Metaphysics

 

 

Metaphysics and Conceptual Analysis: Experimental Philosophy's Place under the Sun. Forthcoming in D. Rose (ed.),  Experimental Metaphysics. New York: Bloomsbury.

I present a not-particularly-novel picture of the place of conceptual analysis in metaphysics, then discuss the role experimental philosophy might have within this project.

Brentano's Philosophical Program. In U. Kriegel (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Franz Brentano and the Brentano School. London and New York, Routledge, 2017.

I argue that Brentano had a philosophical system, which offered a unified account of the true, the good, and the beautiful.

Philosophy as Total AxiomaticsJournal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2016): 272-290

My view of what philosophy is about... 

Brentano's Latter-day Monism. Brentano Studien 14 (2016): 69-77 

This 2500-word piece discusses a dictation from January 1915 I dug up, where Franz Brentano defends a kind of Schaffer-style priority monism.

Thought and Thing: Brentano's Reism as Truthmaker Nominalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (2015): 253-280.

What are the truthmakers of "Socrates is wise" and "Socrates is Greek"? According to Brentano, as I interpret him, they are two numerically distinct but collocated concrete particulars, Wise-Socrates and Greek-Socrates. I explain this view and air a defense of it.

Experiencing the Present. Analysis 75 (2015): 407-413.

How to reconcile a B-theoretic metaphysics of time with an A-theoretic phenomenology of termporal experience - without an error theory of temporal experience? This paper makes a suggestion.

How to Speak of Existence. In S. Lapointe (ed.), Themes from Ontology, Mind, and Logic: Essays in Honor of Peter Simons (pp. 81-106). Leiden: Brill, 2015.

Articulates and defends an unusual approach to existence talk, drawn from Brentano, according to which to say that X exists is to say that the right attitude to take toward X is the attitude of believing in it. 

The Epistemological Challenge of Revisionary MetaphysicsPhilosophers' Imprint 13 (June 2013): 1-30.

I present a systematic challenge to the viability of revisionary metaphysics: show me epistemic grounds on which to believe that one revisionary-metaphysical theory in some area is more likely to be true than its competitors. 

Kantian MonismPhilosophical Papers 41 (2012): 23-56.

What I call Kantian monism is the view that the world as a whole exists mind-independently, but it decomposes into parts only mind-dependently. This paper tries to articulate the view in a more precise manner, then make a case that this is rather a good view to have. 

Review of D.M. Armstrong, Sketch of a Systematic MetaphysicsAustralasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2012): 189-192.

This is a review of Armstrong's 2009 book, with a wink toward the kind of overall metaphysics I'd like to develop one day. 

Two Defenses of Common-Sense OntologyDialectica 65 (2011): 177-204.

I argue that, given certain plausible (though not uncontroversial) meta-ontological principles, there are a priori restrictions on how much our considered ontology can diverge from common-sense ontology. 

The Dispensability of (Merely) Intentional Objects. Philosophical Studies 141 (2008): 359-383.

The ontology of (merely) intentional objects is a can of worms. If we can avoid ontological commitment to such entities, we should. In this paper, I offer a strategy for accomplishing that. This is to reject the traditional act-object account of intentionality in favor of an adverbial account. According to adverbialism about intentionality, having a dragon thought is not a matter of being related thought-wise to dragons but of engaging in the activity of thinking dragon-wise.

Composition as a Secondary Quality. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2008): 359-383.

I propose a new account of mereological composition, according to which (roughly) there is a y that the xs compose just in case a normal intuiter would, under normal conditions, intuit that there is.

Tropes and Facts. Metaphysica 6 (2005): 83-90.

I argue that tropes and facts are two kinds of abstract particular, distinguished by the linguistic expressions appropriate for picking them out. Tropes are picked out by perfect nominals (whose parent sentence feature a copula), facts by imperfect nominals (whose parent sentence featured either a verb or a copula).

Trope Theory and the Metaphysics of Appearances. American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (2004): 5-20.

A traditional account of appearances construes them as mental particulars, such as sense data. In this paper, I offer a trope-theoretic account of appearances that treats them as external, non-mental particulars.