• University of Leeds
    School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science
    Post-doctoral Fellow
University of Sheffield
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2015
Leeds, England, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Areas of Specialization
Free Will
PhilPapers Editorships
Abilities
  •  471
    Christopher Franklin argues that, despite appearances, everyone thinks that the ability to do otherwise is required for free will and moral responsibility. Moreover, he says that the way to decide which ability to do otherwise is required will involve settling the nature of moral responsibility. In this paper I highlight one point on which those usually called leeway theorists - i.e. those who accept the need for alternatives - agree, in contradistinction to those who deny that the ability to…Read more
  •  418
    Grace and Free Will: Quiescence and Control
    Journal of Analytic Theology 3 89-108. 2015.
    Stump and Timpe have recently proposed Thomistic based solutions to the traditional problem in Christian theology of how to relate grace and free will. By taking a closer look at the notion of control, I subject Timpe’s account – itself an extension of Stump’s account – to extended critique. I argue that the centrepiece of Timpe’s solution, his reliance on Dowe’s notion of quasi-causation, is misguided and irrelevant to the problem. As a result, Timpe’s account fails to avoid Semi-Pelagianism…Read more
  •  288
    When is an alternative possibility robust?
    European Journal of Philosophy 27 (1): 199-210. 2019.
    According to some, free will requires alternative possibilities. But not any old alternative possibility will do. Sometimes, being able to bring about an alternative does not bestow any control on an agent. In order to bestow control, and so be directly relevant qua alternative to grounding the agent's moral responsibility, alternatives need to be robust. Here, I investigate the nature of robust alternatives. I argue that Derk Pereboom's latest robustness criterion is too strong, and I suggest a…Read more
  •  253
    Some Problems of Heavenly Freedom
    TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology 2 (2): 97-115. 2018.
    In this essay I identify four different problems of heavenly freedom; i.e., problems that arise for those who hold that the redeemed in heaven have free will. They are: the problem arising from God's own freedom, the problem of needing to praise the redeemed for not sinning in heaven, the problem of needing to affirm that the redeemed freely refrain from sinning, and the problem arising from a commitment to the free will defence. I explore how some of these problems vary depending on the notio…Read more
  •  249
    Powers opposed and intrinsic finks
    Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260): 372-380. 2015.
    Philosophers disagree over whether dispositions can be intrinsically finked or masked. Choi suggests that there are no clear, relevant differences between cases where intrinsic finks would be absurd and those where they seem plausible, and as a result rejects them wholesale. Here, I highlight two features of dispositional properties which, when considered together, provide a plausible explanation for when dispositions can be subject to intrinsic finks and when not.
  •  241
    Abilities to do otherwise
    Philosophical Studies 172 (11): 3017-3035. 2015.
    In this paper I argue that there are different ways that an agent may be able to do otherwise and that therefore, when free will is understood as requiring that an agent be able to do otherwise, we face the following question: which way of being able to do otherwise is most relevant to free will? I answer this question by first discussing the nature of intrinsic dispositions and abilities, arguing that for each action type there is a spectrum of intrinsic abilities. I suggest that recognising th…Read more
  •  231
    Free will and the ability to do otherwise
    Dissertation, University of Sheffield. 2015.
    This thesis is an investigation into the nature of those abilities that are relevant to free will when the latter is understood as requiring the ability to do otherwise. I assume from the outset the traditional and intuitive picture that being able to do otherwise bestows a significant kind of control on an agent and I ask what kinds of ability are implicated in such control. In chapter 1 I assess the simple conditional analysis of the sense of ‘can’ relevant to free will, and I agree with the…Read more
  •  208
    Heavenly freedom, derivative freedom, and the value of free choices
    Religious Studies 56 (4): 455-472. 2020.
    Sennett (1999) and Pawl & Timpe (2009; 2013) attempt to show how we can praise heavenly agents for things they inevitably do in heaven by appealing to the notion of derivative freedom. Matheson (2017) has criticized this use of derivative freedom. In this essay I show why Matheson's argument is inconclusive but also how the basic point may be strengthened to undermine the use Sennett and Pawl & Timpe make of derivative freedom. I then show why Matheson is mistaken to claim that the value of f…Read more
  •  163
    Possibilites for divine freedom
    Roczniki Filozoficzne 64 (4): 93-123. 2016.
    I examine three accounts of divine freedom. I argue that two recent accounts which attempt to explain God’s freedom without appealing to alternative possibilities fail. I then show how a view of divine freedom based on Robert Adams’s idea that God’s grace means he has no obligation to create the best world is able to explain how God can be free while also being perfectly good and perfectly rational.
  •  157
    Vihvelin and Fischer on ‘Pre-decisional’ Intervention
    Philosophia 42 (4): 987-997. 2014.
    Vihvelin argues that Frankfurt-style cases should be divided into two kinds, according to when the trigger for the intention takes place: either prior to the agent's choice or after it. Most agree that only the former, which I call pre-decisional intervention, stands a chance of removing all of an agent's alternatives. Vihvelin notes that both sides in the dispute over whether there is a successful case of pre-decisional intervention assume that if there is a successful case, then it will be a c…Read more
  •  105
    Robustness and up-to-us-ness
    Disputatio 9 (44): 35-57. 2017.
    Frankfurt-style cases purport to show that an agent can be morally responsible for an action despite not having any alternatives. Some critics have responded by highlighting various alternatives that remain in the cases presented, while Frankfurtians have objected that such alternatives are typically not capable of grounding responsibility. In this essay I address the recent suggestion by Seth Shabo that only alternatives associated with the ‘up to us’ locution ground moral responsibility. I dis…Read more
  •  43
    How (Not) to Think About the Sense of 'able' Relevant to Free Will
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    This essay is an investigation into the sense of ‘able’ relevant to free will, where free will is understood as requiring the ability to do otherwise. I argue that van Inwagen’s recent functional specification of the relevant sense of ‘able’ is flawed, and that explicating the powers involved in free will shall likely require paying detailed attention to the semantics and pragmatics of ‘can’ and ‘able’. Further, I argue that van Inwagen’s promise-level ability requirement on free will is too s…Read more
  •  24
    God and Human Freedom
    Cambridge University Press. 2019.
    This Element considers the relationship between the traditional view of God as all-powerful, all-knowing and wholly good on the one hand, and the idea of human free will on the other. It focuses on the potential threats to human free will arising from two divine attributes: God's exhaustive foreknowledge and God's providential control of creation.
  •  8
    W. Matthews Grant, Free Will and God’s Universal Causality: The Dual Sources Account (review)
    Faith and Philosophy 37 (3): 374-379. 2020.
    I review W. Matthews Grant's book Free Will and God's Universal Causality. While I note that Grant's book is a systematic and wide-ranging defence of a strong doctrine of divine concurrence, I suggest that in the end the core of Grant's view fails to overcome the metaphysical objection to divine concurrence, roughly, that there cannot be two causes both of which (but not together) cause the entirety of an event.