•  66
    Non-Being and the Structure of Privative Forms in Plato’s Sophist
    Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (2): 277-286. 2015.
    In Plato’s Statesman, the Eleatic Stranger explains that the division of all human beings into Greek and barbarian is mistaken in that it fails to divide reality into genuine classes or forms (eidē). The division fails because “barbarian” names a privative form, that is, a form properly indicated via negation: non-Greek. This paper examines how the Stranger characterizes privative forms in the Sophist. I argue that although the Stranger is careful to define privative forms as fully determinat…Read more
  •  63
    Contemplation and Action within the Context of the Kalon: A Reading of the Nicomachean Ethics
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 83 173-182. 2009.
    In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle seems to take it for granted that the contemplative man is morally virtuous. Yet in certain passages he suggests that morally virtuous actions can impede contemplation. In this paper I examine the relationship between contemplation and morally virtuous action in Aristotle’s ethics. I argue that, when understood within the context of the motivating power of the kalon, contemplation and morally virtuous action are related to one another in such a way that one c…Read more
  •  61
    There are only two places in which Plato explicitly offers a critique of the sort of theory of forms presented in the Phaedo and Republic: at the beginning of the Parmenides and in the argument against the Friends of the Forms in the Sophist. An accurate account of the argument against the Friends, therefore, is crucial to a proper understanding of Plato’s metaphysics. How the argument against the Friends ought to be construed and what it aims to accomplish, however, are matters of considerable …Read more
  •  53
    Anselm’s Ontological Argument and Aristotle’s Elegktikōs Apodeixai
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 86 129-140. 2012.
    Saint Anselm’s ontological argument is usually interpreted either (1) as an attempt to deductively prove God’s existence or (2) as a form of prayer, which is not intended to “prove” God’s existence, but rather to deepen the devotion of those who already believe. In this paper I attempt to find a mean between these two interpretations, showing that while Anselm’s argument is not a deductive proof, it is nevertheless a proof of God’s existence. I argue that Anselm’s ontological argument is analogo…Read more
  •  50
    Desire and the Good in Plotinus
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (4): 649-666. 2013.
    Plotinus calls the first principle the One and the Good. According to Plotinus, ‘Good’ is an appropriate name for the One because the One is that which all things desire. Since he says that the One is beyond knowledge, beyond language, beyond intellect, and beyond being, however, what philosophical evidence can he provide for his claim that the One is that which all desire? In this article I offer some philosophical evidence, aside from mystical union with the One, for why ‘the Good’ is an appro…Read more
  •  43
    It Depends on What One Means by “Eternal”: Why Boethius is not an Eternalist
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 84 253-261. 2010.
    Objections to the traditional view that God knows all of time eternally stand or fall on what one means by “eternally.” The widely held supposition, shared by both eternalists and those who oppose them, such as Open Theists, is that to say God knows all of time eternally entails that he cannot know all of time from atemporal perspective. In this paper I show that Boethius’s characterization of God’s eternal knowledge employs a different meaning of “eternal,” which is incompatible with this suppo…Read more
  •  37
    The Euthyphro is generally considered one of Plato’s early dialogues. According to the developmental approach to reading the dialogues, when writing the Euthyphro Plato had not yet developed the sort of elaborate “theory of forms ” that we see presented in the middle dialogues and further refined in the late dialogues. This essay calls the developmental account into question by showing how key elements from the theory of forms that appear in the late dialogues, particularly in the Statesman, are…Read more
  •  28
    Boethius is unique among Christian authors in late antiquity in that his account of deification makes no explicit reference to Christ. Instead, he develops a distinctly Neo-Platonic notion of deification, which he puts in the mouth of Lady Philosophy. According to Lady Philosophy, human beings are made divine through participation in God, who is understood as happiness itself, goodness itself, and unity itself. On the basis of this identification of happiness and God, Lady Philosophy conclude…Read more
  •  24
    The Metaphysics of Duns Scotus and Onto-Theology
    Philosophy Today 53 (Supplement): 158-163. 2009.
    Within the relatively sparse secondary literature that focuses on and interprets medieval philosophy in light of continental philosophy, a number of scholars have attempted to exonerate the metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas from accusations of onto-theology. Attempts at exonerating the metaphysics of Duns Scotus, however, are almost completely lacking. In fact, some have even suggested that Scotus ’ metaphysics represents the commencement of onto-theology. In this paper I strive to establish a start…Read more
  •  22
    Plato: A Guide for the Perplexed (review)
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 83 (4): 630-634. 2009.
    Review of Gerald A. Press, Plato: A Guide for the Perplexed
  •  19
    In their chapter, “In What Sense Does the One Exist? Existence and Hypostasis in Plotinus,” Paul DiRado and Michael Wiitala consider the problem of the One’s existence. Starting with the modern philosophical distinction between the “is” of predication and the “is” of existence, they show that Plotinus does not make such a distinction. The reason for this, they argue, is that Plotinus does not share with modern philosophers a univocal notion of existence. For Plotinus, both the verb “einai” an…Read more
  •  13
    Searching for the 'Why': Plotinus on Being and the One beyond Being
    In Sean D. Kirkland & Eric Sanday (eds.), A Companion to Ancient Philosophy, . pp. 275-286. 2018.
    There is a tendency among contemporary scholars of ancient Greek philosophy to think that Plotinus’ philosophical orientation is significantly different from that of Plato. One such difference is that Plotinus seems to be more interested in systematically presenting and articulating a specific set of philosophical doctrines than Plato was. After all, Plotinus lived and wrote in a context in which there were a number of highly developed philosophical schools—the Stoics, Peripatetics, Gnostics,…Read more