- The Meta-Ethics of AI: Are Machines Beholden to Normative Joints?
Down for remodeling
In which I argue that there are no right or wrong answers to questions of AI ethics, because they turn on which ethical concepts to use and there is no right or wrong answer to that.
- Undoing the Truth Fetish: The Normative Path to Pragmatism
Draft of April 2020
In which I motivate a broadly pragmatist view of inquiry, truth, justification, and meaning.
- How to Be a Relationalist
Draft of Oct 2019
In which I describe how to be a relationalist, and while doing so develop a non-factualist account of measurement and distinguish two species of metaphysical possibility.
- Symmetry and Superfluous Structure: A Metaphysical Overview
Draft of February 2018
In which I outline the method of symmetry and its application to metaphysics.
- Privilege in the Construction Industry
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98.2 (2019): 489-496
In which I discuss issues of egalitarianism and privilege that arise in Karen Bennett's book Making Things Up. (For an invited symposium in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.)
- Realism and the Absence of Value
The Philosophical Review 127.3 (2018): 279-322.
In which I raise a problem for metaphysical realism and suggest a return to a Goodmanian view that the world is a structureless mess onto which we project our own categorizations, not something with categories already built in.
- Essentialism and the Nonidentity Problem
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96.3 (2018): 540-570
In which I ask: out of all the many entities coincident with a person, that differ only in their essential profiles, which ones matter? I use nonidentity cases to shed light on this question.
- Normative Non-Naturalism and the Problem of Authority
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117.3 (2017): 297-319.
In which I develop a familiar argument against normative non-naturalism, to the effect that non-natural properties would have no "normative authority" over us.
- Constitutive Explanation
Philosophical Issues 27 (2017): 74-97.
In which I argue that the notion of ground can be significantly deflated and still do useful work in philosophy.
- Can We Do Without Fundamental Individuals? Yes
Current Controversies in Metaphysics, edited by Elizabeth Barnes (2017): 7-23. Previously titled "Quality and Structure".
In which I argue that the world is a purely qualitative mosaic. Here is the postscript, coauthored with Jason Turner.
- Metaphysical Rationalism
Noûs 50.2 (2016): 379-418. Selected for inclusion in the Philosopher's Annual.
In which I develop and defend a version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, one that entails that every truth is necessarily true.
- Symmetry as an Epistemic Notion (Twice Over)
The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67.3 (2016): 837-878.
In which I argue that symmetry is an epistemic notion (twice over).
- Inexpressible Ignorance
The Philosophical Review 124.4 (2015): 441-480.
In which I discuss cases where ignorance is inexpressible (e.g. ignorance of absolute position, quiddities, and haecceities) and argue that the ignorance consists in an inability to identify things by way of their natures.
- Substantivalism vs Relationalism About Space In Classical Physics
Philosophy Compass 10.9 (2015): 601-624.
In which I survey a number of arguments for each view (including the bucket argument, Leibniz shift arguments, and symmetry arguments) and conclude that the case for relationalism is strong. Here is the teaching and learning guide.
- The Possibility of Physicalism
The Journal of Philosophy 111.9 (2014): 557-592
In which I argue that the notion of ground is suitable for formulating a variety of metaphysical theses, including physicalism.
- On the Plurality of Grounds
Philosophers' Imprint 14.14 (2014): 1-28.
In which I argue that ground is an irreducibly plural notion: these are grounded in those. Cases of plural grounding include individuals and quantities like kilograms.
- Absolutism vs Comparativism about Quantity
Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 8 (2013): 105-148. Winner of the Sanders Prize in Metaphysics, 2011.
In which I motivate and defend comparativism about quantities like mass.
- The Bare Necessities
Philosophical Perspectives 25 (2011): 115-160.
In which I discuss substantivalism in the context of the General Theory Relativity, and argue that we do not yet have a satisfactory substantivalist theory.
- Individuals: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics
Philosophical Studies 145.1 (2009): 35-67.
In which I argue that (fundamentally speaking) there are no such things as individuals.