University of Notre Dame
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 1996
Notre Dame, Indiana, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Metaphysics
Philosophy of Religion
  •  3
    We Have Liftoff..
    with Oliver Crisp, Kevin Diller, and Trent Dougherty
    Journal of Analytic Theology 1. 2013.
  •  10
    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.
  • 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
  •  102
    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
  •  1
    The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology (edited book)
    with Thomas P. Flint
    Oxford University Press UK. 2009.
    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
  •  1
    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
  •  368
    Reason, Metaphysics, and Mind: New Essays on the Philosophy of Alvin Plantinga (edited book)
    with Kelly James Clark
    Oup Usa. 2012.
    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
  •  53
    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
  •  158
    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.
  •  16
    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.
  •  83
    Divine Evil?: The Moral Character of the God of Abraham (edited book)
    with Michael Bergmann and Michael J. Murray
    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
  •  16
    Personal Identity and Psychological Continuity
    with David Silver
    Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 61 (1): 185-193. 2000.
    In a recent article, Trenton Mericks argues that psychological continuity analyses of personal identity over time are incompatible with endurantism. We contend that if Merricks's argument is valid, a parallel argument establishes that PC-analyses of personal identity are incompatible with perdurantism; hence, the correct conclusion to draw is simply that such analyses are all necessarily false. However, we also show that there is good reason to doubt that Merricks's argument is valid.
  •  6
    In Defense of Mereological Universalism
    Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 58 (2): 347-360. 1998.
    This paper defends Mereological Universalism(the thesis that, for any set S of disjoint objects, there is an object that the members of S compose. Universalism is unpalatable to many philosophers because it entails that if there are such things as my left tennis shoe, W. V. Quine, and the Taj Mahal, then there is another object that those three things compose. This paper presents and criticizes Peter van Inwagen's argument against Universalism and then presents a new argument in favor of Univers…Read more
  •  11
    Temporal Parts Unmotivated
    Philosophical Review 107 (2): 225-260. 1998.
    In debate about the nature of persistence over time, the view that material objects endure has played the role of “champion” and the view that they perdure has played the role of “challenger.” As in other contests, the champion’s job is merely to defend her title, whereas the challenger’s job is to prove herself worthy. I have no view about how these roles came to be assigned; but the historical fact is that perdurantists have traditionally borne the proverbial burden of proof in this debate. It…Read more
  •  322
    10. Understanding the Trinity
    with Jeffrey E. Brower
    Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 8 (1): 145-157. 2005.
    The doctrine of the Trinity poses a deep and difficult problem. On the one hand, it says that there are three distinct Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and that each of these Persons “is God”. On the other hand, it says that there is one and only one God. So it appears to involve a contradiction. It seems to say that there is exactly one divine being, and also that there is more than one. How are we to make sense of this?
  •  8
    Lynne Baker on Material Constitution
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3): 607-614. 2002.
    In Persons and Bodies, Lynne Baker defends what she calls the “Constitution View” of human persons, according to which human persons are constituted by their bodies, and constitution is an asymmetric, nontransitive relation that is somehow “intermediate between identity and separate existence”. Thesis, or something like it, is precisely what we would expect from someone who believes that persons and bodies both are material objects. But thesis is distinctive. Materialists who treat constitution …Read more
  •  8
    McGrath on Universalism
    Analysis 59 (3): 200-203. 1999.
  • The Metaphysics of Material Constitution
    Dissertation, University of Notre Dame. 1996.
    Over the past three decades there has been a great deal of philosophical interest in puzzles about composition and identity over time. Familiar examples include the "Ship of Theseus" puzzle, the "Paradox of Increase", and the "Body-minus" puzzle. The metaphysical importance of these puzzles is hard to overemphasize; their solutions have ramifications for our views about personal identity, de re modality, the mind-body problem, and a host of other ontological issues. Surprisingly, however, no one…Read more
  •  201
    Naturalism and ontology: A reply to Dale Jacquette
    Faith and Philosophy 22 (3): 343-357. 2005.
