•  17
    Aristotelians and the A/B Theory Debate about Time
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 94 (3): 463-474. 2020.
  •  63
    Skepticism and the principle of sufficient reason
    Philosophical Studies 1-21. forthcoming.
    The Principle of Sufficient Reason must be justified dialectically: by showing the disastrous consequences of denying it. We formulate a version of the Principle that is restricted to basic natural facts, which entails the obtaining of at least one supernatural fact. Denying this principle results in extreme empirical skepticism. We consider six current theories of empirical knowledge, showing that on each account we cannot know that we have empirical knowledge unless we all have a priori knowle…Read more
  •  13
    In a recent book, Substance and the Fundamentality of the Familiar, Ross Inman demonstrates the contemporary relevance of an Aristotelian approach to metaphysics and the philosophy of nature. Inman successfully applies the Aristotelian framework to a number of outstanding problems in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of physics. Inman tackles some intriguing questions about the ontological status of proper parts, questions which constitute a central focus of ongoing debate and …Read more
  •  34
    Truth and the Absence of Fact
    Mind 112 (445): 119-126. 2003.
  •  20
    The paper addresses a problem for the unification of quantum physics with the new Aristotelianism: the identification of the members of the category of substance. I outline briefly the role that substance plays in Aristotelian metaphysics, leading to the postulating of the Tiling Constraint. I then turn to the question of which entities in quantum physics can qualify as Aristotelian substances. I offer an answer: the theory of thermal substances, and I construct a fivefold case for thermal subst…Read more
  •  4
    Springs of Action: Understanding Intentional Behavior (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 46 (4): 861-862. 1993.
    This book is a very good example of a movement in contemporary analytic philosophy propounding "the philosophy of action." This movement begins with work by Donald Davidson in the 1960s and 1970s in which he argues for the intelligibility of the belief-desire model of rational behavior implicit in common sense and in much of social science. Major contributors to the school include William Alston, Robert Audi, and Alvin Goldman. This movement has three essential characteristics: a conservative at…Read more
  •  36
    In De Anima Book III, Aristotle subscribed to a theory of formal identity between the human mind and the extra-mental objects of our understanding. This has been one of the most controversial featu...
  •  5
    Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science (edited book)
    with William M. R. Simpson and Nicholas Teh
    Routledge. 2017.
    The last two decades have seen two significant trends emerging within the philosophy of science: the rapid development and focus on the philosophy of the specialised sciences, and a resurgence of Aristotelian metaphysics, much of which is concerned with the possibility of emergence, as well as the ontological status and indispensability of dispositions and powers in science. Despite these recent trends, few Aristotelian metaphysicians have engaged directly with the philosophy of the specialised …Read more
  • Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Modern Science (edited book)
    with William M. R. Simpson and Nicholas J. Teh
    Routledge. forthcoming.
  •  50
    To understand Aristotle’s conception of form, we have to see clearly the relationship between his account and Plato’s Theory of Forms. I offer a novel interpretation of Aristotle’s Moderate Realism, in which forms are simple particulars that ground the character and mutual similarity of the entities they inform. Such an account has advantages in three areas: explaining (1) the similarity of particulars, (2) the synchronic unity of composite particulars, and (3) the diachronic unity or persistenc…Read more
  •  28
    Book Review (review)
    with Eric Kirby, Niels Hovius, Friedhelm van Blanckenburg, and Roger Buck
    Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 35 606-631. 1994.
  •  18
    Letters to the Editor
    with Jon N. Torgerson, Marcia Yudkin, Nancy P. Daley, and Daniel Bonevac
    Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 62 (4). 1989.
