• Ph.D. and M.A., Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, 2009
  • M.A., Philosophy, Biola University, 2000, summa cum laude
  • B.A., Speech Communication, Texas Lutheran University, 1993, cum laude


  • Fall 2009 to present:  Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

Areas of Specialization  

  • Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion

 Areas of Competence

  • Environmental Philosophy, Food Ethics

Peer-Reviewed Publications (Abstracts and preprints here)

  • Forthcoming.  “Closing in on Causal Closure.” Journal of Consciousness Studies.  
  • Forthcoming.  “Tropes and Dependency Profiles:  Problems for the Nuclear Theory of Substance.” American Philosophical Quarterly.  
  • Forthcoming. “Bare Particulars and Constituent Ontology.” Acta Analytica.  
  • Forthcoming. “Bundle Theory’s Black Box:  Gap Challenges for the Bundle Theory of Substance.” Philosophia.  
  • Forthcoming (2014). “Descartes’s Independence Conception of Substance and His Separability Argument for Substance Dualism.” Journal of Philosophical Research.  
  • 2013. "Is God's Benevolence Impartial?" Southwest Philosophy Review 29(1), 23-30.  
  • 2000. "Minds Sans Miracles: Colin McGinn's Naturalized Mysterianism" Philosophia Christi 2 (2): 227-242.  

Book Chapters (Abstracts and preprints here)

  • Forthcoming.  “Acerca de 'Particularizar una Propiedad': Tropos Como Modificadores y Tropos Como Módulos" (translated into Spanish by Ezequiel Zerbudis). In Poderes Causales, Tropos, y Otras Criaturas Extrañas: Ensayos de Metafísica Analítica, edited by Ezequiel Zerbudis.  Blatt & Ríos. 
  • 2013. (With Nathan King.) “Getting Our Minds Out of the Gutter:  Fallacies that Foul Our Discourse (and Virtues that Clean it Up).” In Virtues in Action:  New Essays in Applied Virtue Theory, edited by Michael W. Austin. Palgrave Macmillan.  Preprint.  Book details.  
  • 2009. (With Nathan King.) “Introduction.” In Is Goodness Without God Good Enough?  A Debate on Faith, Secularism, and Ethics, edited by Robert K. Garcia and Nathan L. King. Rowman & Littlefield.  Preprint.
  • 2002. “Artificial Intelligence and Personhood.” In Cutting Edge Bioethics: A Christian Exploration of Technology and Trends, edited by John Kilner, Christopher Hook, and Diane Uustal. Eerdmans. Preprint.

Dictionary Entries (preprints here)

  • Forthcoming (2014). “Trope.” In The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 3rd Edition, edited by Robert Audi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Preprint.
  • Forthcoming (2014). “Food Ethics.” In The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 3rd Edition, edited by Robert Audi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  Preprint.

Edited Book (Abstracts and info here)

  • 2009. Is Goodness Without God Good Enough?  A Debate on Faith, Secularism, and Ethics. Co-edited with Nathan King, with a coauthored Introduction. Rowman & Littlefield.  

Dissertation (Abstract and entire ms here)

  • 2009. Nominalist Constituent Ontologies: a Development and Critique.  Ph.D. Dissertation.  University of Notre Dame.  Committee:  Michael Loux (advisor), Alvin Plantinga, Michael Rea, Peter van Inwagen. 

Invited Talks at International Venues

  • "Trope Theory:  Issues and Options”, invited colloquium talk, Programa de Pós-Graduação Lógica e Metafísica, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro [The Graduate Program Logic and Metaphysics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro], Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October 16, 2013.
  • “Modifier Tropes versus Module Tropes”, invited colloquium talk, Instituto de Filosofía, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Dec. 4, 2012, Santiago, Chile.
  • “A Dilemma for Bundle Theory”, invited colloquium talk, Instituto de Filosofía, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Dec. 6, 2012, Santiago, Chile.
  • “Tropes and Tropers”, Invited presentation at The Problem of Universals in Contemporary Philosophy:  An International Conference on Ontology, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy, July 7, 2010.  Other participants: John Heil, Michael Loux, E. J. Lowe, Fraser MacBride, Alex Oliver, Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra, Peter van Inwagen, and Dean Zimmerman.

Other Talks at International Venues

  • “Tropes and Trope-Level Character”, presented at Tercer Coloquio de Metafísica Analítica (Third Symposium of Analytical Metaphysics), Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 17, 2012.
  • “A Dilemma for Bundle Theory”, presented at Segundo Congreso Latinoamericano de Filosofía Analítica (Second Latin American Congress of Analytic Philosophy), Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 17, 2012.
  • “Descartes’s Separability Argument for Substance Dualism, Tropes, and the Conceptual Distinction Between Substance and Attribute”, presented at the 3rd Coloquio Internacional, Sociedad Chilena Filosofía Analítica, Biblioteca Nacional, Santiago, Chile, May 13, 2011.
  • “On the Prospects of a Trope Theory of Substance”, presented at Metaphysics: Aristotelian, Scholastic, Analytic [Conference], Strahov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic, July 1, 2010.
  • “Apologizing to the Postmodernist”, presented at the Biblical Theology of Hope Conference, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, August 21, 1999.

