•  29
    High‐Fidelity Metaphysics: Ideological Parsimony in Theory Choice
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. forthcoming.
    Many metaphysicians utilize the virtue‐driven methodology. According to this methodology, one theory is more worthy of endorsement than another insofar as it is more virtuous. In this paper, I show how a theory's overall virtue is shaped by its ideological parsimony – parsimony with respect to the terminology employed in stating the theory. I distinguish between a theory's truth and its fidelity (‘joint‐carvingness’) and the corresponding epistemic and fidelic virtues. I argue that ideological p…Read more
  •  178
    Confabulation is typically understood to be dysfunctional. But this understanding neglects the phenomenon's potential benefits. In fact, we think that the benefits of non-clinical confabulation provide a better foundation for a general account of confabulation. In this paper, we start from these benefits to develop a social teleological account of confabulation. Central to our account is the idea that confabulation manifests a kind of willful ignorance. By understanding confabulation in this way…Read more
  •  127
    The Explosion of Being: Ideological Kinds in Theory Choice
    Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276): 486-510. 2019.
    In this paper, I develop a novel account of ideological kinds. I first present some conceptual territory regarding the use of Occam’s Razor in minimizing ontological commitments. I then present the analogous device for minimizing ideological commitments, what I call the Comb. I argue that metaphysicians ought to use both or none at all. This means that those who endorse a principle of ontological parsimony ought to also endorse some principle of ideological parsimony, where we ought to prefer th…Read more
  •  182
    Ideology and its role in metaphysics
    Synthese 198 (2): 957-983. 2019.
    Metaphysicians now typically distinguish between a theory’s ontology and its ideology. But besides a few cursory efforts, no one has explained the role of ideology in theory choice. In this paper I develop a framework for discussing how differing approaches to ideology impact metaphysical disputes. I first provide an initial characterization of ideology and develop two contrasting types of criteria used to evaluate its quality. In using externalist criteria, we judge the quality of a theory’s id…Read more
  •  72
    Yet Another “Epicurean” Argument
    Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1): 135-159. 2016.
    In this paper, we develop a novel version of the so-called Lucretian symmetry argument against the badness of death. Our argument has two features that make it particularly effective. First, it focuses on the preferences of rational agents. We believe the focus on preferences eliminates needless complications and emphasizes the urgency to respond to the argument. Second, our argument utilizes a principle that states that a rational agent's preferences should not vary in arbitrary ways. We argue …Read more
  •  168
    The intelligibility of metaphysical structure
    Philosophical Studies 176 (3): 581-606. 2019.
    Theories that posit metaphysical structure are able to do much work in philosophy. Some, however, find the notion of ‘metaphysical structure’ unintelligible. In this paper, I argue that their charge of unintelligibility fails. There is nothing distinctively problematic about the notion. At best, their charge of unintelligibility is a mere reiteration of previous complaints made toward similar notions. In developing their charge, I clarify several important concepts, including primitiveness, inte…Read more