University of Notre Dame
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 1996
Notre Dame, Indiana, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Metaphysics
Philosophy of Religion
  •  37
    Four-dimensionalism
    In Michael J. Loux & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), The Oxford handbook of metaphysics, Oxford University Press. pp. 246-280. 2003.
    Four dimensionalism, as it will be understood in this article, is a view about the ontological status of non-present objects. Presentists say that only present objects exist. There are no dinosaurs, though there were such things; there are no cities on Mars, though perhaps there will be such things. Four-dimensionalists, on the other hand, say that there are past or future objects (or both); and in saying this, they mean to put such things ontologically on a par with present objects. According t…Read more
  •  238
    A Dilemma for Conferralism
    with Elizabeth VanKammen
    Analysis. forthcoming.
    Conferralism is the view that social properties are neither intrinsic to the things that have them nor possessed simply by virtue of their causal or spatiotemporal relations to other things, but are somehow bestowed (intentionally or not, explicitly or not) upon them by persons who have both the capacity and the standing to bestow them. We argue that conferralism faces a dilemma: either it is viciously circular, or it is limited in scope in a way that undercuts its motivation.
  •  13
    The Hiddenness of God
    Oxford University Press. 2018.
    This study considers the hiddenness of God, and the problems it raises for belief and trust in GOd. Talk of divine hiddenness evokes a variety of phenomena--the relative paucity and ambiguity of the available evidence for God's existence, the elusiveness of God's comforting presence when we are afraid and in pain, the palpable and devastating experience of divine absence and abandonment, and more. Many of these phenomena are hard to reconcile with the idea, central to the Jewish and Christian sc…Read more
  •  13
    Philosophical naturalism, according to which philosophy is continuous with the natural sciences, has dominated the Western academy for well over a century; but Michael Rea claims that it is without rational foundation, and that the costs of embracing it are surprisingly high. Rea argues compellingly to the surprising conclusion that naturalists are committed to rejecting realism about material objects, materialism, and perhaps realism about other minds. That is surely a price that naturalists ar…Read more
  •  11
    Philosophical naturalism, according to which philosophy is continuous with the natural sciences, has dominated the Western academy for well over a century; but Michael Rea claims that it is without rational foundation, and that the costs of embracing it are surprisingly high. The first part of World Without Design aims to provide a fair and historically informed characterization of naturalism. Rea then argues compellingly to the surprising conclusion that naturalists are committed to rejecting r…Read more
  •  42
    Representational and Attitudinal Sexual Objectification
    Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 5 (4). 2019.
    “James Tiptree Jr.” is a pseudonym of Alice B. Sheldon, US Air Force intelligence officer, CIA analyst, experimental psychologist, and one of the most important and highly acclaimed science fiction writers of the twentieth century. Sheldon’s work as Tiptree deals with a variety of important feminist concerns—among them, sexism, misogyny, objectification, sexual assault, the “otherness” of women, and silencing. This paper explores in a philosophical mode some of the important insights about objec…Read more
  •  3
    Oksfordskoe rukovodstvo po filosofskoĭ teologii = (edited book)
    with Thomas P. Flint, V. V. Vasilʹev, and M. O. Kedrova
    I︠A︡zyki slavi︠a︡nskoĭ kulʹtury. 2013.
    The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology attempts both to familiarize readers with the directions in which the scholarship of this discipline has gone and to pursue the discussion into hitherto under-examined areas. Philosophical theology is aimed primarily at theoretical understanding of the nature and attributes of God and of God's relationship to the world and its inhabitants. During the twentieth century, much of the philosophical community (both in the Anglo-American analytic tradition…Read more
  •  9
    Essays in Analytic Theology
    Oxford University Press. 2020.
    This two-volume collection brings together Michael C. Rea's most substantial work in analytic theology. The first volume considers the nature of God and our ability to talk and discover truths about God, whereas Volume II focuses on theological questions about humanity and the human condition. The chapters in the first part of Volume I explore issues pertaining to discourse about God and the authority of scripture. Part two focuses on divine attributes, while part three discusses doctrine of the…Read more
  •  648
    Gender as a Self-Conferred Identity
    Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 8 (2). 2022.
    This paper develops and defends the view that gender is an identity that we confer upon ourselves. The claim that gender is a self-conferred identity is not novel; but its metaphysics is obscure at best. What exactly is an identity, and how do we manage to confer identities upon ourselves? Furthermore, how does the claim that gender is a self-conferred identity comport with the widely accepted notion that gender is also a social identity, and that social identities are (at least partly) either…Read more
  •  709
    The Metaphysics of the Narrative Self
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (4): 586-603. 2022.
