•  1058
    The Possibility of Physicalism
    Journal of Philosophy 111 (9-10): 557-592. 2014.
    It has been suggested that many philosophical theses—physicalism, normative naturalism, phenomenalism, and so on—should be understood in terms of ground. Against this, Ted Sider (2011) has argued that ground is ill-suited for this purpose. Here I develop Sider’s objection and offer a response. In doing so I develop a view about the role of ground in philosophy, and about the content of these distinctively philosophical theses.
  •  481
    Individuals: an essay in revisionary metaphysics
    Philosophical Studies 145 (1): 35-67. 2009.
    We naturally think of the material world as being populated by a large number of individuals . These are things, such as my laptop and the particles that compose it, that we describe as being propertied and related in various ways when we describe the material world around us. In this paper I argue that, fundamentally speaking at least, there are no such things as material individuals. I then propose and defend an individual-less view of the material world I call “generalism”.
  •  403
    Metaphysical Rationalism
    Noûs 50 (2): 379-418. 2016.
    The Principle of Sufficient Reason states that everything has an explanation. But different notions of explanation yield different versions of this principle. Here a version is formulated in terms of the notion of a “grounding” explanation. Its consequences are then explored, with particular emphasis on the fact that it implies necessitarianism, the view that every truth is necessarily true. Finally, the principle is defended from a number of objections, including objections to necessitarianism.…Read more
  •  382
    Realism and the Absence of Value
    Philosophical Review 127 (3): 279-322. 2018.
  •  271
    On the Plurality of Grounds
    Philosophers' Imprint 14. 2014.
    This paper argues that ground is irreducibly plural: a group of facts can be grounded together, as a collective, even though no member of the group has a ground on its own. This kind of plural grounding is applied to the metaphysics of individuals and quantities, yielding a “structuralist” view in each case. Some more general implications of plural grounding are also discussed
  •  232
    Essentialism and the Nonidentity Problem
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (3): 540-570. 2018.
  •  184
    Constitutive Explanation
    Philosophical Issues 27 (1): 74-97. 2017.
  •  169
    Symmetry as an Epistemic Notion
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3): 837-878. 2016.
    Symmetries in physics are a guide to reality. That much is well known. But what is less well known is why symmetry is a guide to reality. What justifies inferences that draw conclusions about reality from premises about symmetries? I argue that answering this question reveals that symmetry is an epistemic notion twice over. First, these inferences must proceed via epistemic lemmas: premises about symmetries in the first instance justify epistemic lemmas about our powers of detection, and only fr…Read more
  •  163
    Privilege in the Construction Industry
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (2): 489-496. 2019.
  •  154
    The bare necessities
    Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1): 115-160. 2011.
  •  143
    Absolutism vs Comparativism About Quantity
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 8 105-150. 2013.
  •  128
    Substantivalism vs Relationalism About Space in Classical Physics
    Philosophy Compass 10 (9): 601-624. 2015.
    Substantivalism is the view that space exists in addition to any material bodies situated within it. Relationalism is the opposing view that there is no such thing as space; there are just material bodies, spatially related to one another. This paper assesses this issue in the context of classical physics. It starts by describing the bucket argument for substantivalism. It then turns to anti-substantivalist arguments, including Leibniz's classic arguments and their contemporary reincarnation und…Read more
  •  123
    XV—Normative Non-Naturalism and the Problem of Authority
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (3): 297-319. 2017.
  •  120
    Inexpressible Ignorance
    Philosophical Review 124 (4): 441-480. 2015.
    Sometimes, ignorance is inexpressible. Lewis recognized this when he argued, in “Ramseyan Humility,” that we cannot know which property occupies which causal role. This peculiar state of ignorance arises in a number of other domains too, including ignorance about our position in space and the identities of individuals. In these cases, one does not know something, and yet one cannot give voice to one's ignorance in a certain way. But what does the ignorance in these cases consist in? This essay a…Read more
  •  4
    Current Controversies in Philosophy of Science (edited book)
    Routledge. 2016.
    _Current Controversies in Philosophy of Science_ asks twelve philosophers to debate six questions that are driving contemporary work in this area of philosophy. But each question also leads readers back to more general issues and shows how these general issues play out in contemporary debates. The result is a book that’s perfect for the advanced student, building up her knowledge of the foundations of the field while also engaging with its cutting-edge questions. Preliminary descriptions of each…Read more