•  701
    Cooperative Grace, Cooperative Agency
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (3): 223--245. 2015.
    In an earlier paper, I argued for an account of the metaphysics of grace which was libertarian in nature but also non-Pelagian. My goal in the present paper is to broaden my focus on how the human and divine wills relate in graced activities. While there is widespread agreement in Christian theology that the two do interact in an important way, what’s less clear is how the wills of two agents can be united in one of them performing a particular action via a kind of joint or unitive willing. Inso…Read more
  •  700
    Pride in Christian Philosophy and Theology
    In J. Adam Carter Emma C. Gordon (ed.), The Moral Psychology of Pride, Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 211-234. 2017.
    Our focus in this chapter will be the role the pride has played, both historically and contemporarily, in Christian theology and philosophical theology. We begin by delineating a number of different types of pride, since some types are positive (e.g., when a parent tells a daughter “I’m proud of you for being brave”), and others are negative (e.g., “Pride goes before a fall”) or even vicious. We then explore the role that the negative emotion and vice play in the history of Christianity, with pa…Read more
  •  685
    Envy and Its Discontents
    In Kevin Timpe & Craig Boyd (eds.), Virtues and Their Vices, Oxford University Press. pp. 225-244. 2014.
    Envy is, roughly, the disposition to desire that another lose a perceived good so that one can, by comparison, feel better about one’s self. The divisiveness of envy follows not just from one’s willing against the good of the other, but also from the other vices that spring from it. It is for this second reason that envy is a capital vice. This chapter begins by arguing for a definition of envy similar to that given by Aquinas and then considers its relationship to other vices (e.g. jealousy, sc…Read more
  •  519
    Heavenly Freedom: A Response to Cowan
    Faith and Philosophy 30 (2): 188-197. 2013.
    In a recent issue of Faith and Philosophy, Steven Cowan calls into question our success in responding to what we called the “Problem of Heavenly Free- dom” in our earlier “Incompatibilism, Sin, and Free Will in Heaven.” In this reply, we defend our view against Cowan’s criticisms.
  •  357
    Incompatibilism, Sin, and Free Will in Heaven
    Faith and Philosophy 26 (4): 396-417. 2009.
    The traditional view of heaven holds that the redeemed in heaven both have free will and are no longer capable of sinning. A number of philosophers have argued that the traditional view is problematic. How can someone be free and yet incapable of sinning? If the redeemed are kept from sinning, their wills must be reined in. And if their wills are reined in, it doesn’t seem right to say that they are free. Following James Sennett, we call this objection to the traditional view of heaven ‘the Prob…Read more
  •  302
    Disability, Ableism, and Social Epistemology
    In Jennifer Lackey & Aidan McGlynn (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Social Epistemology, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    This chapter canvases a number of ways that issues surrounding disability intersect with social epistemology, particularly how dominate norms concerning communication and ability can epistemically disadvantage some disabled individuals. We begin with a discussion of how social epistemology as a field and debates concerning epistemic injustice in particular fail to take the problem of ableism seriously. In section two, we analyze the concept of an individual’s “knowledge capacity,” arguing that i…Read more
  •  133
    Source incompatibilism and its alternatives
    American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2): 143-155. 2007.
    In current debates about moral responsibility, it is common to differentiate two fundamentally different incompatibilist positions: Leeway Incompatibilism and Source Incompatibilism. The present paper argues that this is a bad dichotomy. Those forms of Leeway Incompatibilism that have no appeal to ‘origination’ or ‘ultimacy’ are problematic, which suggests that incompatibilists should prefer Source Incompatibilism. Two sub-classifications of Source Incompatibilism are then differentiated: Narrow…Read more
  •  129
    Causal History Matters, but Not for Individuation
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (1): 77-91. 2009.
    In ‘Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility,’ Harry Frankfurt introduces a scenario aimed at showing that the having of alternative possibilities is not required for moral responsibility. According to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), an agent is morally responsible for her action only if she could have done otherwise; Frankfurt thinks his scenario shows that PAP is, in fact, false. Frankfurt thinks that the denial of PAP gives credence to compatibilism, the thesis that …Read more
  •  120
    Tracing and the Epistemic Condition on Moral Responsibility
    Modern Schoolman 88 (1/2): 5-28. 2011.