    This essay develops a theory of identities, selves, and ‘the self’ that both explains the sense in which selves are narratively constituted and also explains how the self relates to a person's individual autobiographical identity and to their various social identities. I argue that identities are the contents of narratively structured representations, some of which are hosted individually and are autobiographical in form, and others of which are hosted collectively and are biographical in form. …Read more
  •  27
    We Have Liftoff..
    with Oliver Crisp, Kevin Diller, and Trent Dougherty
    Journal of Analytic Theology 1. 2013.
    A brief introduction to the first issue of the Journal of Analytic Theology
  •  33
    This book addresses the various ways in which key social identities--for example, race, gender, and disability--intersect with, shape, and are shaped by traditional questions in analytic theology and philosophy of religion. The book both breaks new ground and encourages further analytic-theological work in these important areas of research.
  •  76
    PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION: AN ANTHOLOGY, 7E introduces students to the philosophy of religion through a balanced blend of classic and contemporary articles. Using a topical approach, this engaging textbook begins by outlining traditional concepts of God, then moves into related fields of inquiry such as the problem of evil, feminist perspectives of God, and mystical experiences. In addition, the textbook presents traditional proofs of God's existence, along with counter arguments. PHILOSOPHY OF REL…Read more
  •  443
    The Ill-Made Knight and the Stain on the Soul
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (1): 117-134. 2019.
    One of the main tasks for an account of the Christian doctrine of the atonement is to explain how and in what ways the salvifically relevant work of Christ heals the damage wrought by human sin on our souls, our relationships with one another, and our relationship with God. One kind of damage often neglected in philosophical treatments of the atonement, but discussed at some length in Eleonore Stump’s forthcoming At-one-ment, is what she, following St. Thomas Aquinas, calls the stain on the soul…Read more
  •  9
    The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology (edited book)
    Oxford University Press UK. 2008.
    Philosophical theology is aimed primarily at theoretical understanding of the nature and attributes of God and of God's relationship to the world and its inhabitants. During the twentieth century, much of the philosophical community had grave doubts about our ability to attain any such understanding. In recent years the analytic tradition in particular has moved beyond the biases that placed obstacles in the way of the pursuing questions located on the interface of philosophy and religion. The r…Read more
  •  23
    Over the past several decades, scholars working in biblical, theological, and religious studies have increasingly attended to the substantive ways that our experiences and understanding of God and God's relation to the world are structured by our experiences and concepts of race, gender, disability, and sexuality. These personal and social identities and their intersections serve as a hermeneutical lens for our interpretations of God, self, the other, and our religious texts and traditions. Howe…Read more
  •  637
    In May 2010, philosophers, family and friends gathered at the University of Notre Dame to celebrate the career and retirement of Alvin Plantinga, widely recognized as one of the world's leading figures in metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophy of religion. Plantinga has earned particular respect within the community of Christian philosophers for the pivotal role that he played in the recent renewal and development of philosophy of religion and philosophical theology. Each of the essays in…Read more
  •  1
    What Price Antirealism?
    In Michael C. Rea (ed.), World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, Oxford University Press Uk. 2002.
    Argues that, having been forced to give up realism about material objects, naturalists are committed to accepting constructivism, the view that the modal properties of material objects are mind‐dependent. Also argues that, in accepting constructivism, naturalists must give up materialism. Finally, shows that, once materialism has been given up, standard arguments against mind‐body dualism turn their teeth against realism about other minds.
  • The Discovery Problem
    In Michael C. Rea (ed.), World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, Oxford University Press Uk. 2002.
    Begins the second part of the book, in which the author argues that commitment to the naturalistic research programme precludes one from accepting realism about material objects and materialism. The argument turns on the prospects that naturalists have for solving what the author calls the Discovery Problem. Roughly, the Discovery Problem is just the fact that intrinsic modal properties seem not to be discoverable by the methods of science. Describes this problem in Ch. 4, and argues that if the…Read more
  • Pragmatic Arguments
    In Michael C. Rea (ed.), World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, Oxford University Press Uk. 2002.
    Some philosophers think that the presupposition that there are intrinsic modal properties can be justified on pragmatic grounds; and some also think that, in light of this presupposition, we are justified in thinking that the properties that science takes as definitive of various natural kinds are essential to the things that have them. Argues that this way of explaining how we might be justified in attributing particular intrinsic modal properties to material objects is unsuccessful. Even if it…Read more
  • Pillars of the Tradition
    In Michael C. Rea (ed.), World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, Oxford University Press Uk. 2002.
