My primary research interests include the metaphysics of ordinary objects, parts and wholes, composition, modality, and fictionalism.
Abstract. The Odd Universe Argument aims to show that from four intuitive assumptions about parts and wholes, we can conclude a priori that there is an odd number of things in the universe. This Element is an opinionated survey of philosophical issues involving parthood, composition, identity, and counting, guided by an investigation into where this argument has gone awry. We first walk through some general methodology, basic mereology, and plural logic. Next, we explore questions about the nature of composition and decomposition. Does composition always occur? Never? Sometimes? Is the universe, at rock bottom, just many partless bits (simples)? Or do the parts have parts all the way down (gunk)? We then turn to arguments for and against the thesis that composition is identity, with a healthy bias in its favor. We conclude with a return to the odd universe argument, and my thoughts on how best to solve it.
Monograph – Book
Articles – Journal Entries
2022 – “Mental fictionalism – a foothold amid deflationary collapse ” (draft); T. Demeter, T. Parent, and A. Toon (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations (Routledge) 2022
2014 – “Composition as Identity, Mereological Essentialism, and Modal Parts” in Composition as Identity, eds. Donald Baxter and Aaron Cotnoir, OUP (2014)
2013 – “Counterparts and Compositional Nihilism: A Reply to A. J. Cotnoir” in Thought: A Journal of Philosophy vol. 2 (3): 242-247 (2013)
Public Philosophy & Pedagogy
forth. – “Philosophy through Spectacle” for the Art of Teaching Philosophy. Bloomsbury Press.
2022 – “Circus and Philosophy: Teaching Aristotle Through Juggling” revised reprint in CircusTalk
2021 – “Circus and Philosophy: Teaching Aristotle Through Juggling” in Aesthetics for Birds
Under Contract – In Progress
- Transworld Objects: A Theory of Modal Parts – manuscript in progress
- “Transworld Persons” – in progress
- “Choose Your Own Essentia!” – in progress