Kew Gardens Hills, New York, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Philosophy of Religion
  •  290
    Cosmological Fecundity
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 41 (3): 277-299. 1998.
    This paper characterizes various responses to the question, 'Why does our universe exist?' Some responses- that the question is senseless, that the existence of our universe is logically necessary- are implausible. Adjudication between more plausible responses requires us to evaluate the argument from the 'fine-tuning' of the universe, a refurbished version of the argument from design that appeals to cosmology rather than biology. The evidence of fine-tuning should lead us to adopt, albeit provi…Read more
  •  112
    Mere addition and the best of all possible worlds
    Religious Studies 35 (2): 173-190. 1999.
    The quantitative argument against the notion of a best possible world claims that, no matter how many worthwhile lives a world contains, another world contains more and is, other things being equal, better. Parfit’s ‘ Mere Addition Paradox ’ suggests that defenders of this argument must accept his ‘ Repugnant Conclusion ’ : that outcomes containing billions upon billions of lives barely worth living are better than outcomes containing fewer lives of higher quality. Several responses to the Parad…Read more
  •  68
    ‘Rival creator’ arguments suggest that God must have created the best of all possible worlds. These arguments are analyzed and evaluated, and Leibniz’s position defended.
  •  56
    Incommensurability and the Best of All Possible Worlds
    The Monist 81 (4): 648-668. 1998.
    In “The Best of All Possible Worlds” William E. Mann argues that some possible worlds are morally incommensurable with some others, because some choices are between incompatible alternatives that are themselves incommensurable. The best possible world must be better than, and hence commensurable with, every other world. So if anyone in the actual world ever faces a choice between incompatible alternatives that are morally incommensurable, this is not the best possible world. But it seems that so…Read more
  •  44
    This world, ‘adams worlds’, and the best of all possible worlds
    Religious Studies 39 (2): 145-163. 2003.
    ‘Adams worlds’ are possible worlds that contain no creature whose life is not worth living or whose life is overall worse than in any other possible world in which it would have existed. Creating an Adams world involves no wrongdoing or unkindness towards creatures on the part of the creator. I argue that the notion of an Adams world is of little value in theodicy. Theists are not only committed to thinking that this world was created without wrongdoing or unkindness but also must rule out the p…Read more
  •  33
    Leibniz: Determinist, Theist, Idealist
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 34 (2): 303-304. 1996.
    BOOK REVIEWS 3O3 Robert Merrihew Adams. Leibniz: Determinist, Theist, Idealist. New York: Oxford Univer- sity Press, 1994. Pp. xi + 433. Cloth, $55.oo. Robert Adams has previously given us admirable accounts of Leibniz's theories of contingency and of the conceptual containment theory of truth, and has defended an interpretation of Leibniz's mature metaphysics as broadly idealist in nature? Material from his earlier articles anchors Part I and opens Part III of this impressive book. Part II is d…Read more
  • In der Korrespondenz mit Clarke ist Leibniz' Standardargument gegen die Annahme, daß Raum und Zeit absolut seien, daß Gott sich bei der Wahl des zu erschaffenden Universums gezwungen sähe, gegen das Prinzip des zureichenden Grundes zu verstoßen, wenn diese Annahme richtig wäre: Bloße Unterschiede in räumlicher und zeitlicher Hinsicht ergeben keinen Vorteilsunterschied, und da Gott nur aus Vorteilsgründen handelt, sind solche Unterschiede nicht möglich. Leibniz stellt dieses Argument als ausschli…Read more