Areas of Interests:
- Philosophy of Language
- Philosophical Logic
Theories of Modality:
If there are non-actual possibilities, then there are a lot of questions to ask about them. First, we should get clear on what non-actual possibilities are. This is a question about the nature of modality. Second, we should get clear on what non-actual possibilities there are. This is a question about the shape and size of modal space. Third, we should get clear on what, if anything, makes non-actual possibilities possible rather than impossible. This is a question about the grounds of modality. A lot has been said about the first question; much less has been said about the second or third. I defend some non-traditional answers to these other questions.
Theories of Properties:
Some realists argue that we should accept universals because universals are part of the best explanation of some phenomenon. I want to (i) get clear on what universals are supposed to explain, (ii) get clear on what universals would need to be like to explain what they’re supposed to explain, and (iii) get clear on what the rival explanations are.
I'm drawn to the extreme views, transcendent realism and austere nominalism, but I'm not sure how to adjudicate between them. They have very similar costs and benefits. I lean toward transcendent realism, since it feels better. I'd like to figure out whether there is something important behind this feeling and if there's anything I can say to make other people feel it too.