•  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.
  •  101
    Metaphysics, History, Phenomenology
    Res Philosophica 91 (3): 339-365. 2014.
    There are three interconnected goals of this paper. The first is to articulate and motivate a view of the methodology for doing metaphysics that is broadly phenomenological in the sense of Husserl circa the Logical Investigations. The second is to articulate an argument for the importance of studying the history of philosophy when doing metaphysics that is in accordance with this methodology. The third is to confront this methodology with a series of objections and determine how well it fares in…Read more
  •  166
    Existence and Number
    Analytic Philosophy 54 (2): 209-228. 2013.
    The Frege-Russell view is that existence is a second-order property rather than a property of individuals. One of the most compelling arguments for this view is based on the premise that there is an especially close connection between existence and number. The most promising version of this argument is by C.J.F Williams (1981, 1992). In what follows, I argue that this argument fails. I then defend an account according to which both predications of number and existence attribute properties to ind…Read more
  •  296
    Being and Almost Nothingness
    Noûs 44 (4): 628-649. 2010.
    I am attracted to ontological pluralism, the doctrine that some things exist in a different way than other things.1 For the ontological pluralist, there is more to learn about an object’s existential status than merely whether it is or is not: there is still the question of how that entity exists. By contrast, according to the ontological monist, either something is or it isn’t, and that’s all there is say about a thing’s existential status. We appear to be to be ontological committed to what I …Read more
  •  2241
    Edith Stein: On the Problem of Empathy
    In Eric Schliesser (ed.), Ten Neglected Philosophical Classics, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    I will discuss Stein’s first major philosophical work, On the Problem of Empathy. I’ll first present some of the background context to the composition of this work and then discuss some of the themes of the work that I find intriguing.
  •  165
    Propositions: Individuation and Invirtuation
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4): 757-768. 2015.
    The pressure to individuate propositions more finely than intensionally—that is, hyper-intensionally—has two distinct sources. One source is the philosophy of mind: one can believe a proposition without believing an intensionally equivalent proposition. The second source is metaphysics: there are intensionally equivalent propositions, such that one proposition is true in virtue of the other but not vice versa. I focus on what our theory of propositions should look like when it's guided by metaph…Read more
  •  122
    Heidegger and the ‘There Is’ of Being
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2): 306-320. 2016.
    Heidegger also famously says that Being depends on Dasein, even though beings in general do not. This is perplexing. “Heidegger and the “There Is” of Being” offers an interpretation of what’s going on in the passages in which this sort of assertion is made.
  •  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.