•  236
    A Cardinal Worry for Permissive Metaontology
    Metaphysica 16 (2): 159-166. 2015.
    Permissivist metaontology proposes answering customary existence questions in the affirmative. Many of the existence questions addressed by ontologists concern the existence of theoretical entities which admit precise formal specification. This causes trouble for the permissivist, since individually consistent formal theories can make pairwise inconsistent demands on the cardinality of the universe. We deploy a result of Gabriel Uzquiano’s to show that this possibility is realised in the case of…Read more
  •  159
    Realism and Theism : A Match Made in Heaven?
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion. forthcoming.
    There is no interesting entailment either way between theism and various forms of realism. Taking its cue from Dummett's characterisation of realism and his discussion of it with respect to theistic belief, this paper argues both that theism does not follow from realism, and that God cannot be appealed to in order to secure bivalence for an otherwise indeterminate subject matter. In both cases, significant appeal is made to the position that God is not a language user, which in turn is motivated…Read more
  •  142
    Elucidating the Eucharist
    International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 80 (3): 272-286. 2019.
    ABSTRACTThe doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist presents a particular challenge to its defenders: how is it so much as intelligible? This paper explores Dummett’s response to this question, centred on the notion of deeming. Whilst instructive, Dummett’s position is unsustainable as it stands, since it fails to secure the meaningfulness of the doctrine. Once deeming is brought together with an account of bodiliness and an appreciation of the nature of the Eucharist as a meal,…Read more
  •  142
    When Do Some Things Form a Set?
    Philosophia Mathematica 23 (3): 311-337. 2015.
    This paper raises the question under what circumstances a plurality forms a set, parallel to the Special Composition Question for mereology. The range of answers that have been proposed in the literature are surveyed and criticised. I argue that there is good reason to reject both the view that pluralities never form sets and the view that pluralities always form sets. Instead, we need to affirm restricted set formation. Casting doubt on the availability of any informative principle which will s…Read more
  •  137
    It is often assumed that pluralities are rigid, in the sense of having all and only their actual members necessarily. This assumption is operative in standard approaches to modal plural logic. I argue that a sceptical approach towards the assumption is warranted.
  •  76
    A Note on Gabriel Uzquiano’s “Varieties of Indefinite Extensibility”
    Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 59 (3): 455-459
    It is argued that Gabriel Uzquiano's approach to set-theoretic indefinite extensibility is a version of in rebus structuralism, and therefore suffers from a vacuity problem.
  •  73
    Modalising Plurals
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (5): 853-875. 2012.
    There has been very little discussion of the appropriate principles to govern a modal logic of plurals. What debate there has been has accepted a principle I call (Necinc); informally if this is one of those then, necessarily: this is one of those. On this basis Williamson has criticised the Boolosian plural interpretation of monadic second-order logic. I argue against (Necinc), noting that it isn't a theorem of any logic resulting from adding modal axioms to the plural logic PFO+, and showing t…Read more
  •  66
    The Logic of Finite Order
    Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 53 (3): 297-318. 2012.
    This paper develops a formal system, consisting of a language and semantics, called serial logic ( SL ). In rough outline, SL permits quantification over, and reference to, some finite number of things in an order , in an ordinary everyday sense of the word “order,” and superplural quantification over things thus ordered. Before we discuss SL itself, some mention should be made of an issue in philosophical logic which provides the background to the development of SL , and with respect to which I…Read more
  •  53
    Theism and Realism: A Match Made in Heaven?
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (4): 27. 2018.
    There is no interesting entailment either way between theism and various forms of realism. Taking its cue from Dummett’s characterisation of realism and his discussion of it with respect to theistic belief, this paper argues both that theism does not follow from realism, and that God cannot be appealed to in order to secure bivalence for an otherwise indeterminate subject matter. In both cases, significant appeal is made to the position that God is not a language user, which in turn is motivated…Read more
  •  43
    If an ontologist could speak we couldn’t understand him
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (4): 444-460. 2018.
    It is common for contemporary ontologists to claim that they are not concerned with what exists simpliciter, but rather with what exists ’fundamentally’, or what ’really’ exists. I argue that positions of this sort cannot satisfy reasonable constraints concerning the acquisition of language. I assess and dismiss possible responses to this complaint before commenting on the prospects for a metaphysics without bespoke existence claims.
  •  40
    God is not a person
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 85 (3): 281-296. 2019.
    This paper transforms a development of an argument against pantheism into an objection to the usual account of God within contemporary analytic philosophy. A standard criticism of pantheism has it that pantheists cannot offer a satisfactory account of God as personal. My paper will develop this criticism along two lines: first, that personhood requires contentful mental states, which in turn necessitate the membership of a linguistic community, and second that personhood requires limitation with…Read more
  •  34
    Rosy with Sider? The Case of the Metaphysical Liar
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (5): 787-801. 2018.
    An important trend in contemporary metaphysics denies that the structure of natural language is an important datum for investigating fundamental structure. Ted Sider proceeds on this basis to propose a metaphysical semantics for natural language. Within this framework he argues that natural language and a fundamental, ‘jointcarving’, language could be subject to distinct logics. Developing an argument of Hartry Field’s, I show that Sider’s preferred option of fundamental classicality combined wi…Read more
  •  23
    Not Crying “Peace” The Theological Politics of Herbert McCabe
    New Blackfriars 99 (1084): 740-755. 2018.
    Herbert McCabe was, by widespread acclaim, one of the greatest Catholic thinkers in the English speaking world during the final quarter of the last century. He was also deeply committed to radical left‐wing politics. What is the relationship between these two facts? I lay out what I take to be the key themes in McCabe's politics before arguing that, in contrast to significant strands in present day political theology, he had a keen sense of the respective roles of faith and reason in guiding pol…Read more
  •  18
  •  18
    A version of Frege's theorem can be proved in a plural logic with pair abstraction. We talk through this and discuss the philosophical implications of the result.
  •  11
    Philosophy and living religion: an introduction
    with Anastasia Philippa Scrutton
    International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 79 (4): 349-354. 2018.
  •  8
    Disowning the Mystery : Stump's Non-Apophatic Aquinas
    Medieval Mystical Theology 1 3-14. 2020.
    On the face of it Aquinas stands in the mainstream of Western mystical theology, and in particular is a noteworthy proponent of negative theology. This view, however, is challenged within anglophone philosophical theology. The clearest attack on the view that Aquinas is an apophatic theologian is to be found in Eleonore Stump's Aquinas. This paper lays out Stump's reasons for reading Aquinas as non-apophatic, and shows that they are not convincing. Aquinas, it concludes, meant what he said when …Read more
  •  6
    Lead us not into Temptation: On the Proposed Revision of the Our Father
    New Blackfriars 101 (1095): 538-545. 2020.
    New Blackfriars, EarlyView.
  •  6
    Critical Studies/Book Reviews
    Philosophia Mathematica. forthcoming.
    CraigWilliam Lane.* * God andObjects – The Coherence of Theism : Aseity.Springer, 2017. ISBN: 978-3-319-55383-2 ; 978-3-319-55384-9. Pp. xv + 540.