Virginia Union University
  •  246
    Gaunilo assumes that there is no greatest conceivable island, and most philosophers have followed him in this assumption. But the option was open for Anselm (and remains open for us) to bite the bullet and ‘give him his island.’ I argue that such a response is perfectly reasonable for a Platonist like Anselm, and that even a theist who isn’t a Platonist can tolerate the island as a fairly minor addition his or her ontology.
  •  193
    Why the Comparative Utility Argument Is a Red Herring
    Journal of Social Philosophy 48 (4): 499-506. 2017.
    The comparative utility argument holds that the descendants of African slaves in America are not owed any compensation because they have not been harmed by slavery. Rather, slavery in America was beneficial to the descendants of slaves because they are now able to live in a country that is considerably richer today than any of the African countries from which slaves were taken. In this paper, I show that the comparative utility argument is a red herring with no bearing whatsoever on the que…Read more
  •  156
    Moore's "New" Open Question Argument
    Res Philosophica 91 (4): 681-693. 2014.
    For more than 100 years, metaethicists have overlooked the best version of G. E. Moore’s Open Question argument. This despite the fact that it appears on the same page of Principia Ethica as his other, weaker versions of the argument. This better Open Question Argument does not rely on introspection of the meanings of ethical terms, and so does not fall to the standard criticisms of Moore. In this paper, I present this ‘new’ Open Question Argument and show that Moore has done to naturalistic …Read more
  •  128
    Two-Dimensional Semantics
    Philosophical Review 117 (4): 637-639. 2008.
  •  79
    When David Lewis ( 1986 ) told us that possible worlds were a ‘paradise for philosophers’, he neglected to add that they are a minefield for decision theorists. Possibilities — be they nomological, metaphysical, or epistemic possibilities — have little to do with subjective probabilities, and it is these latter that matter most to decision theory. Bernard Katz and Doris Olin ( 2007 ) have tried to solve the two-envelope problem by appealing to possible worlds and counterfactual conditionals. In …Read more
  •  16
    Ever since Hempel and Oppenheim's development of the Deductive Nomological model of scientific explanation in 1948, a great deal of philosophical energy has been dedicated to constructing a viable model of explanation that concurs both with our intuitions and with the general project of science. Here I critically examine the developments in this field of study over the last half century, and conclude that Humphreys' aleatory model is superior to its competitors. There are, however, some problems…Read more
  •  13
    The Epoch of Incredulity
    Mind 119 (473): 159-169. 2010.
    When David Lewis (1986) told us that possible worlds were a ‘paradise for philosophers,’ he neglected to add that they are a minefield for decision theorists. Possibilities—be they nomological, metaphysical, or epistemic possibilities—have little to do with subjective probabilities, and it is these latter that matter most to decision theory. Bernard Katz and Doris Olin (2007) have tried to solve the two-envelope problem by appealing to possible worlds and counterfactual conditionals. In this …Read more
  •  1
    Manuel García-Carpintero and Josep Macia, eds., Two-Dimensional Semantics (review)
    Philosophical Review 117 (4): 637-639. 2008.
  •  1
    "Weeping Angels and Many Worlds"
    In Courtland Lewis Paula Smithka (ed.), More Doctor Who and Philosophy, Open Court Press. pp. 69-76. 2015.
    The Doctor, like many time-travelers, often finds himself in the midst of a causal loop. Events in the future cause events in the past, which in turn cause the future events. There is a worry that a person in this situation could never have true libertarian freedom: facts about the past entail their future actions, so they couldn't do otherwise than they in fact do. In this paper, I argue that there are logically coherent (though perhaps unlikely!) ways of understanding the relationship betwee…Read more
  • Proceedings of the IWCS 2019 Workshop on Computing Semantics with Types, Frames and Related Structures (edited book)
    with Rainer Osswald and Christian Retoré
    Association for Computational Linguistics. 2019.