|2007-||Senior Lecturer||University of York|
2002 - 2007
|Lecturer||University of York|
|2002||DPhil||University of Oxford|
|1998||MDiv||Princeton Theological Seminary|
Modality, The Philosophy of Christianity
My current research focuses on modality, i.e. the philosophy of necessity and possibility, the philosophy of religion, and philosophical theology. My research programme has three main strands:
The first strand begins with my work on the paradox of necessary existence as variously presented by Arthur Prior, Kit Fine, Alvin Plantinga and Timothy Williamson. I have developed a new, stronger version of the paradox, and I argue that its best resolution is by denying that the modal operators are duals and that there are any necessary truths about contingent beings. This work is presented in my paper, 'Is Timothy Williamson a Necessary Existent?'
In order to build on this work, I apply the formal framework I developed in connection with the paradox of necessary existence to solve some longstanding problems in the philosophy of religion, such as showing how divine command theory (the commands of God determine what is morally right and what is morally wrong) is consistent with there being some things which are necessarily morally wrong, such as the torture of innocent children, without restricting God's nature, ('Divine Command Theory and The Semantics of Quantified Modal Logic')
The second strand of my research is centred on the metaphysics of modality, particularly, concerning the issue of whether there might have been nothing. This is a collaborative project with Tom Stoneham. The project has been concerned with defending the view that there might have been nothing concrete, a view termed 'metaphysical nihilism', particularly in our paper, 'The Subtraction Argument for Metaphysical Nihilism', and exploring the consequences of this view for modal metaphysics, in particular, the nature of possible worlds ('Combinatorialism and the Possibility of Nothing', 'Genuine Modal Realism and the Possibility of Nothing'), the principle of recombination ('What is the Principle of Recombination?'), and truthmaking theory ('Is Metaphysical Nihilism Interesting?').
The third strand of my research focuses on the question, 'What must the world be like if the catholic creeds of the Christian church, namely, the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, are literally true?' In addition, I am particularly concerned with the metaphysics of the Body of Christ, in its three-fold form: the Incarnation, the Eucharist, and the Church. This strand of my research has an historical dimension, namely, the medieval period, particularly, the work of Anselm and Aquinas.