Ohio State University
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2012
Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
  •  15
    It would be an almost comical understatement to say that, throughout my graduate study in philosophy and subsequent years of teaching and writing, I found mysel.
  • Some Considerations Regarding Adornment, the Gender “Binary,” and Gender Expression
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 79 (4): 488-492. 2021.
    Stephen Davies’s Adornment lays an admirable foundation upon which much fruitful philosophical discussion about the topic of adornment can—and likely, will—be b.
  •  2
    What exactly are comics? Can they be art, literature, or even pornography? How should we understand the characters, stories, and genres that shape them? Thinking about comics raises a bewildering range of questions about representation, narrative, and value. Philosophy of Comics is an introduction to these philosophical questions. In exploring the history and variety of the comics medium, Sam Cowling and Wesley D. Cray chart a path through the emerging field of the philosophy of comics. Drawing …Read more
  •  6
    The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Volume 78, Issue 1, Page 126-129, Winter 2020.
  •  23
    Some Ideas about the Metaphysics of Stories
    British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (2): 147-160. 2019.
    Aaron Smuts has argued that attempts to offer a plausible distinction between stories and tellings will likely face insurmountable difficulties. Here, I offer a distinction between stories and tellings that does not face these difficulties. In doing so, I propose an ontology of stories according to which such entities are ideas for narrative manifestation. In developing this ontology, I also consider parallels between stories and musical compositions.
  •  26
    Transparent and Opaque Performance Personas
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 77 (2): 181-191. 2019.
  •  132
    Omniscience and Worthiness of Worship
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 70 (2): 147-153. 2011.
    At first glance, the properties being omniscient and being worthy of worship might appear to be perfectly co-instantiable. But there are reasons to be worried about this co-instantiability, as it turns out that, depending on our commitments with respect to certain kinds of knowledge and notions of personhood, it might be the case that no being—God included—could instantiate both. In this paper, I lay out and motivate this claim before going on to consider a variety of responses—some more plausib…Read more
  •  75
    An Ontology of Ideas
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (4): 757-775. 2015.
    Philosophers often talk about and engage with ideas. Scientists, artists, and historians do, too. But what is an idea? In this paper, we first motivate the desire for an ontology of ideas before discussing what conditions a candidate ontology would have to satisfy to be minimally adequate. We then offer our own account of the ontology of ideas, and consider various strategies for specifying the underlying metaphysics of the account. We conclude with a discussion of potential future work to be do…Read more
  •  96
    A Return to Musical Idealism
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (4): 702-715. 2017.
    In disputes about the ontology of music, musical idealism—that is, the view that musical compositions are ideas—has proven to be rather unpopular. We argue that, once we have a better grip on the ontology of ideas, we can formulate a version of musical idealism that is not only defensible, but plausible and attractive. We conclude that compositions are a particular kind of idea: they are completed ideas for musical manifestation.
  •  54
    Team-Teaching the Atheism-Theism Debate
    Teaching Philosophy 37 (4): 465-480. 2014.
    In this paper, we discuss a team-taught, debate-style Philosophy of Religion course we designed and taught at The Ohio State University. Rather than tackling the breadth of topics traditionally subsumed under the umbrella of Philosophy of Religion, this course focused exclusively on the nuances of the atheism-theism debate, with the instructors openly identifying as atheist or theist, respectively. After discussing the motivations for designing and teaching such a course, we go on to detail its …Read more
  •  106
    Conceptual Art, Ideas, and Ontology
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 72 (3): 235-245. 2014.
    Peter Goldie and Elisabeth Schellekens have recently articulated the Idea Idea, the thesis that “in conceptual art, there is no physical medium: the medium is the idea.” But what is an idea, and in the case of works such as Duchamp's Fountain, how does the idea relate to the urinal? In answering these questions, it becomes apparent that the Idea Idea should be rejected. After showing this, I offer a new ontology of conceptual art, according to which such artworks are not ideas but artifacts imbu…Read more
  •  307
    How to Be Omnipresent
    American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (3): 223-234. 2017.
    Attributions of omnipresence, most familiar within the philosophy of religion, typically take the omnipresence of an entity to either consist in that entity's occupation of certain regions or be dependent upon other of that entity's attributes, such as omnipotence or omniscience. This paper defends an alternative conception of omnipresence that is independent of other purported divine attributes and dispenses with occupation. The resulting view repurposes the metaphysics of necessitism and perma…Read more
  •  39
    Yellowism and Ontology: A Skeptical Analysis
    Contemporary Aesthetics 13. 2015.
    When Vladimir Umanets entered the Tate Modern on October 7, 2012 and defaced Rothko's Black on Maroon, he was operating, not as an artist or a vandal, but as a Yellowist. Yellowism is neither art nor anti-art but is instead a supposedly new cultural element that exists for its own sake and is about nothing but the color yellow. It might be tempting to write Yellowism and the Rothko defacement off as a mere prank or as pseudo-intellectual fraud, but I argue that, intentionally or not, the Yello…Read more
  •  29
    Psychologism about Artistic Plans: A Response to Rohrbaugh
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 76 (1): 101-104. 2018.
  •  31
    Inconstancy and Content
    Dialectica 68 (3): 337-353. 2014.
    According to David Lewis, many de re modal predications – that is, sentences such as ‘John McCain could have won the 2008 U.S. Presidential election’ and ‘Dwight could receive a promotion’ – are inconstant insofar as their truth values can vary alongside changes in our interests. In this paper, I argue that previous accounts of this inconstancy, such as those offered by Lewis and Harold Noonan, are inadequate. Linguistic data, I claim – specifically, agreement and disagreement data – tell agains…Read more
  •  47
    Abstract Generationism: A Response to Friedell
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (3): 289-292. 2017.
  •  84
    Unperformable Works and the Ontology of Music
    British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (1): 67-81. 2016.
    Some artworks—works of music, theatre, dance, and the like—are works for performance. Some works for performance are, I contend, unperformable. Some such works are unperformable by beings like us; others are unperformable given our laws of nature; still others are unperformable given considerations of basic logic. I offer examples of works for performance—focusing, in particular, on works of music—that would fit into each of these categories, and go on to defend the claim that such ‘works’ reall…Read more