bible and on the writings of Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, Aquinas, and Buddhaghosa. Subtle differences mark various tradition-rooted accounts of the nature, causes, and effects of hatred. These differences yield different judgments…Read more
  • Integrates Spinoza's thought into the contemporary debate on interpersonal relationships and individual autonomy The question of how to understand autonomy has emerged as a critical issue in contemporary political philosophy. Feminists and others argue that autonomy cannot be adequately conceived without taking into consideration the ways in which it is shaped by our relationships with others. This collection of 13 new essays shows what Baruch Spinoza can add to our understanding of the relation…Read more
  •  41
    Spinoza shares with almost all apologists for forgiveness the idea that laying down one’s resentment of a wrong, contempt for a wrongdoer, and overcoming “bondage” to hatred, must be a primary ethical aim. Yet he denies that doing so authorizes pardoning a penitent wrongdoer. He argues that in civil society, it is actually a matter of charity and piety to collude in punishing a wrongdoer—dragging the wrongdoer before a judge, but not “judging” him oneself. I argue that Spinoza offers no warrant …Read more
  •  24
    Loving sinners to death
    Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (4): 509-519. 2010.
  •  1
  •  125
    Intelligent design in theological perspective
    with Niall Shanks
    Synthese 178 (2). 2011.
    While "scientism" is typically regarded as a position about the exclusive epistemic authority of science held by a certain class of "cultured despisers" of "religion", we show that only on the assumption of this sort of view do purportedly "scientific" claims made by proponents of "intelligent design" appear to lend epistemic or apologetic support to claims affirmed about God and God's action in "creation" by Christians in confessing their "faith". On the other hand, the hermeneutical strategy t…Read more
  •  27
    This essay explores the phenomenological features of the passional response to evil that Aquinas calls ‘hatred of sin’ in Summa Thelogiae II-II Q34 A3 and I-II Q23 A1, among other places. Social justice concerns and philosophical objections, however, challenge the notion that one can feel hatred toward an agent’s vice or sin without it being the agent who is hated. I argue that a careful, contextual reading of these texts shows that Aquinas cannot be read as commending ‘hate’ in any form. The te…Read more