Peer-Reviewed Writing

What follows is a list of written (or co-written) pieces I have published over the course of my career, along with brief abstracts explaining their central arguments. For a more comprehensive list of my publications/presentations, see my CV.

Peer-reviewed articles:

“Things within Things? Toward an Ontology of the Firm.” Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (forthcoming).

The burgeoning analytic literature on the topic of “social ontology”—that is, the properly ontological status of “social” phenomena such as institutions, firms and nation-states—has yielded some promising avenues of research for economists interested in the economic agency of groups as opposed to individual persons. Following M.D. Ryall, in this paper I offer a preliminary sketch of an ontology of the firm inspired by the work of Bernard Lonergan and the Aristotelian metaphysical tradition.

“Analogy in Aquinas: The Alston-Wolterstorff Debate Revisited.” Faith and Philosophy 34.1 (2017): 33–56.

In the last decade there arose a debate between William P. Alston and Nicholas Wolterstorff on the subject of Thomas Aquinas’s doctrine of analogia—that is, the position that perfection terms, when properly predicated of God and of creatures, are distinct, yet related in meaning. Whereas Alston interprets Aquinas to hold this well-known position before criticizing it, Wolterstorff argues that Aquinas actually did not hold the position as it is usually presented. In this paper, I show why Alston’s “orthodox” interpretation is more faithful to the letter of Aquinas’s text than is Wolterstorff’s “heterodoxy” and attempt to defuse Alston’s criticisms.

(Co-authored with Andrew Cuff) “Human Freedom and Market Freedom: John Paul II’s Augustinian Anthropology and the Austrian School of Economics.” Anamnesis (forthcoming 2016).

With my colleague Andrew Cuff, I argue that despite some genuinely positive developments in the Austrian School of Economics (ASE) with respect to “objective bias” in much of contemporary economic methodology, certain figures in ASE rely upon a purely “negative” conception of freedom that is inimical to human flourishing. This paper attempts to provide a corrective in light of Pope John Paul II’s personalist anthropology.

“Gadamer, Lavoie, and Their Critics: The Hermeneutics Debate Revisited.” Journal of Markets & Morality 19.1 (Spring 2016), 61–78.

Don Lavoie’s 1985 paper, “The Interpretive Dimension of Economics,” marked the beginning of what would prove to be a potentially groundbreaking but ultimately unsuccessful development in Austrian economic methodology. Reexamining the importance of this project, this study argues for two basic theses: (1) Professor Lavoie’s appropriation of the German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer remains a robust philosophical framework for the Austrian science of praxeology; and (2) the Austrian critiques of his hermeneutical project ironically adopt the same epistemic presuppositions that have historically marginalized the distinctively Austrian methodology of praxeology. Lavoie’s hermeneutical Austrianism represents an unfortunately forgotten, yet important development that is sorely needed in contemporary debates in economic methodology.

(Co-authored with Justice and Faith research team) “Just Faith? A National Survey Connecting Faith and Justice within the Christian Reformed Church.” Review of Religious Research (December 2015), 1-19.

This article reports on the findings of a survey that was distributed to a representative sample of 264 congregational members across Canada. Findings show that understandings of justice from “the pew” are multifaceted even if conceptually vague. Yet justice is clearly understood as being connected to faith even if there is ambiguity as to how it fits into the spectrum of Christian life. There is subsequently a need to assist congregants in translating their awareness of injustice and desire for justice into action. In particular, survey results emphasize the importance of pairing a Christian vision for justice with opportunities to experience exemplars of justice work. Further research could explore the extent to which these on-the-ground perspectives are shared across Christian and other faith traditions, and across world regions.

“Transcendental Multitude in Thomas Aquinas.” Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (forthcoming 2016).

I consider the viability of what is perhaps one of the more “obscure” transcendentals in Aquinas’ work—that is, the concept of multitudo transcendens. This strange notion is mentioned explicitly (as a member of the transcendentia, that is) on four occasions in Aquinas’ oeuvre. Despite its apparent difficulties, i.e. the clear difficulties associated with claiming that ens is really convertible with both unum and multitudo, I suggest that Aquinas’ affirmation of multitudo as a transcendental is a conceptually coherent way of providing a compelling answer to a perennial problem in both ancient and modern philosophy: namely, the logical and metaphysical problem of doing justice to the seemingly equiprimordial notions of “the one” and “the many”—as harmonious perfections rather than competitive notions.