    Begins the defense of the conclusion that the characterization of naturalism that is most faithful to the tradition, and the one that best explains both the similarities and the differences one finds among contemporary naturalists, is one which takes naturalism to be not a view but a research programme. Provides a brief discussion of the pre‐history of naturalism, together with a more extended discussion of the relevant views of naturalism's two main spokesmen in the twentieth century – John Dew…Read more
  • Supernaturalism
    In Michael C. Rea (ed.), World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, Oxford University Press Uk. 2002.
    Supernaturalism is a research programme wherein one takes at least the methods of the natural sciences and religious experience as basic sources of evidence. Argues that embracing supernaturalism offers our best hope of avoiding the consequences of naturalism described earlier in the book. However, the author also argues that not just any version of supernaturalism will do the job, but only those that give rise to evidence for the conclusion that our world and, in particular, our cognitive facul…Read more
  •  1
    Naturalism Characterized
    In Michael C. Rea (ed.), World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, Oxford University Press Uk. 2002.
    Argues that characterizing naturalism as a view rather than a research programme and inevitably portrays naturalism either as a self‐defeating thesis or as a view commitment to which would be inconsistent with the core dispositions of the tradition. Thus, the fairest and most plausible characterization of naturalism treats it as a research programme – in particular, a research programme wherein one treats the methods of science and those methods alone as basic sources of evidence.
  • Proper Function
    In Michael C. Rea (ed.), World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, Oxford University Press Uk. 2002.
    In an earlier chapter, the author argues that naturalists can justifiably accept realism about material objects only if the methods of science justify belief in intrinsic modal properties. One suggestion as to how they might do this is as follows: beliefs attributing intrinsic modal properties to material objects are justified because their truth provides a good explanation for the existence of proper functions in nature. This examines this suggestion and argues that, except in the case of objec…Read more
  •  105
    Philosophy and Christian theology
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
    Many of the doctrines central to Christianity have important philosophical implications or presuppositions. In this article, we begin with a brief general discussion of the relationship between philosophy and Christian dogma, and then we turn our attention to three of the most philosophically challenging Christian doctrines: the trinity, the incarnation, and the atonement. We take these three as our focus because, unlike (for example) doctrines about providence or the attributes of God, these ar…Read more
  • Introduction
    In Michael C. Rea (ed.), World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, Oxford University Press Uk. 2002.
    Introduces several of the concepts and assumptions that will occupy center stage in the book's main argument. In particular, introduces the notion of a research programme, and provides characterizations of realism about material objects and its rival, constructivism. Also defends the conclusion that it is impossible to adopt a research programme on the basis of evidence. This constitutes the author's argument for the conditional claim that if naturalism is a research programme, its status as ort…Read more
  • Intuitionism
    In Michael C. Rea (ed.), World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, Oxford University Press Uk. 2002.
    Begins the third part of the book, in which the author discusses two important alternatives to naturalism. The alternative that is discussed is intuitionism, a research programme that takes the methods of natural science and rational intuition, but nothing else, as basic sources of evidence. Argues that, unless one has intuitions that support the view that our world is the product of intelligent design, intuitionism is self‐defeating. Also argues that, though there might be empirical reason for …Read more
  •  210
    Four-dimensionalism
    In Michael J. Loux & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), The Oxford handbook of metaphysics, Oxford University Press. pp. 1-59. 2003.
    This article characterizes the varieties of four - dimensionalism and provides a critical overview of the main arguments in support of it.
  •  86
    Material Constitution: A Reader (edited book)
    Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 1997.
    The only anthology available on material constitution, this book collects important recent work on well known puzzles in metaphysics and philosophy of mind. The extensive, clearly written introduction helps to make the essays accessible to a wide audience.
  •  112
    Divine Evil?: The Moral Character of the God of Abraham (edited book)
    Oxford University Press UK. 2010.
    Adherents of the Abrahamic religions have traditionally held that God is morally perfect and unconditionally deserving of devotion, obedience, love, and worship. The Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scriptures tell us that God is compassionate, merciful, and just. As is well-known, however, these same scriptures contain passages that portray God as wrathful, severely punitive, and jealous. Critics furthermore argue that the God of these scriptures commends bigotry, misogyny, and homophobia, condon…Read more