•  144
    II—L. A. Paul: Categorical Priority and Categorical Collapse
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1): 89-113. 2013.
    I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
  •  15
    A comprehensive meta-analysis of money priming
    with How Hwee Ong, Raoul P. P. P. Grasman, and Jelte M. Wicherts
    Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 148 (4): 688-712. 2019.
  •  211
    Causation and Counterfactuals (edited book)
    MIT Press. 2004.
    Thirty years after Lewis's paper, this book brings together some of the most important recent work connecting—or, in some cases, disputing the connection ...
  •  83
    Real world problems
    Episteme 15 (3): 363-382. 2018.
  • Essays on Causation
    Dissertation, Princeton University. 1999.
    The dissertation consists of three chapters on causation. I explore problems with extant reductive analyses and construct alternative accounts in order to develop a better understanding of topics that are of central importance to our understanding of causation, such as the nature of events, the transitivity of the causal relation, the determination of the correct causal relata, and the different kinds of dependence of effects on their causes. ;In the first chapter, I argue that counterfactual an…Read more
  •  4
    Counterfactual theories
    In Helen Beebee, Peter Menzies & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation, Oxford University Press. 2009.
  •  121
    Causation and preemption
    with Ned Hall
    In Peter Clark & Katherine Hawley (eds.), Philosophy of Science Today, Oxford University Press. 2003.
  •  109
    I claim that Mill has a theory of poetry which he uses to reconcile nineteenth century associationist psychology, the tendency of the intellect to dissolve associations, and the need for educated members of society to desire utilitarian ends. The heart of the argument is that Mill thinks reading poetry encourages us to feel the feelings of others, and thus to develop pleasurable associations with the pleasurable feelings of others and painful associations with the painful feelings of others. Onc…Read more
  •  31
    De se preferences and empathy for future selves1
    Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1): 7-39. 2017.
  •  196
    Aspect Causation
    Journal of Philosophy 97 (4): 235. 2000.
    A theory of the causal relate as aspects or property instances is developed. A supposed problem for transitivity is assessed and then resolved with aspects as the causal relata.
  •  187
    A One Category Ontology
    In John A. Keller (ed.), Being, Freedom, and Method: Themes From the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    I defend a one category ontology: an ontology that denies that we need more than one fundamental category to support the ontological structure of the world. Categorical fundamentality is understood in terms of the metaphysically prior, as that in which everything else in the world consists. One category ontologies are deeply appealing, because their ontological simplicity gives them an unmatched elegance and spareness. I’m a fan of a one category ontology that collapses the distinction between p…Read more
  •  90
    Transformative Experience
    Oxford University Press. 2014.
    How should we make choices when we know so little about our futures? L. A. Paul argues that we must view life decisions as choices to make discoveries about the nature of experience. Her account of transformative experience holds that part of the value of living authentically is to experience our lives and preferences in whatever ways they evolve.
  •  213
    A New Role for Experimental Work in Metaphysics
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3): 461-476. 2010.
    Recent work in philosophy could benefit from paying greater attention to empirical results from cognitive science involving judgments about the nature of our ordinary experience. This paper describes the way that experimental and theoretical results about the nature of ordinary judgments could—and should—inform certain sorts of enquiries in contemporary philosophy, using metaphysics as an exemplar, and hence defines a new way for experimental philosophy and cognitive science to contribute to tra…Read more
  •  133
    Constitutive Overdetermination
    In J. K. Campbell, M. O'Rourke & H. S. Silverstein (eds.), Causation and Explanation, Mit Press. pp. 4--265. 2007.
    Our best philosophical and scientific pictures of the world organize material objects into a hierarchy or levels or layers- microparticles at the bottom, molecules, cells, and persons at higher layers. Are objects at higher layers identical to the sums of objects at lower layers that constitute them? (Note that this question is different from the question of whether composition- as opposed to constitution- is identity.)
  •  157
    The self can be understood in objective metaphysical terms as a bundle of properties, as a substance, or as some other kind of entity on our metaphysical list of what there is. Such an approach explores the metaphysical nature of the self when regarded from a suitably impersonal, ontological perspective. It explores the nature and structure of the self in objective reality, that is, the nature and structure of the self from without. This is the objective self. I am taking a different approach. I…Read more
  •  69
    Realism about Structure and Kinds
    In Stephen Mumford & Matthew Tugby (eds.), Metaphysics and Science, Oxford University Press. 2013.
    In 1976, Hilary Putnam set forth his model-theoretic argument, claiming that it showed that the semantic realist’s program1 was ‘unintelligible’, since it implied, contra the realist view, that reference is radically indeterminate. Although I find the conclusion that reference is indeterminate unattractive, I argue that the descriptivist position needs to be supplemented with a premise about the sorts of kinds or structure that our world includes. The need for this premise gives a counterintuiti…Read more
  •  200
    Limited realism: Cartwright on natures and laws
    Philosophical Books 43 244-253. 2002.
    A leaf falls to the ground, wafting lazily on the afternoon breeze. Clouds move across the sky, and birds sing. Are these events governed by universal laws of nature, laws that apply everywhere without exception, subsuming events such as the falling of the leaf, the movement of the clouds and the singing of the birds? Are such laws part of a small set of fundamental laws, or descended from such a set, which govern everything there is in the world?