“Some Prolegomena to any Future Truth Theory in Christian Philosophy.” Philosophia Christi 17.1 (2015), 71-87.

While there are plenty of so-called factual uses of truth in John’s Gospel (that is, truth as the “correspondence of a thought and a fact,” or something like it), there are also many others that demand equal if not more careful treatment in any theory of truth that can claim to be faithful to this biblical text. Following Anthony Thiselton and others, I claim that among these Johannine uses of truth are “ontological truth” (John 6:55), “pragmatic truth” (3:21), “political truth” (8:12–16), and perhaps most notably, “divine truth” (14:6). Accounting for this plurality of meanings in a robust way, I suggest, ought to be a necessary condition for any account of truth in Christian philosophy. I then suggest Anselm’s De Veritate as a positive model for Christian philosophical speculation about truth in light of these criteria.
“The Thin Theory of Existence and Conceptual Idolatry.” Per la Filosofia: Special Issue on ‘Philosophy and Idols’ 90.1 (2014), 73-86.
Since its advent in the work of Gottlob Frege, many prominent analytic philosophers such as Willard Van Orman Quine, Anthony Kenny and Peter van Inwagen have defended what has been called the “thin theory” of existence (TT). submit that the so-called “transcendental” tradition of pre-modern philosophical theology is the
better view because it does justice to the non-quantifiable unity of being qua being, a position marked most significantly by a recognition of our contingency as material creatures testifying to a transcendent infinite.

“Does Aquinas Hold a Correspondence Theory of Truth in De Veritate?” Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (winner of the ACPA’s “Young Scholar’s Award”) 88 (2014), 285-300.

It has been popular to classify the Angelic Doctor as one of the forerunners of the modern “correspondence theory” of truth. In what follows, I attempt to answer the question of whether or not this is a correct assessment. I want to suggest that Aquinas’s account of truth has superficial concord but deep conflict with modern correspondence theories.

“Who’s Truth? A Response to Davis-Franks.” Philosophia Christi 16.1 (2014), 165-174.

This short article is a response to a paper in Philosophia Christi by W. Paul Franks and Richard B. Davis (FD) entitled “Against a Postmodern Epistemology.” As the title helps to suggest, the authors argue for the incompatibility of James K. A. Smith’s “postmodern epistemology” with the gospel. In what follows, I respond to three of FD’s particular criticisms in the following manner: (1) by questioning the adoption of the correspondence theory of truth in light of the scriptural witness of John 14; (2) revealing what I take to be an invalid inference drawn from FD’s “Peter’s Axiom” as stated; and (3) offering an alternative account of the “universality” of the gospel.

“Univocity and Analogy: A Comparative Study of Gilbert Ryle and Martin Heidegger.” Diametros 34 (December 2012), 34-50.

This article is a comparative study of Martin Heidegger and Gilbert Ryle on their respective views about the semantic and ontological import of “being” (Sein).

Book Reviews:

Review of Being, Essence and Substance in Plato and Aristotle by Paul Ricoeur, translated by David Pellauer and John Starkey. Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review 54.4 (2015), 805-07.

Review of Heidegger’s Philosophical Atheology by Peter S. Dillard. Praxis 4.1 (2014/15), 3-7.

Review of Hermeneutics: An Introduction to Interpretive Theory by Stanley E. Porter and Jason C. Robinson. Theology 116.2 (March 2013), 127-28.

Book Chapters and Encyclopedia Entries:

“Logic” in: A Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia. New Haven, CT: Eerdmans (forthcoming 2017).

“Parmenides’ Challenge and Zuidervaart’s Theory of Truth: A Project Ancient and Original.” (forthcoming in a festschrift dedicated to the work of Prof. Lambert Zuidervaart).

“Philosopher” and “Anthropomorphism” in: Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014.