•  531
    The survival enhancing propensity (SEP) account has a crucial role to play in the analysis of proper function. However, a central feature of the account, its specification of the proper environment to which functions are relativized, is seriously underdeveloped. In this paper, I argue that existent accounts of proper environment fail because they either allow too many or too few characters to count as proper functions. While SEP accounts retain their promise, they are unworkable because of their…Read more
  •  293
    We Need Non-Factive Metaphysical Explanation
    Erkenntnis 1-21. forthcoming.
    Suppose that A explains B. Do A and B need to be true? Provided that we have metaphysical explanation in mind, orthodoxy answers “yes:” metaphysical explanation is factive. This article introduces and defends a non-factive notion of metaphysical explanation. I argue that we need a non-factive notion of explanation in order to make sense of explanationist arguments where we motivate a view by claiming that it offers better explanations than its competitors. After presenting and rejecting some ini…Read more
  •  265
    Why Christians Should Not Be Kaneans about Freedom
    with Jack Mulder
    Philosophia Christi 19 (2). 2017.
    Abstract: In this paper we argue that Robert Kane’s theory of free will cannot accommodate the possibility of a sinless individual who faces morally significant choices because a sinless agent cannot voluntarily accord value to an immoral desire, and we argue that Kane’s theory requires this. Since the Jesus of the historic Christian tradition is held to be sinless, we think Christians should reject Kane’s theory because it seems irreconcilable with historic Christian Christology. We consider tw…Read more
  •  246
    Metaphysical Explanation by Constraint
    Erkenntnis 84 (6): 1325-1340. 2019.
    It is often thought that metaphysical grounding underwrites a distinctive sort of metaphysical explanation. However, it would be a mistake to think that all metaphysical explanations are underwritten by metaphysical grounding. In service of this claim, I offer a novel kind of metaphysical explanation called metaphysical explanation by constraint, examples of which have been neglected in the literature. I argue that metaphysical explanations by constraint are not well understood as grounding expl…Read more
  •  146
    Why Do We Believe Humans Matter More than Other Animals?
    with Scott Hill
    Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research. 2020.
    Some recent psychological studies suggest that the belief that humans matter more than other animals can be strengthened by cognitive dissonance. Jaquet (forthcom- ing) argues that some of these studies also show that the relevant belief is primar- ily caused by cognitive dissonance and is therefore subject to a debunking argument. We offer an alternative hypothesis according to which we are already speciesist but cognitive dissonance merely enhances our speciesism. We argue that our hypothesis …Read more
  •  145
    God might be responsible for physical evil
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3). 2009.
    Alexander Bird has a two-part argument to the effect that God could only have created a world without physical evil by changing either the laws or the initial conditions of the universe, and that no such world would be at all like ours: so God is not responsible for physical evil. I argue that both parts of his argument fail.
  •  138
    Fundamental ontological structure: an argument against pluralism
    Philosophical Studies 174 (5): 1277-1297. 2017.
    In recent years, a hierarchical view of reality has become extremely influential. In order to understand the world as a whole, on this view, we need to understand the nature of the fundamental constituents of the world. We also need to understand the relations that build the world up from these fundamental constituents. Building pluralism is the view that there are at least two equally fundamental relations that together build the world. It has been widely, though tacitly, assumed in a variety o…Read more
  •  60
    Metaphysical Constraints, Primitivism, and Reduction
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (4): 503-521. 2019.
    The argument from absence of analysis infers primitivism about some x from the absence of a reductive analysis of x. But philosophers use the word ‘primitive’ to mean many distinct things. I argue that there is a robust sense of ‘primitive’ present in the metaphysics literature that cannot be inferred via the AAA. Successfully demonstrating robust primitivism about some x requires showing two things at once: that a reduction of x is not possible and that an explanatorily deep characterization of…Read more