•  39
    Sharing space: The synchronic identity of social groups
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (2): 131-148. 2006.
    Taking ontological realism about social groups as the thesis that groups are composite material objects constituted by their members, this paper considers a challenge to the very possibility that groups be regarded as material entities. Ordinarily we believe that two groups can have synchronic co-extensive memberships—for example, the choir and the rugby team—while preserving their distinctive identity conditions. We also doubt that two objects of the same kind can be in the same place at the sa…Read more
  •  44
    Social Groups, Explanation and Ontological Holism
    Philosophical Papers 32 (2): 193-224. 2003.
    Abstract Ontological holism is the thesis that social groups are best understood as composite material particulars. At a high level of taxonomic classification groups such as mobs, tribes and nations are the same kind of thing as organisms and artefacts. This holism is opposed by ontological individualism, which maintains that in our formal and folk social scientific discourse we only really refer to individuals and the relations in which they stand. The paper begins from the claim that ontologi…Read more
  •  6
    Interview with Stuart Hampshire
    Philosophy Now 28 7-9. 2000.
  •  136
    Theism and modal realism
    Religious Studies 42 (3): 315-328. 2006.
    This paper examines the relationship between the classical theistic conception of God and modal realism. I suggest that realism about possible worlds has unwelcome consequences for that conception. First, that modal realism entails the necessity of divine existence eludes explanation in a way congenial to a commitment to both modal realism and classical theism. Second, divine knowledge is dependent on worlds independent of the creative role and action of God, thereby suggesting a limitation on t…Read more
  •  31
    Paul Sheehy will endorse a holist or realist thesis about groups: interrelational holism.
  •  226
    Reply to Cameron
    Religious Studies 45 (1): 101-104. 2009.
    Ross Cameron has argued that the modal realism of David Lewis furnishes the theist with the resources to explain divine necessity. Cameron is successful in identifying two theistic strategies, but neither is attractive in light of a commitment to modal realism. The first theistic strategy is to treat God as an abstract entity in the same way that the modal realist treats pure sets. This is undermotivated in light of the nominalistic spirit of modal realism. The second strategy is to regard God a…Read more
  •  35
    Holding them responsible
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 30 (1). 2006.
    [Opening paragraph:] Ontological realism or holism about social groups is the thesis that groups are composite material particulars. Social groups are entities over which we quantify in the set of our best descriptions and explanations of the social world. The realist explains that a group considered in its own right can be causally responsible for the production of events or states of affairs. We do more than just describe and furnish explanations of the phenomena of the social world. In our or…Read more