•  64
    Robust alternatives and responsibility
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 1 (1): 21-29. 2004.
    The Principle of Robust Alternatives states that an agent is responsible for doing something only if he/she could have performed a ‘robust’ alternative: another action having a different moral or practical value. Defenders of PRA maintain that it is not refuted by a ‘Frankfurt case’, given that its agent can be seen as having had such an alternative provided that we properly qualify that for which she is responsible. I argue here against two versions of this defense. First, I show that those who…Read more
  •  71
    Responsibility and Motivation
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 35 (3): 289-299. 1997.
  •  78
    Positions taken in the current debate over free will can be seen as responses to the following conditional: If every action is caused solely by another event and a cause necessitates its effect, then there is no action to which there is an alternative. The Libertarian, who believes that alternatives are a requirement of free will, responds by denying the right conjunct of C’s antecedent, maintaining that some actions are caused, either mediately or immediately, by events whose effects could be d…Read more
  •  35
    Self-Forming Actions: The Genesis of a Free Will
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81 263-278. 2007.
    The following is a now popular argument for free will skepticism:1. If free will exists, then people make themselves.2. People do not make themselves.3. Thus, free will does not exist.It would make no sense to hold someone responsible, either for what he’s like or what he’s done, unless he has made himself. But no one makes himself. A person’s character is imposed upon him by Nature and others. To rebut, I intend to lean on common usage, according to which 2 is false: the vernacular provides a c…Read more
  •  17
    Noel Hendrickson believes that free will is separable from the “evaluative intuitions” with which it has been traditionally associated. But what are these intuitions? Answer: principles such as PAP, Β, and UR (6). The thesis that free will is separable from these principles, however, is hardly unique, as they are also eschewed by compatibilists who are unwilling to abdicate altogether evaluative intuitions. We are told in addition that there are “metaphysical senses” of free will that are not “r…Read more
  •  61
    Re-examining Frankfurt Cases
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (3): 363-376. 1999.
  •  99
    Absolutism vs. Relativism in Contemporary Ontology
    Journal of Philosophical Research 23 343-352. 1998.
    In this paper, I examine Emest Sosa’s defense of Conceptual Relativism: the view that what exists is a function of human thought. My examination reveals that his defense entails an ontology that is indistinguishable from that of the altemative he labels less “sensible,” viz., Absolutism: the view that reality exists independently of our thinking. I conclude by defending Absolutism against Sosa’s objections
  •  16
    The Mereology of Events
    Sorites 16 23-37. 2005.
    I demonstrate here that it is possible for an event to be identical with one of its proper parts, refuting the key premise in Lawrence Lombard's argument for the essentiality of an event's time. I also propose and defend an alternative to his criterion of event identity
  •  347
    Free will and indeterminism: Robert Kane's libertarianism
    Journal of Philosophical Research 30 341-355. 2005.
    Drawing on Aristotle’s notion of “ultimate responsibility,” Robert Kane argues that to be exercising a free will an agent must have taken some character forming decisions for which there were no sufficient conditions or decisive reasons.1 That is, an agent whose will is free not only had the ability to develop other dispositions, but could have exercised that ability without being irrational. To say it again, a person has a free will just in case her character is the product of decisions that sh…Read more
  •  57
    Self-Forming Actions
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81 263-278. 2007.
    The following is a now popular argument for free will skepticism:1. If free will exists, then people make themselves.2. People do not make themselves.3. Thus, free will does not exist.It would make no sense to hold someone responsible, either for what he’s like or what he’s done, unless he has made himself. But no one makes himself. A person’s character is imposed upon him by Nature and others. To rebut, I intend to lean on common usage, according to which 2 is false: the vernacular provides a c…Read more
  •  2
    Absolutism vs. Relativism in Contemporary Ontology
    Journal of Philosophical Research 23 343-352. 1998.
    In this paper, I examine Emest Sosa’s defense of Conceptual Relativism: the view that what exists is a function of human thought. My examination reveals that his defense entails an ontology that is indistinguishable from that of the altemative he labels less “sensible,” viz., Absolutism: the view that reality exists independently of our thinking. I conclude by defending Absolutism against Sosa’s objections.
  •  167
    Identity and Becoming
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (4): 527-548. 2000.
    A material object is constituted by a sum of parts all of which are essential to the sum but some of which seem inessential to the object itself. Such object/sum of parts pairs include my body/its torso and appendages and my desk/its top, drawers, and legs. In these instances, we are dealing with objects and their components. But, fundamentally, we may also speak, as Locke does, of an object and its constitutive matter—a “mass of particles”—or even of that aggregate and the sum of subatomic part…Read more
  •  7
    The problem of evil is an obstacle to justified belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God . According to Saint Augustine’s free will theodicy , moral evil attends free will. Might something like AFWT also be used to account for natural evil? After all, it is possible that calamities such as famines, earthquakes, and floods are the effects of the sinful willing of certain persons, viz., ‘fallen angels.’ Working to destroy our faith, Satan and his cohorts could be responsible for…Read more
  •  4
    Free Agency and Self-Esteem
    Sorites 20 74-79. 2008.
    In this paper I define the role of self-esteem in promoting free agency, in order to meet some objections to the content-neutrality espoused by the reflective acceptance approach to free agency, according to which an agent has acted freely if and only if she would reflectively accept the process by which her motive was formed -- in other words, any volition the agent forms is an impetus to a free action just in case she would positively appraise its genesis. For primary self-esteem to exist it i…Read more