    In World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, I argued that there is an important sense in which naturalism’s current status as methodological orthodoxy is without rational foundation, and I argued that naturalists must give up two views that many of them are inclined to hold dear—realism about material objects and materialism. In a review recently published in Faith and Philosophy, Dale Jacquette alleges that my arguments in World Without Design are directed mainly agains…Read more
  •  574
    Naturalism and Moral Realism
    In Thomas Crisp, David VanderLaan & Matthew Davidson (eds.), Knowledge and Reality: Essays in Honor of Alvin Plantinga (Philosophical Studies Series), Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 215-242. 2006.
    My goal in this paper is to show that naturalists cannot reasonably endorse moral realism. My argument will come in two parts. The first part aims to show that any plausible and naturalistically acceptable argument in favor of belief in objective moral properties will appeal in part to simplicity considerations (broadly construed)—and this regardless of whether moral properties are reducible to non-moral properties. The second part argues for the conclusion that appeals to simplicity justify be…Read more
  •  8
    The essay is divided into three parts. In the first part, I try to get clear about what we might mean in calling a text authoritative. In the second part, I draw distinctions between different things that we might mean by saying that a text is truthful. My goal in both of these parts is to arrive at some general conclusions about texts, rather than specific conclusions about the Bible. Consequently, I try to refrain from making assumptions about (e.g.) biblical interpretation or about the truth …Read more
  •  182
    Hylomorphism reconditioned
    Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1): 341-358. 2011.
    My goal in this paper is to provide characterizations of matter, form and constituency in a way that avoids what I take to be the three main drawbacks of other hylomorphic theories: (i) commitment to the universal-particular distinction; (ii) commitment to a primitive or problematic notion of inherence or constituency; (iii) inability to identify viable candidates for matter and form in nature, or to characterize them in terms of primitives widely regarded to be intelligible
  •  197
    Time Travelers Are Not Free
    Journal of Philosophy 112 (5): 266-279. 2015.
    In this paper I defend two conclusions: that time travel journeys to the past are not undertaken freely and, more generally, that nobody is free between the earliest arrival time and the latest departure time of a time travel journey to the past. Time travel to the past destroys freedom on a global scale.
  •  38
    Hyperspace and the Best World Problem: A Reply to Hud Hudson (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (2). 2008.
    According to Hudson, belief in hyperspace can provide the resources for buttressing one of two traditional responses to what might be called the Best World Problem. Moreoever, if he is right, it turns out that an unadvertised side-benefit is that belief in hyperspace provides an answer to an argument for atheism that arises in connection with the Best World Problem and that has received a great deal of recent attention. In this paper, however, I shall argue that belief in hyperspace in fact prov…Read more
  •  231
    In this paper, I present an Aristotelian solution to the problem of material constitution. The problem of material constitution arises whenever it appears that an object a and an object b share all of the same parts and yet are essentially related to their parts in different ways. (A familiar example: A lump of bronze constitutes a statue of Athena. The lump and the statue share all of the same parts, but it appears that the lump can, whereas the statue cannot, survive radical rearrangements of …Read more
  •  19
    Thomas McCall, Which Trinity? Whose Monotheism? Philosophical and Systematic Theologians on the Metaphysics of the Trinity (review)
    International Journal of Systematic Theology 15 (2): 221-224. 2013.
    In recent years, systematic theologians, historians of theology and philosophers of religion have devoted a great deal of attention to philosophical and theological issues arising in connection with the doctrine of the Trinity. Owing in large part to the heavily philosophical nature of the issues under discussion, both in the contemporary literature and in the relevant historical texts, the topic is fertile ground for serious interdisciplinary conversation.
  •  178
    Presentism and fatalism
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4). 2006.
    It is widely believed that presentism is compatible with both a libertarian view of human freedom and an unrestricted principle of bivalence. I argue that, in fact, presentists must choose between bivalence and libertarianism: if presentism is true, then either the future is open or no one is free in the way that libertarians understand freedom.
  •  27
    Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology (6th Edition) (edited book)
    with Louis P. Pojman
    Wadsworth. 2010.
    The most comprehensive text in its field, this anthology includes 74 articles in 9 areas of philosophy of religion: The Concept of God; Traditional Arguments for the Existence of God; Religious Experience; The Problem of Evil; Miracles, Death and Immortality; Faith and Reason; Science, Religion, and Evolution; and Religious Pluralism. The arrangement of the articles and the introductions which accompany them help students place the readings in their historical or contemporary context, and to ens…Read more