My dissertation gives a systematic treatment of problems in the metaphysics of identity, including Black's two-sphere world, the statue and the clay, the problem of the many, and personal identity over time.
Abstract: I propose a novel metaphysical explanation of identity and distinctness facts called the Modal Proposal. According to the Modal Proposal, for each identity fact – that is, each fact of the form a=b – that fact is metaphysically explained by the fact that it is necessary that the entities involved are indiscernible; and for each distinctness fact – each fact of the form a≠b – that fact is metaphysically explained by the fact that it is possible for the entities involved to be discernible. I argue that the Modal Proposal has greater payoffs at less cost than any of its competitors. It gives simple, uniform, and intuitive explanations of identity and distinctness that conserve longstanding philosophical insights about identity that go back to Leibniz. It does this while making our fundamental base more parsimonious, determining whether controversial cases of identity or distinctness are possible, and expanding our understanding of these central philosophical relations.
Works in Progress:
Self-Interest and Identity
Abstract: In this paper, I argue that there are two kinds of future-directed self-interest which are often mistakenly unified. The first is future-directed agential self-interest, interest one's future actions. The second is future-directed experiential self-interest, interest in one's future experiences. My argument involves two cases of transformative experiences. In the first case, future-directed agential self-interest is appropriate but future-directed experiential self-interest is not. In the second case, future-directed experiential self-interest is appropriate but future-directed agential self-interest is not.