    In “The Trouble with Tracing,” Manuel Vargas argues that tracing-based approaches to moral responsibility are considerably more problematic than previously acknowledged. Vargas argues that many initially plausible tracing-based cases of moral responsibility turn out to be ones in which the epistemic condition for moral responsibility is not satisfied, thus suggesting that contrary to initial appearances the agent isn’t morally responsible for the action in question. In the present paper, I outli…Read more
  •  110
    A critique of Frankfurt-libertarianism
    Philosophia 34 (2): 189-202. 2006.
    Most libertarians think that some version of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP) is true. A number of libertarians, which I call ‘Frankfurt-libertarians,’ think that they need not embrace any version of PAP. In this paper, I examine the writings of one such Frankfurt-libertarian, Eleonore Stump, for her evaluation of the impact of Frankfurt-style counterexamples (FSCs) to PAP. I show how, contrary to her own claims, Stump does need a PAP-like principle for her account of free action…Read more
  •  101
    An Argument for Limbo
    The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4): 277-292. 2015.
    In this paper I argue from a number of positions that are, while not uncontested, at least common among analytic philosophers of religion for the possibility, and indeed the plausibility, of a doctrine of limbo. The account of limbo that I advocate is substantially different than the element of Catholic speculative theology that goes by the same name. According to that doctrine, the limbus infantium is a place or state of perfect natural happiness for those who, prior to the age of reason, die w…Read more
  •  94
    Grace and Controlling What We Do Not Cause
    Faith and Philosophy 24 (3): 284-299. 2007.
    Eleonore Stump has recently articulated an account of grace which is neither deterministic nor Pelagian. Drawing on resources from Aquinas’s moral psychology, Stump’s account of grace affords the quiescence of the will a significant role in an individual’s coming to saving faith. In the present paper, I firstoutline Stump’s account and then raise a worry for that account. I conclude by suggesting a metaphysic that provides a way of resolving this worry. The resulting view allows one to maintain …Read more
  •  91
    Moral Ecology, Disabilities, and Human Agency
    Res Philosophica 96 (1): 17-41. 2019.
    This paper argues that human agency is not simply a function of intrinsic properties about the agent, but that agency instead depends on the ecology that the agent is in. In particular, the paper examines ways that disabilities affect agency and shows how, by paying deliberate attention to structuring the social environment around people with disabilities, we can mitigate some of the agential impact of those disabilities. The paper then argues that the impact of one’s social environment on agenc…Read more
  •  83
    Demotivating Semicompatibilism
    Ideas Y Valores 58 (141): 5-20. 2009.
    In this paper, I explore some of the motivations behind John Martin Fischer's semi-compatibilism. Particularly, I look at three reasons Fischer gives for preferring semi-compatibilism to libertarianism. I argue that the first two of these motivations are in tension with each other: the more one is moved by the first motivation, the less one can appeal to the second, and vice versa. I then argue that Fischer's third motivation ought not move anyone to prefer Fischer's semi-compatibilist picture t…Read more
  •  77
    Free will
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2006.
    Most of us are certain that we have free will, though what exactly this amounts to is much less certain. According to David Hume , the question of the nature of free will is “the most contentious question of metaphysics.” If this is correct, then figuring out what free will is will be no small task indeed. Minimally, to say that an agent has free will is to say that the agent has the capacity to choose his or her course of action. But animals seem to satisfy this criterion, and we typically thin…Read more
  •  76
    Stewart Goetz. Freedom, Teleology and Evil . Continuum, 2008
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (2): 460--465. 2011.
  •  75
    The Dialectic Role of the Flickers of Freedom
    Philosophical Studies 131 (2): 337-368. 2006.
