Talks

2019. TBC [A talk on avoidability and the nature of situated choices] (Berlin)

Upcoming talk (mid September) for a workshop on alternative possibilities.

2019. Grace and Free Will: On Original Sin and Avoiding Semi-Pelagianism (York)

A talk on the problem of providing an account of the interaction of divine grace and human free will given a commitment to theological incompatibilism, and a desire to hew closely to the Christian tradition. I discussed two accounts of free will, distinguished three roles quiescence plays in the debate, and suggested that one's preferred account of grace and free will is likely significantly affected by one's preferred view of free will, which is in turn significantly affected by what one considers the source of the agent's true identity.

This talk was given at a conference entitled Divine Grace, Human Freedom, and the Way of Salvation in York, June 2019.

The handout from this talk is available here.

2018. Divine Freedom, Personhood and Time (Innsbruck)

A talk on whether atemporalists about God can develop a satisfactory account of divine freedom. Focusing on the work of Katherin Rogers, I argued that atemporalism precludes divine freedom (conceived of in terms of choice), because determinate existence is incompatible with the ability to do otherwise. And this was developed into an argument that atemporalism therefore precludes divine personhood, because personhood requires freedom.

This talk was originally given at a conference entitled Personal and A-Personal Cocepts of God in Innsbruck, August 2018.

2018. Free Will, Foreknowledge and Four-Dimensionalism (Haifa)

A talk on whether atemporalism about God and so God's foreknowledge facilitates the compatibility of divine foreknowledge and human freedom. I considered the views of Michael Rota and Katherin Rogers, and argued that neither yielded a satisfactory compatibilism. The problem is that the kind of abilities these views see as relevant to free will are not the right kind of abilities required by free will.

This talk was originally given at The Haifa Conference on Philosophy of Religion in Israel, June 2018.

2017. Control, Avoidability and the Ability to do Otherwise (Berlin)

A talk on the choice-based theory of free will or control, arguing that an agent's control is determined in part by how he or she represents the world - i.e. that we should not distinguish between a 'control condition on moral responsibility' and an 'epistemic condition on moral responsibility', because control, at least for the choice-based theorist, is mediated through decisions, and therefore through the actual representations the agent has of the world.

This talk was given at a conference entitled The Agency Dimension of Moral Responsibility at Humboldt University, August 2017.

2017. Grace, Free Will and Necessity in Aquinas (Brixen)

A talk on the question of whether a person can deserve praise or blame for something willed necessarily. I look first of all at what Aquinas says about this, focusing on the Disputed Questions on Truth and the Summa Theologiae, before offering a critique of Aquinas’s views on this.

One version of this talk was given at a workshop on Aquinas and Free Will held in Brixen, Italy, in 2017.

A different version of the talk is available as an MP3 here, and comes in at just over 40 minutes.

There was a handout for this but unfortunately I have lost it.

2014. The Robustness of Alternative Possibilities (Moscow)

Talk on the robustness of alternative possibilities given at a summer school hosted by the Moscow Centre for Consciousness Studies, 2014.

A video recording of the talk is available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGh55otaJ1I