•  70
    Full Human Flourishing
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81 193-204. 2007.
    Human ability to freely choose requires knowledge of human nature and the final end of man. For Aristotle, this end is happiness or full flourishing, whichinvolves various virtues. Modern scholarship has led to debate over which virtues are absolutely necessary. Taking into account the hierarchical nature of the soul and the fact that relationships with the divine and with others are necessary for human flourishing, it can be seen that human flourishing requires contemplation, phronesis and all …Read more
  •  53
    Christologically Inspired, Empirically Motivated Hylomorphism
    Res Philosophica 93 (1): 137-160. 2016.
    In this paper we present the standard Thomistic view concerning substances and their parts. We then note some objections to that view. Afterwards, we present Aquinas’s Christology, then draw an analogy between the relation that holds between the Second Person and the assumed human nature, on the one hand, and the relation that holds between a substance whole and its substance parts, on the other. We then show how the analogy, which St. Thomas himself drew at points, is useful for providing a the…Read more
  •  52
    Abelard on Status and their Relation to Universals. A Husserlian Interpretation
    International Philosophical Quarterly 51 (2): 223-240. 2011.
    The discussion of universals in Peter Abelard’s Logica ‘Ingredientibus’ has been interpreted in many ways. Of particular controversy has been the proper way to interpret his use of the term status. In this paper I offer an interpretation of status by comparing Abelard’s account of knowledge of universals to Edmund Husserl’s presentations of categorial and eidetic intuition. I argue that status is meant to be understood as something like an ideal object, in Husserl’s sense of the term. First, I p…Read more
  •  46
    The Flexibility of Divine Simplicity
    International Philosophical Quarterly 57 (2): 123-139. 2017.
    Contrary to many interpreters, I argue that Thomas Aquinas’s account of divine simplicity is compatible with the accounts of divine simplicity given by John Duns Scotus and Gregory Palamas. I synthesize their accounts of divine simplicity in a way that can answer the standard objections to the doctrine of divine simplicity more effectively than any of their individual accounts can. The three objections that I consider here are these: the doctrine of divine simplicity is inconsistent with disting…Read more
  •  42
    Activity, Identity, and God
    Studia Neoaristotelica 12 (2): 5-61. 2015.
    Are all God’s activities identical to God? If not, which are identical to God and which not? Although it is seldom noticed, the texts of Aquinas (at least on the surface) suggest conflicting answers to these questions, giving rise to a diversity of opinion among interpreters of Aquinas. In this paper, we draw attention to this conflict and offer what we believe to be the strongest textual and speculative support for and against each of the main answers to these questions.
  •  23
    Transcendental Order in Suárez
    Studia Neoaristotelica 10 (2): 157-195. 2013.
    Francisco Suárez’s account of the transcendentals in Disputationes Metaphysicae 3 has been noted by Aertsen, Courtine, Darge, and Sanz for its reductionism; Suárez argues that all proposed transcendentals reduce to unum, verum, and bonum. This scholarship overlooks a key feature of Suárez’s account. In addition to providing his own theory, Suárez also works out a meta-metaphysical framework with which it can be shown how any proposed metaphysical item, including those that do not fit into Suárez…Read more
  •  18
    Aristotelian Substance and Personalistic Subjectivity
    International Philosophical Quarterly 55 (2): 145-164. 2015.
    Many personalists have argued that an adequate account of the human person must include an account of subjectivity as irreducible to anything objectively definable. The personalists contend that Aristotle lacks such an account and claim that he fails to meet three criteria that a theory of the human person must fulfill in order to have an account of subjectivity as irreducible. I show first that some later Aristotelians fulfill these criteria, and then that Aristotle himself also does so. He des…Read more
  •  18
    The Many Powers of the Human Soul
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4): 719-753. 2017.
    Dietrich von Hildebrand is often seen as being at odds with the scholastics in his anthropology. I argue that he in fact uses scholastic principles when distinguishing the powers of the human soul, but he uses these principles to distinguish many more powers in our souls than the scholastics do. His expansion of the list of human powers both is supported by and safeguards his expanded metaphysics of given reality. I first consider the principles that the scholastics use in reasoning about powers…Read more
  •  15
    Habits, Potencies, and Obedience
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 88 165-180. 2014.
    Thomistic hylomorphism holds that human persons are composed of matter and a form that is also a subsistent entity. Some object that nothing can be both a form and a subsistent entity, and some proponents of Thomistic hylomorphism respond that our experience, as described by phenomenology, provides us with evidence that this theory is true. Some might object that that would be more easily seen to be a good way to defend Thomistic hylomorphism if the scholastics themselves had provided such evide…Read more
  •  14
    Created Persons are Subsistent Relations
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 89 225-243. 2015.
    The recent Catholic philosophical tradition on the human person has tried to articulate the irreducibility of the human person to anything non-personal, and to synthesize all of the best of what has been said on the human person. Recently, a debate has arisen regarding the concrete existence and relationality of persons. I analyze these debates, and show how both sides of these debates can be synthesized into a view on which human persons are both subsistent beings and identical to certain relat…Read more
  •  12
    Quantum Randomness, Hylomorphism, and Classical Theism
    Journal of Analytic Theology 4 147-170. 2016.
    According to certain interpretations of quantum mechanics, the behavior of some physical systems is random—that is, certain current states of physical systems are related to other current states and the set of possible future states in a probabilistic, rather than a deterministic, fashion. This account of physical systems seems to conflict with the claim that there is an omnipotent God—that is, a God Who can efficaciously bring about any logically possible creaturely state, and Who can cause eff…Read more
  •  12
  •  11
    Full Human Flourishing: The Place of the Various Virtues in the Quest for Happiness in Aristotle’s Ethics
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81 193-204. 2007.
    Human ability to freely choose requires knowledge of human nature and the final end of man. For Aristotle, this end is happiness or full flourishing, whichinvolves various virtues. Modern scholarship has led to debate over which virtues are absolutely necessary. Taking into account the hierarchical nature of the soul and the fact that relationships with the divine and with others are necessary for human flourishing, it can be seen that human flourishing requires contemplation, phronesis and all …Read more
  •  4
    An Ethical Neoplatonism: Bonaventure and Levinas in Dialogue
    Quaestiones Disputatae 2 (1-2): 248-262. 2011.
  •  3
    The Self Awakened
    Quaestiones Disputatae 1 (1): 258-260. 2010.
  •  3
    The Personhood of the Separated Soul
    Nova et Vetera 12 (3). 2014.
  •  2
    Heidegger in America (review)
    Heythrop Journal 55 (4): 732-734. 2014.
  •  1
    Grace, Natura Pura, and the Metaphysics of Status
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 91 127-143. 2017.
    Christian Personalists have objected to Thomism’s claim that humans could have existed in a state of pure nature, on the grounds that this claim entails that historical states like grace do not give fundamental meaning to us, that these states are merely accidental, and that it led to modern secularism. I show that Thomism can affirm its traditional claims regarding grace and pure nature, while denying the first two implications, by developing the Thomistic metaphysics of status. In Thomism righ…Read more