  •  342
    Building the world from its fundamental constituents
    Philosophical Studies 158 (2): 221-256. 2012.
    In this paper, I argue that the spatiotemporalist approach way of modeling the fundamental constituents, structure, and composition of the world has taken a wrong turn. Spatiotemporalist approaches to fundamental structure take the fundamental nature of the world to be spatiotemporal: they take the category of spatiotemporal to be fundamental. I argue that the debates over the nature of the fundamental space in the physics show us that (i) the fact that it is conceivable that the manifest world …Read more
  •  10
    Experience and the Arrow
    In Alastair Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry, . pp. 175-193. 2014.
    The debate over the temporal arrow is a debate over what fundamental ontology is needed for the temporal asymmetry of the universe, which determines the fact that time seems to be oriented or directed from earlier to later. This temporal asymmetry underlies (or, as some might argue, is the same as) the asymmetrical fact that the past is fixed while the future is open, as well as the global asymmetries of counterfactual, causal and agential direction. I explore the metaphysics of the temporal dir…Read more
  •  97
    Transformative Experience: Replies to Pettigrew, Barnes and Campbell
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3): 794-813. 2015.
    Summary of Transformative Experience by L.A. Paul and replies to symposiasts. Discussion of undefined values, preference change, authenticity, experiential value, collective minds, mind control.
  •  29
    Phenomenal Feel as Process
    Philosophical Issues 27 (1): 204-222. 2017.
    Phenomenal character is the what-it's-likeness of subjective experience. I develop an ontology of phenomenal feel as process. My being in some phenomenal state R is the process of my instantiating R’s neurological correlate. The ontology explains why we have asymmetric epistemic access to phenomenal characters: the ontological ground for the subjective or first-personal stance is different from the ontological ground for the objective or third-personal stance. I end by situating my account in de…Read more
  •  263
    In defense of essentialism
    Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1). 2006.
    If an object has a property essentially, it has that property in every possible world according to which it exists.2 If an object has a property accidentally, it does not have that property in every possible world according to which it exists. Claims about an object’s essential or accidental properties are de re modal claims, and essential and accidental properties are de re modal properties. Take an object’s modal profile to specify its essential properties and the range of its accidental prope…Read more
  •  508
    What You Can't Expect When You're Expecting'
    Res Philosophica 92 (2): 1-23. 2015.
    It seems natural to choose whether to have a child by reflecting on what it would be like to actually have a child. I argue that this natural approach fails. If you choose to become a parent, and your choice is based on projections about what you think it would be like for you to have a child, your choice is not rational. If you choose to remain childless, and your choice is based upon projections about what you think it would be like for you to have a child, your choice is not rational. This su…Read more
  •  73
    Transformative Choice: Discussion and Replies
    Res Philosophica 92 (2): 473-545. 2015.
    In “What you can’t expect when you’re expecting,” I argue that, if you don’t know what it’s like to be a parent, you cannot make this decision rationally—at least, not if your decision is based on what you think it would be like for you to become a parent. My argument hinges on the idea that becoming a parent is a transformative experience. This unique type of experience often transforms people in a deep and personal sense, and in the process, changes their preferences. In section 1, I will expl…Read more
  •  403
    Metaphysics as modeling: the handmaiden’s tale
    Philosophical Studies 160 (1): 1-29. 2012.
    Critics of contemporary metaphysics argue that it attempts to do the hard work of science from the ease of the armchair. Physics, not metaphysics, tells us about the fundamental facts of the world, and empirical psychology is best placed to reveal the content of our concepts about the world. Exploring and understanding the world through metaphysical reflection is obsolete. In this paper, I will show why this critique of metaphysics fails, arguing that metaphysical methods used to make claims abo…Read more
  •  182
    Coincidence as overlap
    Noûs 40 (4). 2006.
    I discuss puzzles involving coinciding material objects (such as statues and their constitutive lumps of clay) and propose solutions.
  •  24
    Experience, Metaphysics, and Cognitive Science
    In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy, Wiley. pp. 419-433. 2016.
    This chapter presents an opinionated account of how to understand the contributions of experience, especially with respect to the role of cognitive science, in developing and assessing metaphysical theories of reality. I develop a methodological basis for the idea that, independently of work in experimental philosophy focused on explications of concepts, contemporary metaphysical theories with a role for experiential evidence can be fruitfully connected to empirical work in psychology, especiall…Read more
  •  345
    The Puzzles of Material Constitution
    Philosophy Compass 5 (7): 579-590. 2010.
  •  110
    Précis of Transformative Experience
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3): 760-765. 2015.
    I summarize the main argument of Transformative Experience (OUP 2014). The book develops familiar examples from classical philosophical debates, as well as original examples, to argue that an agent’s decision to undergo a transformative experience—an experience constituted by radical personal and epistemic change for the agent—must either be authentic or irrational, but not both. The Precis of Transformative Experience walks the reader through the main ideas involved in epistemically and persona…Read more
  •  186
    Counterfactual analyses of causation can provide elegant analyses of many cases of causation. However, they fail to give intuitively correct analyses of cases involving a commonplace variety of late preemptive causation. I argue that a small emendation can solve the problem.