  •  5
    _Metaphysics: The Fundamentals_ presents readers with a systematic, comprehensive introductory overview of modern analytic metaphysics. Presents an accessible, up-to-date and broad-ranging survey of one of the most dynamic and often daunting sub-fields in contemporary philosophy Introduces readers to the seminal works of contemporary and historic philosophers, including Descartes, Leibniz, Russell, David Lewis, Alvin Plantinga, Kit Fine, Peter van Inwagen, John Hawthorne and many others Explores…Read more
  •  25
    Hylomorphic Escalation in advance
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly. forthcoming.
  •  29
    Hylomorphic Escalation
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1): 159-178. 2018.
    Defenders of physicalism often point to the reduction of chemistry to quantum physics as a paradigm for the reduction of the rest of reality to a microphysical foundation. This argument is based, however, on a misreading of the philosophical significance of the quantum revolution. A hylomorphic interpretation of quantum thermodynamics and chemistry, in which parts and wholes stand in a mutually determining relationship, better fits both the empirical facts and the actual practice of scientists. …Read more
  •  31
    Divine persons as relational qua-objects
    Religious Studies 54 (3): 337-357. 2018.
  •  82
    Objects of Intention: A Hylomorphic Critique of the New Natural Law Theory
    with Matthew B. O’Brien
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 86 (4): 655-703. 2012.
    The “New Natural Law” Theory (NNL) of Germain Grisez, John Finnis, Joseph Boyle, and their collaborators offers a distinctive account of intentional action, which underlies a moral theory that aims to justify many aspects of traditional morality and Catholic doctrine. In fact, we show that the NNL is committed to premises that entail the permissibility of many actions that are irreconcilable with traditional morality and Catholic doctrine, such as elective abortions. These consequences follow p…Read more
  •  1002
    I wrote the following essay in early 2006 while still a member of the Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod. On the Vigil of Pentecost in A.D. 2007 (May 25th) I was formally received into the fellowship of the Roman Catholic Church at the parish of St. Louis the King of France in Austin, Texas.
  •  56
    Three-valued (strong-Kleene) modal logic provides the foundation for a new approach to formalizing causal explanation as a relation between partial situations. The approach makes fine-grained distinctions between aspects of events, even between aspects that are equivalent in classical logic. The framework can accommodate a variety of ontologies concerning the relata of causal explanation. I argue, however, for a tripartite ontology of objects corresponding to sentential nominals: facts, tropes (…Read more
  •  322
    Introduction
    In Robert C. Koons & George Bealer (eds.), The Waning of Materialism: New Essays, Oxford University Press. 2010.
    In this introduction, before summarizing the contents of the volume, the authors characterize materialism as it is understood within the philosophy of mind, and they identify three respects in which materialism is on the wane.
  • Epistemological objections to materialism
    In Robert C. Koons & George Bealer (eds.), The Waning of Materialism: New Essays, Oxford University Press. pp. 281--306. 2009.
  • The ancient puzzle of the Liar was shown by Tarski to be a genuine paradox or antinomy. I show, analogously, that certain puzzles of contemporary game theory are genuinely paradoxical, i.e., certain very plausible principles of rationality, which are in fact presupposed by game theorists, are inconsistent as naively formulated. ;I use Godel theory to construct three versions of this new paradox, in which the role of 'true' in the Liar paradox is played, respectively, by 'provable', 'self-evident…Read more
  •  198
    The Waning of Materialism (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2009.
    This is a sustained critique of materialism. The contributors offer arguments from conscious experience, rational thought, the interaction of mind and body, and the unity and persisting identity of human persons, and develop a wide range of alternatives.
  •  107
    A staunch hylomorphism involves a commitment to a sparse theory of universals and a sparse theory of composite material objects, as well as to an ontology of fundamental causal powers. Faint-hearted hylomorphism, in contrast, lacks one or more of these elements. On the staunch version of HM, a substantial form is not merely some structural property of a set of elements—it is rather a power conferred on those elements by that structure, a power that is the cause of the generation and persistence …Read more
  •  25
    Review of Nicholas Rescher, Presumption and the Practices of Tentative Cognition (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (7). 2007.