•  12
    Author meets critics: Matti Eklund’s choosing normative concepts
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (5): 475-488. 2020.
  •  11
    A Reply to Andrew Brenner
    Philosophy East and West 70 (2): 557-565. 2020.
    In "Abhidharma Metaphysics and the Two Truths", I argued that a version of ontological pluralism—the view that there are different modes of being—is a philosophically satisfactory account of the doctrine of two truths as found in Abhidharma metaphysics, and that it is superior to accounts in the secondary literature.1 According to my account, the doctrine of two truths is best construed as a view that distinguishes between conventional and ultimate reality, the former of which is enjoyed by pers…Read more
  •  43
    Karen Bennett: Making Things Up
    Journal of Philosophy 116 (9): 515-519. 2019.
  •  38
    Abhidharma Metaphysics and the Two Truths
    Philosophy East and West 69 (2): 439-463. 2019.
    The distinction between "the two truths" was initially developed to resolve seeming contradictions in the Buddha's teachings.1 The Buddha teaches that persons should act compassionately, that persons will be reincarnated, and that persons do not exist. The first two lessons seem inconsistent with the third. Consistency could be restored by distinguishing kinds of truth: the first and second lessons are conventionally true, but it is conventionally but not ultimately true that persons exist.2In a…Read more
  •  349
    Modal Realism with Overlap
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (1): 137-152. 2004.
    In this paper, I formulate, elucidate, and defend a version of modal realism with overlap, the view that objects are literally present at more than one possible world. The version that I defend has several interesting features: it is committed to an ontological distinction between regions of spacetime and material objects; it is committed to compositional pluralism, which is the doctrine that there is more than one fundamental part-whole relation; and it is the modal analogue of endurantism, whi…Read more
  •  187
    The principle of sufficient reason and necessitarianism
    Analysis 79 (2): 230-236. 2019.
    Peter van Inwagen presented a powerful argument against the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which I henceforth abbreviate as ‘PSR’. For decades, the consensus was that this argument successfully refuted PSR. However, now a growing consensus holds that van Inwagen’s argument is fatally flawed, at least when ‘sufficient reason’ is understood in terms of ground, for on this understanding, an ineliminable premiss of van Inwagen’s argument is demonstrably false and cannot be repaired. I will argue th…Read more
  •  18
    Freedom and idealism in Mary Whiton Calkins
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (3): 573-592. 2019.
    ABSTRACTThis paper explores Calkins’ absolute idealism and its ramifications for libertarian free will. Calkins’ metaphysics is a version of absolute idealism, according to which the absolute is a person who has everything else as either a part or an aspect. Three different arguments for the conclusion that Calkins’ metaphysics is incompatible with libertarian freewill are formulated and critically assessed. Finally, I assess the extent to which these arguments are independent of each other.
  •  71
    Teleological Suspensions In Fear and Trembling
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2): 425-451. 2020.
    I focus here on the teleological suspension of the ethical as it appears in Fear and Trembling. A common reading of Fear and Trembling is that it explores whether there are religious reasons for action that settle that one must do an action even when all the moral reasons for action tell against doing it. This interpretation has been contested. But I defend it by showing how the explicit teleological suspension of the ethical mirrors implicit teleological suspensions of the epistemological and p…Read more
  •  29
    Nicholas Stang’s Kant’s Modal Metaphysics
    Kantian Review 23 (3): 461-472. 2018.
  •  103
    Normative Accounts of Fundamentality
    Philosophical Issues 27 (1): 167-183. 2017.
    I describe a number of views in which metaphysical fundamentality is accounted for in normative terms. After describing many different ways this key idea could be developed, I turn to developing the idea in one specific way. After all, the more detailed the proposal, the easier it is to assess whether it works. The rough idea is that what it is for a property to be fundamental is for it to be prima facie obligatory to theorize in terms of that property.
  •  61
    Existence: Essays in Ontology
    Analysis 78 (1): 150-159. 2018.
    © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Analysis Trust. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: [email protected] wonderful collection of most of van Inwagen’s recent essays on topics in fundamental ontology is certainly to be welcomed.1 Many of the essays are focused on articulating and arguing for van Inwagen’s preferred meta-ontology, which he calls neo-Quineanism. In addition to these essays, Existence also contains essays on the el…Read more
  •  25
    An object is a simple if and only if it has no proper parts. An object is gunk if and only if every proper part of that object itself has a proper part. In my dissertation, I address the following questions. The concepts of simples and gunk presuppose the concept of parthood. What is the status of this concept? his question itself divides into the following: does the concept of parthood have universal applicability, so that, just as every object is self-identical, every object has parts? Finally…Read more
  •  87
    Trenton Merricks' Truth and Ontology (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1): 203-211. 2011.
    This is my contribution to an author-meets-critics session on Truth and Ontology.
  •  26
    Review of D.M. Armstrong, Truth and Truthmakers (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (8). 2005.
  •  9
    The Fragmentation of Being
    Oxford University Press. 2017.
    Kris McDaniel argues that there are different ways in which things exist. For instance, past things don't exist in the same way as present things. Numbers don't exist in the same way as physical objects; nor do holes, which are real, but less real than what they are in. McDaniel's theory of being illuminates a wide range of metaphysical topics.
  •  248
    Mind 117 (466): 267-302. 2008.
    We argue that desire is an attitude that relates a person not to one proposition but rather to two, the first of which we call the object of the desire and the second of which we call the condition of the desire. This view of desire is initially motivated by puzzles about conditional desires. It is not at all obvious how best to draw the distinction between conditional and unconditional desires. In this paper we examine extant attempts to analyse conditional desire. From the failures of those …Read more
  •  128
    A Moorean View of the Value of Lives
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4): 23-46. 2014.
    Can we understand being valuable for in terms of being valuable? Three different kinds of puzzle cases suggest that the answer is negative. In what follows, I articulate a positive answer to this question, carefully present the three puzzle cases, and then explain how a friend of the positive answer can successfully respond to them. This response requires us to distinguish different kinds of value bearers, rather than different kinds of value, and to hold that among the value bearers are totalit…Read more
  •  239
    Modal realisms
    Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1). 2006.
    Possibilism—the view that there are non-actual, merely possible entities—is a surprisingly resilient doctrine.1 One particularly hardy strand of possibilism—the modal realism championed by David Lewis—continues to attract both foes who seek to demonstrate its falsity (or at least stare its advocates into apostasy) and friends who hope to defend modal realism (or, when necessary, modify modal realism so as to avoid problematic objections).2 Although I am neither a foe nor friend of modal realism …Read more
  •  352
    Extended simples
    Philosophical Studies 133 (1). 2007.
    I argue that extended simples are possible. The argument given here parallels an argument given elsewhere for the claim that the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, not intrinsic as is commonly supposed. In the final section of the paper, I show that if the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, the most popular argument against extended simples fails.
  •  52
    Brutal Simples
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 3 233. 2007.
    I argue that there are is no informative statement of necessary and sufficient conditions for being a mereological simple.
  •  44
    From the perspective of a contemporary metaphysician, Metaphysical Themes 1274–1671 is a fantastic book. It is an impressively rich, detailed, and thorough examination of a multitude of important metaphysical puzzles and arguments, written in a clear, engaging, lively, funny, and even on one occasion vulgar manner. The number of topics covered is astonishing: substance, attribute, form, matter, the metaphysics of predication, parts and wholes, the metaphysics of extension across space, persisten…Read more
  •  198
    Heidegger's Metaphysics of Material Beings
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2): 332-357. 2013.
    Heidegger distinguishes between things that are present-at-hand and things that are ready-to-hand. I argue that, in Heidegger, this distinction is between two sets of entities rather than between two ways of considering one and the same set of entities. I argue that Heidegger ascribes distinct temporal, essential, and phenomenological properties to these two different kinds of entities.
  •  146
    Distance and Discrete Space
    Synthese 155 (1): 157-162. 2007.
    Given Lewis’s views about recombination and spatial relations, there are possible worlds in which space is discrete and yet the Pythagorean theorem is true – contrary to the so-called Weyl-Tile argument that concluded that the Pythagorean theorem must fail if space is discrete.
  •  137
    I introduce a methodology for doing the history of philosophy called philosophical modeling. I then employ this methodology to give a theory of Kant's distinction between things in themselves and appearances. This theory models Kant's distinction on the distinction between a constituting object and the object it constitutes.