•  29
    Troubles with Theoretical Virtues: Resisting Theoretical Utility Arguments in Metaphysics
    with OtÁvio Bueno
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. forthcoming.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
  •  2
    The Routledge Handbook of Modality (edited book)
    with Otávio Bueno
    Routledge. 2018.
  •  12
    In this contribution, I defend two claims. First, theological problems do not arise, because there are insufficient grounds for thinking that there are abstract objects. Second, theological problems do not arise because even if abstract objects do exist as platonists think they do, they pose no problem for God’s sovereignty or aseity. The argument for the second has two components. First, there are limits and then there are limits. The so-called limits platonism would place upon God are merely n…Read more
  •  31
    The No-Category Ontology
    with O. Bueno and J. Busch
    The Monist 98 (3): 233-245. 2015.
    In this paper we argue that there are no categories of being⎯at least not in the robust metaphysical sense of something fundamental. Central arguments that metaphysicians provide in support of fundamental categories, such as indispensability and theoretical utility arguments, are not adequate to guarantee their existence. We illustrate this point by examining Jonathan Lowe’s [2006] four-category ontology, and indicating its shortcomings. In contrast, we offer an alternative, no-category ontology…Read more
  •  158
    Modalism and theoretical virtues: toward an epistemology of modality
    Philosophical Studies 172 (3): 671-689. 2015.
    According to modalism, modality is primitive. In this paper, we examine the implications of this view for modal epistemology, and articulate a modalist account of modal knowledge. First, we discuss a theoretical utility argument used by David Lewis in support of his claim that there is a plurality of concrete worlds. We reject this argument, and show how to dispense with possible worlds altogether. We proceed to account for modal knowledge in modalist terms.
  • LOWE, EJ-The Possibility of Metaphysics
    Philosophical Books 41 (4): 275-277. 2000.
  •  322
    A plea for a modal realist epistemology
    Acta Analytica 24 (24): 175--194. 2000.
    In this paper we examine Lewis's attempts to provide an epistemology of modality and we argue that he fails to provide an account that properly weds his metaphysics with an epistemology that explains the knowledge of modality that both he and his critics grant. We argue that neither the appeals to acceptable paraphrases of ordinary modal discourse nor parallels with Platonistic theories of mathematics suffice. We conclude that no proper epistemology for modal realism has been provided and that o…Read more
  •  1299
    Modalism and Logical Pluralism
    Mind 118 (470): 295-321. 2009.
    Logical pluralism is the view according to which there is more than one relation of logical consequence, even within a given language. A recent articulation of this view has been developed in terms of quantification over different cases: classical logic emerges from consistent and complete cases; constructive logic from consistent and incomplete cases, and paraconsistent logic from inconsistent and complete cases. We argue that this formulation causes pluralism to collapse into either logical ni…Read more
  •  1386
    Modal realism and modal epistemology: A huge gap
    In Erik Weber Tim De Mey (ed.), Modal Epistemology, Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie Van Belgie Vor Wetenschappen En Kunsten. pp. 93--106. 2004.
  •  40
    Ontology, Modality, and the Fallacy of Reference
    with Michael Jubien
    Philosophical Review 104 (4): 630. 1995.
    This study in fundamental ontology calls for rethinking some pedestrian assumptions about what there is and provides the motivation for a new theory of reference. It contains clear, crisp discussions of mereology, identity, reference, and necessity and should be valuable to metaphysicians and philosophers of language.
  •  166
    Supervenience and causal necessity
    Synthese 90 (1): 55-87. 1992.
    Causal necessity typically receives only oblique attention. Causal relations, laws of nature, counterfactual conditionals, or dispositions are usually the immediate subject(s) of interest. All of these, however, have a common feature. In some way, they involve the causal modality, some form of natural or physical necessity. In this paper, causal necessity is discussed with the purpose of determining whether a completely general empiricist theory can account for the causal in terms of the noncaus…Read more
  •  1
    The Metaphysics of Modality: A Study in the Foundations of Necessity
    Dissertation, University of Michigan. 1984.
    In the past three decades there has been a rapid development of the formal machinery for modal logic. Quantified modal logic has developed along with a semantics and model theory that is appropriate to it. With this technical development there has been relatively little discussion of what modality is all about. There are two fundamental questions that have gone unanswered. First, to what does necessity amount? Is this a new logical notion, or is it something that can be further analyzed in terms…Read more
  •  128
    The ontological ground of the alethic modality
    Philosophical Review 103 (4): 669-688. 1994.
    This paper is concerned with the wholly metaphysical question of whether necessity and possibility rest on nonmodal foundations—whether the truth conditions for modal statements are, in the final analysis, nonmodal. It is argued that Lewis’s modal realism is either arbitrary and stipulative or else it is circular. Even if there were Lewisean possible worlds, they could not provide the grounds for modality. D. M. Armstrong’s combinatorial approach to possibility suffers from similar defects. Sinc…Read more
  • Richard Swinburne, "Revelation" (review)
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 2 (1): 171. 1994.
  •  68
    Theoretical virtues and theological construction
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 41 (2): 71-89. 1997.
  •  21
    Necessity, Worlds, and God
    In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), God, Truth, and Other Enigmas, De Gruyter. pp. 217-240. 2015.
  •  37
    Semantic Realism
    Review of Metaphysics 48 (3). 1995.
    MICHAEL DEVITT HAS ARGUED that Michael Dummett unsuccessfully attacks realism because Dummett does not address the traditional, and perhaps more interesting, doctrines that have been called by the name "realism." Dummett will balk at the charge that his writings on realism, truth, and the theory of meaning do not bear on the traditional metaphysical issues of realism. Indeed, he thinks that his most singular philosophical achievement has been showing that different realisms have a common charact…Read more
  •  37
    Atheistic Teleology
    Croatian Journal of Philosophy 1 (1): 5-19. 2001.
    Wesley Salmon and Michael Martin argue that scientific considerations about the order in the universe justify atheism. After sketching Salmon’s argument, I examine the nature of begging the question and argue that Martin takes a sufficient condition of that fallacy to be a necessary condition. After a pragmatic account to the fallacy is recommended, I point out how Salmon’s and Martin’s beg the question against all save those who already adhere to atheism and that the crucial considerations that…Read more
  •  12
    Essence and Being: Scott A. Shalkowski
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62 49-63. 2008.
    In ‘Two Notions of Being: Entity and Essence’ E. J. Lowe defends “serious essentialism”. Serious essentialism is the position that everything has an essence, essences are not themselves things, and essences are the ground for metaphysical necessity and possibility. Lowe's defence of serious essentialism is both metaphysical and epistemological. In what follows I use Lowe's discussion as a point of departure for, first, adding some considerations for the plausibility of essentialism and, second, …Read more
  •  24
    Conventions, Cognitivism, and Necessity
    American Philosophical Quarterly 33 (4). 1996.
  •  25
    Modal Integration
    Philosophia Scientiae 16 (2): 85-98. 2012.
    Chris Daly défend « l'explicationisme », la position selon laquelle l'inférence a la meilleure explication constitue une façon acceptable de justifier une théorie. Il la défend en tentant de justifier la position explicationiste par ses propres ressources, c'est-a-dire par elle-même. Je soutiens que dans le contexte de la métaphysique, cette défense échoue. L'explicationiste échoue à se justifier par ses propres ressources et l'une de ses premisses centrales ne peut pas être justifiée uniquement…Read more
  •  62
  •  135
    Atheological Apologetics
    American Philosophical Quarterly 26 (1). 1989.
  •  108
    Logic and Absolute Necessity
    Journal of Philosophy 101 (2): 55-82. 2004.