The following are manuscripts currently under review, all of which can be available by request! Feel free to contact me for discussion as well 🙂
Defeasible Warrant in Intuitionistic Logic
- Summary: One of the key projects for logic generally, and intuitionistic logic in particular, is extending our logical systems to incorporate defeasible warrant, which is a vital part of our empirical discourse. This project, however, has run into several well-known difficulties. In this paper, I develop a new logic, which is a conservative extension of intuitionistic logic, that introduces a relation of epistemic proximity. I show that the semantics for this logic not only captures defeasibility but is able to model grades or degrees of defeasible warrant. The semantics is also accompanied by a proof system, which I prove to be sound and complete.
Powered Properties, Modal Continuity, and the Patchwork Principle
- Summary: The Patchwork Principle and the Principle of Modal Continuity are two seemingly similar approaches to modal epistemology. The first tells us, very roughly, that we can ‘cut-and-paste’ possible spatial patches together to produce other possible spatial patches. On the other hand, modal continuity tells us that if one property is exemplifiable (being 4 inches tall), and another property differs in mere degree (being 5 inches tall), that property must too be exemplifiable. In this paper, I expose a large class of counterexamples to modal continuity. Even more interestingly, I show that one of these counterexamples is entailed by the Patchwork Principle––thus, I show that there is an underlying conflict between Modal Continuity and Lewisian Patchwork Principles.
Furthering the Wide Objection to New Actualism
- Summary: New actualism has become an increasingly popular approach to modal metaphysics, claiming that p is possible iff there is some actual potentiality (disposition, ability, power) for p. The main objection to new actualism has been the too-narrow objection: actual potentialities are too narrow to ground modality, since there are possibilities, like the nomic laws being different, which no substance has the potentiality for. In this paper, I argue there is a powerful converse objection that has been largely underdeveloped: the too-wide objection. Indeed, there is a growing body of work in multiple philosophical circles indicating that agents have potentialities to do the impossible. The objective of this paper is to showcase how extant this threat is: from debates about compatibilism, to plentitude, to theism, to Fitch’s paradox, to principles of objective chance, and to time travel, impossible potentialities have become vital to philosophical theorizing. After developing the wide objection, I assess options for the new actualist.
Causal Finitism and the Poss-Ability Principle
- Summary: In this paper, I develop a new problem for the Grim Reaper Argument for causal finitism. I show that the argument, as developed by Alexander Pruss (2018), is structurally identical to the Grandfather Argument for the impossibility of time travel. Using this surprising fact, I show that the argument has, all along, implicitly relied on the Poss-Ability principle: if an agent is able to p, there’s a metaphysically possible world where they in fact p. While prima facie plausible, arguments for the denial of this principle have gained currency in a variety of different philosophical circles––especially the time travel literature. The results are twofold. First, substantively, a novel objection to the Grim Reaper Argument is developed. Second, more methodologically, a deep, mostly unexplored similarity between the causal finitism and time travel dialectics is diagnosed, opening up many new future insights for both literatures.
Challenging the Evil-God Challenge: Maltheism and Skepticism
- Summary: The evil-god challenge to theism claims that, even if the traditional arguments for theism are sound, said arguments can just as easily be reversed to provide symmetrical support for maltheism: the thesis that there exists an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnimalevolent god. In this paper, I intend to break this apparent, and troubling, symmetry. I argue that maltheism entails an excessive skepticism that is not shared by its theistic counterpart. This epistemic answer compares very favorably to extant responses in the literature. I also argue that this epistemic asymmetry delivers a strong reason in favor of theism, thus answering the evil-god challenge.