Office: 330B Griffin-Floyd Hall
Phone: (352) 273-1830
Dept. Fax: (352) 392-5577
Department of Philosophy
330 Griffin-Floyd Hall
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-8545
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1997
Areas of research: Metaphysics, philosophy of mind, physicalism, consciousness, a priori knowledge
I joined the faculty at the University of Florida in 1997 after doing my doctoral degree at Rutgers. My research has been in metaphysics and philosophy of mind, often focusing on the doctrine of physicalism, the claim, roughly, that everything that exists is in some sense ultimately physical in nature. I've also worked on such topics as the nature of intrinsic properties, questions about mental causation, functionalist treatments of the mind, and the role of conceptual analysis and/or a priori knowledge in metaphysics generally. My interest in epistemology and philosophy of religion has grown over the years as well. For what already seems like a doleful eternity, I have served as Department Chair, a role that has made the metaphysics of impossibilia a pressing concern.
Recent graduate seminars have included courses on metaphysical grounding, the history of analytic philosophy, physicalism, and the problem of consciousness. By way of undergraduate teaching, I have frequently taught courses in philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind.
"ItÕs been said in many places before: A degree in the humanities isnÕt exactly marketable to employers (less kind critics have called those degrees "useless"). But thereÕs one humanities major whose graduates are doing quite well in the job market—and itÕs philosophy majors."
Office hours for Spring 2017:
Mondays 12:30 PM — 3:30 PM
And by appointment
Regular office hours are not held during holidays, spring break, or after the last day of classes (during reading days and exam week). Appointments may still be made during those times. If a class is cancelled on a particular day, any office hours on that day will be cancelled as well.
PHP 5785 Foundations of Analytic Philosophy
"Analytic Philosophy" is the label used for that sort of philosophy that developed in the first half of the 20th Century and became dominant in the English-speaking philosophical world up until the present day. There is little agreement on what the label signifies other than a common philosophical inheritance. That inheritance is precisely what this course covers: a survey of influential work by Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Quine, and others. Our goal will be to focus on methodological issues in philosophy and how theories of language, knowledge, and metaphilosophy have shaped the debate over the best way to proceed in addressing philosophical questions. Our goal is in part historical but more importantly philosophical: the hope is to gain a clear understanding of the arguments, theories, and questions that animated this literature and which continue to shape the dominant philosophical tradition today.
Selected Recent Publications
"Physicality for Physicalists." In a special edition of Topoi edited by Andreas Elpidoru on the topic of the characterization of physicalism. First Online: 14 July, 2016. DOI: 10.1007/s11245-016-9415-y
"Physicalism and Metaphysical Naturalism." Oxford Bibliographies Online. 2015.
"A Simple Theory of Intrinsicality." In Robert M. Francescotti, ed., Companion to Intrinsic Properties. Berlin: DeGruyter, 2014.
Review of Robert Kirk, The Conceptual Link from Physical to Mental (Oxford University Press, 2013). In Analysis Reviews 0, 1-5 (2014).
"Naturalism and Physicalism." Encyclopedia entry in Robert Barnard and Neil Manson, eds., The Bloomsbury Companion to Metaphysics, Bloomsbury Publishing (formerly Continuum), 2012.
Review of Jens Kipper, A Two-Dimensionalist Guide to Conceptual Analysis (Ontos Verlag, 2012). Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. January 11, 2013.
"Stalking the Elusive Physicalist Thesis." Review of Daniel Stoljar, Physicalism (Routledge, 2010). Metascience 21: 71-75. 2012.
Review of Jakob Howhy and Jesper Kallestrup, eds., Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation (Oxford University Press, 2008). Mind 120 (479): 882-888. July 2011.
Review of Timothy Williamson, The Philosophy of Philosophy (Blackwell, 2007). Metaphilosophy (2011) 42: 155-160.
"Necessity, Identity, and A Priori Access." Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2): 241-263. Spring/Fall 2007.
"How To Be A (Sort of) A Priori Physicalist." Philosophical Studies 131 (1): 185-225. October 2006.
"Intrinsicality without Naturalness." Co-authored with William Butchard and Kelly Trogdon. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2): 326-350. March 2005.
Selected Recent or Upcoming Presentations
Comments on Todd Ganson, "What are Sensory Powers?"
¥ January 7, 2017. Eastern Division, American Philosophical Association. Baltimore, MD.
Comments on Kenneth L. Pearce, "Counteressential Conditionals."
¥ March 3, 2016. Central Division, American Philosophical Association. Chicago, Illinois.
"Physicality for Physicalists."
¥ Invited talk for the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. New York, NY. September 30, 2015.
Comments on Andreas Elpidorou, "Defending Actualist Physicalism."
¥ September 18, 2015. First conference of the Society for the Metaphysics of Science. Newark, NJ.
Comments on Louis deRosset, "The Scrying Game."
¥ April 3, 2015. Pacific Division, American Philosophical Association. Vancouver, British Columbia.
Comments on Alyssa Ney, "Microphysical Causation and the Case for Physicalism."
¥ February 21, 2015. Central Division, American Philosophical Association. St. Louis, MO.
¥ December 28, 2014. Eastern Division, American Philosophical Association. Philadelphia, PA.
¥ November 16, 2013. Florida Philosophical Association. DeLand, FL.
"Determinism and Intervention: Reply to Scott Sehon." Co-authored with Andreas Falke.
¥ November 4, 2014. Florida Philosophical Association. Tampa, FL.
"Remarks on Chudnoff's Intuition."
¥ November 4, 2014. Part of a critical symposium on Elijah Chudnoff's book Intuition (Oxford University Press, 2013). Florida Philosophical Association. Tampa, FL.
"A Priori Externalism and Privileged Access."
¥ February 8, 2014. Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Charleston, SC.
¥ November 3, 2012. Florida Philosophical Association. Orlando, FL.
Comments on Klaas Kraay, "Can God Satisfice?"
¥ February 22, 2013. Central Division, American Philosophical Association. New Orleans, LA.
Comments on Douglas Keaton, "Exclusion, Yet Again."
¥ April 6, 2012. Pacific Division, American Philosophical Association. Seattle, WA.
Comments on Justin Tiehen, "Grounding and Mental Causation."
¥ March 23, 2012. Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Savannah, GA.
Comments on Barbara Montero, "Must Physicalism Imply the Supervenience of the Mental on the Physical?"
¥ February 17 — March 2, 2012. Fourth Annual Consciousness Online conference. http://consciousnessonline.com/2012/02/17/must-physicalism-imply-the-supervienence-of-the-mental-on-the-physical/