    One well-known incompatibilist response to Frankfurt-style counterexamples is the ‘flicker-of-freedom strategy’. The flicker strategy claims that even in a Frankfurt-style counterexample, there are still morally relevant alternative possibilities. In the present paper, I differentiate between two distinct understandings of the flicker strategy, as the failure to differentiate these two versions has led some philosophers to argue at cross-purposes. I also explore the respective dialectic roles th…Read more
  •  75
    Prayers for the past
    Religious Studies 41 (3): 305-322. 2005.
    All three of the world's major monotheistic religions traditionally affirm that petitionary prayers can be causally efficacious in bringing about certain states of affairs. Most of these prayers are offered before the state of affairs that they are aimed at helping bring about. In the present paper, I explore the possibility of whether petitionary prayers for the past can also be causally efficacious. Assuming an incompatibilist account of free will, I examine four views in philosophical theolog…Read more
  •  70
    Truth-Making and Divine Eternity
    Religious Studies 43 (3). 2007.
    According to a widespread tradition in philosophical theology, God is necessarily simple and eternal. One objection to this view of God's nature is that it would rule out God having foreknowledge of non-determined, free human actions insofar as simplicity and eternity are incompatible with God's knowledge being causally dependent on those actions. According to this view, either (a) God must causally determine the free actions of human agents, thus leading to a theological version of compatibilis…Read more
  •  69
    An Analogical Approach to Divine Freedom
    Proceedings of the Irish Philosophical Society 88-99. 2012.
    Assuming an analogical account of religious predication, this paper utilizes recent work in the metaphysics of free will to build towards an account of divine freedom. I argue that what actions an agent is capable of freely performing depends on his or her moral character.
  •  68
    Free WIll
    In Neil Manson & Bob Barnard (eds.), Continuum Companion to Metaphysics, Continuum. pp. 223-243. 2012.
    It is sometimes said that Augustine discovered the faculty of the will, and as a result inaugurated philosophy’s fascination with issues related to free will. While philosophers prior to Augustine clearly discussed related issues of, for example, voluntariness and agency, one finds in Augustine a focus on a faculty distinct from reason which is necessary for praise and blame that one would be hard-pressed to find in earlier thinkers. Augustine addressed the importance of free will in many of his…Read more
  •  63
    Free Will in Philosophical Theology
    Bloomsbury Academic. 2013.
    Natural theology's name can be misleading, for it sounds like what is being done is a kind of theology, not philosophy. But natural theology is better understood to be primarily philosophical rather than theological for it is, most generally, the ...
  •  61
    On Analytic Theology
    Scientia et Fides 3 (2): 1-13. 2015.
    My primary aims in this paper are to give an overview of a recent movement which goes by the name of ‘analytic theology’, to locate that movement within the larger context of contemporary philosophy of religion, and to identify some of the weakness or objections that analytic theology will need to address moving forward. While I think that some of these objections have merit, I also think that the promise of analytic theology’s contribution to theology more broadly is, in my view, sufficiently r…Read more
  •  60
    Freedom and the Incarnation
    Philosophy Compass 11 (11): 743-756. 2016.
    In this paper, we explore how free will should be understood within the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation, particularly on the assumption of traditional Christology. We focus on two issues: reconciling Christ's free will with the claim that Christ's human will was subjected to the divine will in the Incarnation; and reconciling the claims that Christ was fully human and free with the belief that Christ, since God, could not sin.
  •  54
    Moral character
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2007.
    At the heart of one major approach to ethics—an approach counting among its proponents Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas—is the conviction that ethics is fundamentally related to what kind of persons we are. Many of Plato’s dialogues, for example, focus on what kind of persons we ought to be and begin with examinations of particular virtues: What is the nature of justice? Republic) What is the nature of piety? Euthyphro) What is the nature of temperance? Charmides) What is the nature of co…Read more
  •  53
    Virtues and Their Vices (edited book)
    with Boyd Craig
    Oxford University Press. 2013.
    A comprehensive philosophical treatment of the virtues and their competing vices. The first four sections focus on historical classes of virtue: the cardinal virtues, the capital vices and the corrective virtues, intellectual virtues, and the theological virtues. A final section discusses the role of virtue theory in a number of disciplines