Current Research

I have recently finished work on a book on hylomorphic and neo-Aristotelian metaphysics: Making Objects and Events: A Hylomorphic Theory of Artifacts, Actions, and Organisms. An overview of the project can be found here. Following up on the work for this book, I am currently thinking more about artifacts, social ontology, and creation. Some of the things I am working on include:

1) A paper on Augustine's theory of creation, according to which in His creation of the world, God performs simultaneously two actions. One is the creation of matter ex nihilo; the other is the creation of the world out of that matter. Why does Augustine separate these, rather than simply taking God to create the world ex nihilo? The theory I develop in my book, I hope, will explain why.

2) In my book, I argue that it is both necessary and sufficient for an object's being the object it is that it be the product of its actual making. But this raises problems for cases of mass production, where more than one object of a given type is produced by a single act of making. I there sketch a theory according to which the products of mass production do not have individual essences but share a collective essence. In this paper, I attempt to develop this theory more fully.

3) A critical review of Thomas Sattig's book The Double Lives of Objects.

4) In February and March 2016, I wrote and published on Facebook about 50 variants of the Batman Slapping Robin meme. I am now working on a book collecting these and further instances I have composed, and providing a commentary on them that encompasses philosophy, memoir, and random erudition. You can read about it here.