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God, World & Value:
On the Axiology of Theism and the Rationality of Faith
(forthcoming, Routledge)

Imagine finding out some old sketch hanging on your wall has been, all this time, a page from the notebooks of Leonardo Davinci. I presume finding this out would lead you to appreciate the sketch in a new and deeper way, and to value it to a far greater degree. An otherwise identical sketch, made by some obscure doodler, would not be nearly so valuable. It seems that just being made by Leonardo would add enormous value to the sketch. With this example in mind, consider how theists understand the relation between God and the world. They think God made the world. And God would be incomparable greater than Davinci. All the more, we should think that God’s having made the world would add great value to it, and would give us a new and deeper way of appreciating the things around us, especially in the natural environment. God’s having made the world, let us say, is a worth-bestowing relation He bears to it. And if theism is true, God bears many other worth-bestowing relations to the world as well, such as His owning it, valuing it, and using it to convey His attributes to us. This book seeks to map the worth-bestowing relations between God and world, and to explore their significance for our life’s meaning.


Emotional Psychosemantics: The Case for Iconicity
Special edition of Philosophies, ed. Robert Cowan, forthcoming

The perceptual theory of emotion, now the dominant view, claims that emotions are perceptual states that represent their objects as having some evaluative property or other. In this essay, I explore a vital yet surprisingly neglected challenge for the perceptual theory, that of providing a psychosemantics for the evaluative content of emotion. If emotions represent their objects as having a certain evaluative property, plausibly something explains why. What might that be? An emotional psychosemantics seeks an answer. To date, however, the only perceptual theorist to attempt an emotional psychosemantics is Jesse Prinz. But Prinz’ approach, I argue, suffers from a serious problem: Implausibly, it makes the link between an emotion and the evaluative property it represents entirely arbitrary. I argue we can remedy this by appealing to the notion of iconicity. I suggest that emotions are icons of value: Roughly put, emotions represent values in part by resembling them.

The Threat of Anti-Theism:
What is at Stake in the Axiology of God?
Philosophical Quarterly, 2023 



Would God's existence be a good thing for us? According to anti-theism, the answer is No. Probably, many theists will want to reject anti-theism. But it isn’t obvious why. After all, whether p is good for us is logically independent from whether p is true. So anti-theism seems entirely compatible with theism. In this essay, however, I argue this seeming compatibility is mistaken. If anti-theism is true, then the theism of most practicing believers is false. And if I am right about this, then anti-theism presents a serious challenge to traditional theistic belief, notably theistic belief anchored in the Bible.


Christianity and the Life Story 
Faith and Philosophy, 2021


According to narrativism, it is. in some way normatively important for us to understand our lives as narratives. Recently, narrativism has been the subject of vigorous debate, with advocates such as Connie Rosati and critics such as Galen Strawson. But what should Christian philosophers make of narrativism? In this paper, I argue that, in fact, narrativism is a commitment of Christian teaching. I argue that there are practices which Christians have decisive reasons to engage in, which require us to see our lives as narratives, practices such as confession and thanksgiving.

Content and the Fittingness of Emotion
Philosophical Quarterly, 2021

Many philosophers of emotion, whether perceptual theorists or cognitive theorists, have claimed that emotions represent evaluative properties. This is often supported by an appeal to the fittingness of emotion: That emotions can be fitting shows they represent evaluative properties. In this paper, however, I argue that this inference is much too fast. In fact, no aspect of the rational profile of emotion directly supports the claim that emotions represent evaluative properties. This argument can, however, be matured into an inference to the best explanation. But this requires coming to terms with a significant emerging rival, the attitudinal theory of emotion. In this paper, I show how this can be accomplished, and how to save the inference from fittingness to content.

The Epistemic Significance of Emotional Experience 
Emotion Review, 2021

Many philosophers have claimed that emotional experience improves our epistemic standing with respect to value, and that it does so in a way that cannot be attained without emotional experience. In this paper, I provide a sustained argument for this thesis. I then argue that recent versions of the thesis fail to address crucial issues in a satisfactory way. Specifically, two pressing matters are: What exactly is the epistemic benefit that emotions provide, and second, in virtue of what do emotions provide it? I consider recent claims that emotions (a) facilitate attention, (b) share epistemically significant properties with sense perception, and (c) deepen evaluative understanding. I argue that neither of these views can explain the distinctive epistemic significance of emotion.

The Rationality of Faith and the Benefits of Religion 
International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 2017

Religions don’t simply make claims about the world; they also offer existential resources, resources for dealing with basic human problems, such as the need for meaning, love, identity, and personal growth. For instance, a Buddhist’s resources for addressing these existential needs are different than a Christian’s. Now, imagine someone who is agnostic but who is deciding whether to put faith in religion A or religion B. Suppose she thinks A and B are evidentially on par, but she regards A as offering much more by way of existential resources. Is it epistemically rational for her to put her faith in A rather than B on this basis? It is natural to answer No. After all, what do the existential resources of a religion have to do with its truth? However, I want to argue that this is mistaken. My thesis is that the extent to which it is good for a certain religion to be true is relevant to the epistemic (rather than merely pragmatic) rationality of faith in that religion. This is plausible, I’ll argue, on the correct account of the nature of faith. I’ll argue (a) that faith requires some positive evaluation of the faith object; (b) that this positive evaluation is assessable for epistemic rationality, even if it is an affective or conative state; (c) that the overall epistemic rationality of faith depends on the epistemic rationality of its constitutive positive evaluation; and (d) that whether its constitutive positive evaluation is epistemically rational in some way depends on the quality of the existential resources the faith object (a religion or worldview) has to offer.



Value Beyond Monotheism: The Axiology of the Divine
ed. Kirk Lougheed (Routledge)
The International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, forthcoming
Ordered by Love: An Introduction to John Duns Scotus
by Thomas Ward (Angelico Press)
Cranmer Theological Journal, forthcoming
The Virtues of Limits
by David MacPherson (OUP)
Philosophical Quarterly, 2023



Axiology of Theism
We Matter More If God Exists:
Theistic Sources of Human Dignity
Our Lives Go Better in a World Created by God 
The Value of the Gifts of God 
Every Good and Perfect Gift 
Is God the Ideal Attachment Figure? 
God Makes Us More Autonomous 
God as Perfect Valuer 
Should We Want an Omniscient God to Exist? 
The Meaningful Life Argument—Hybridized 
The Axiology of Everlasting Hell
Human Rights
God, Rights, and Rational Nature
Human Rights and Human Symbols:
A Critique of Erik Wielenberg's Grounding of Human Rights​
Saving Wolterstorff from Euthyphro
Grounding Human Rights in God:
The Future Glory Account
Narrative Ethics
Narrative Truth and Human Needs
Arbitrary Narratives
Philosophy of Religion (not Axiology)
The Abductive Ontological Argument
God Has to Act: Introducing the Beowulf Problem
The Private Life of the Trinity
From Trinity to Divine Temporality
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