Invited Talks at Domestic Venues (*upcoming)

  • *“The Nature of Properties in a World Sustained by God”, invited presentation, Philosophy of Religion Conference, Baylor University, April 11, 2014.
  • *“Irreplaceable Creatures:  Love, Individuation, and Creation”, invited colloquium, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, November, 2013.
  • *“Tropes as Divine Sustainings” invited colloquium, Talbot Philosophical Society, Biola University, November, 2013.
  • *“Are You Irreplaceable?” invited colloquium, Pepperdine University, November 2013.
    “The Nature of Properties in a World Sustained by God”, invited colloquium, Yale Divinity School, March 6, 2013.  
  • “Divine Decrees as Character-Grounders:  Transcendent Tropes”, invited colloquium, Department of Philosophy, Houston Baptist University, Nov. 16, 2012.
  • “Tropes as Character-Grounders”, invited lecture, Robert Koon’s Graduate Seminar on “Universals, Tropes and the Structure of Particulars”, University of Texas at Austin, Oct. 24, 2011.
  • “Rolling Out a New Bundle Theory”, Inaugural Lecture, Texas A&M University, March 9, 2010.
  • “Substance Dualism”, lecture, West Virginia University, Feb. 2009
  • “Gap Challenges for Trope Bundle Theory”, job talk, West Virginia University, Feb. 2009
  • “The Philosopher’s Cauldron”, job talk, Texas A&M University, Feb. 2009.
  •  “On the Importance of Metaphysics”, lecture, Rhodes College, Feb. 2009.
  • “Gap Challenges for Trope Bundle Theory”, job talk, Rhodes College, Feb.2009.
  • “Moral Relativism and Moral Progress”, job talk, Wofford College, Jan. 2009.
  • “Moral Relativism and Moral Progress”, job talk, Appalachian State University, Jan. 2009.

Other Talks at Domestic Venues

  • “Loved into Lovable and Uniquely-Loving Existence:  C. S. Lewis, Divine Sustenance, and Tropes”, 3rd Annual HBU Philosophy Conference, Houston Baptist University, March 23, 2013. 
  • “Is the Benevolence of God Impartial?”, presented at The 74th Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Philosophical Society, Nov. 9, 2012, New Orleans, LA.
  • “A Dilemma for Bundle Theory”, presented at the 2nd Annual HBU Philosophy Conference, Houston Baptist University, March 30, 2012.
  • “On the Existence and Moral Standing of Ecosystems”, presented at Perspectives on Sustenance:  Food, Trade, Animals, and Ecosystems, the 2011 Internal Faculty Fellows Workshop.  October 21, 2011.  The Commentator was Dr. Kevin deLaplante (Iowa State University).
  • “The Incompatibility of Incompatibilism, Heaven, God & Evil”  (with Brian Boeninger), presented at The Virtue Revolution: The History of Virtue in Philosophy and Theology, Houston Baptist University Inaugural Philosophy Conference, April 9, 2011.
  • “On the Prospects of a Trope Theory of Substance”, presented at Midsouth Philosophy Conference, Memphis, TN, March 4, 2011.
  • “The Incompatibility of Incompatibilism, Heaven, God & Evil”  (with Brian Boeninger), presented  at the Baylor Philosophy of Religion Conference, Waco, Texas, January 28, 2011.
  • “On Barker on Baker on Burke:  Coincident Objects and Sortal Differences”, comments presented at the American Philosophical Association, Central Division Conference, Chicago, Il, February 2010.
  • “On Pat Kenny’s ‘Two-Category Solutions to the Problem of Material Constitution’”, comments presented at Objects and Persons Conference, University of Texas at Austin, April 14-15, 2006.
  • “On Joshue Orozco’s  ‘Existentialism’”, comments presented at Metaphysics and Modality Conference, University of Texas at Austin, April 15-16, 2005.
  • “On Stephan Blatti’s ‘Defense of Animalism’”, comments presented at Personhood: Mind, Will, Identity Conference, University of Texas at Austin, April 16-17, 2004.
  • “Causal Closure Principles and the Exclusion Argument”, poster presentation at Philosophy and Psychology Society Conference, Pasadena, CA, May 2003.
  • “The Benevolence of God and the Inadequacy of Patient-Centered Theodicy”, presented at The Society of Christian Philosophers Mountain-Plains Regional Conference, University of Colorado, Boulder, September 29, 2000.
  • “Artificial Intelligence and Personhood”, Bioethics in the New Millennium, 7th Annual Conference on Bioethics, Deerfield, IL, July 21, 2000.
  • “Incompatibilism and the Quality of Heavenly Actions”, presented at the Evangelical Theological Society Far West Region Annual Meeting, April 23, 1999.

Courses Taught 

 Graduate Seminar on the Metaphysics of Properties

  • Texas A&M University: Spring 2010, Fall 2011

The Ethics of Eating

  • University of Notre Dame, Spring 2009

The Rhetoric and Ethics of Environmentalism

  • University of Notre Dame, Fall 2008


  • Texas A&M University:  Fall 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013

Contemporary Moral Issues

  • University of Notre Dame: Spring 2008
  • Texas A&M University: Spring 2012, Spring 2013

 Introduction to Philosophy

  • University of Notre Dame: Fall 2006, Spring 2007, Fall 2007
  • Texas A&M University: Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011

Great Books Curriculum 

  • Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University:  Fall 2000 -- Spring 2002 (full time tutor)

Fellowships, Grants, & Awards

  • 2010-11.  Internal Faculty Fellow, awarded by the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities, Texas A&M University.
  • 2010.  Summer Research Grant, $10,000 awarded by the Program to Enhance Scholarly and Creative Activities, Texas A&M University.
  • 2009.  Edward Sorin Postdoctoral Fellowship, [declined]: 2-year postdoc awarded by the College of Arts & Letters at the Univ. of Notre Dame.
  • 2008-09.  Kaneb Teaching Fellowship, for the 2008-2009 academic year. Awarded by the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Notre Dame.
  • 2006.  Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award, awarded by the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Notre Dame.


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