I am Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Northern Illinois University. I work mainly in metaphysics and philosophical logic and on related issues in the philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, and early modern philosophy (especially Leibniz).

I did my PhD at UNC (2015) with Bob AdamsKeith Simmons, and Thomas Hofweber. Before that, I did an MA in philosophy at Northern Illinois (2008). 






Journal of Philosophy (112): 309-334

We sometimes say things like this: “being an animal is part of being a dog.” We associate the part with a precondition for exemplifying the whole. A new semantics for modal logic results when we take this way of speaking seriously. We need not treat necessary truths as truths in all possible worlds. Instead, we may treat them as preconditions for the existence of any world at all. I present this semantics for modal propositional logic and argue that it operates on a more basic level of modal reality than possible world semantics. 



Philosophy Compass (11): 702-715

Over the last half century, possible worlds have bled into almost every area of philosophy. In the metaphysics of modality, for example, philosophers have used possible worlds almost exclusively to illuminate discourse about metaphysical necessity and possibility. But some have recently begun to use properties to develop rivals to possible worlds semantics which may someday compare in formal power and capture the differnt systems of modal logic. In this paper, I do two things. I first offer a quick primer on possible worlds semantics. Then I discuss three rivals and the work they have left to do.


In progress, PDF available by email

I develop a new semantics for first-order logic without individuals as the values of names or extensions as the values of predicates.  Whereas standard approaches say that 'Fred is blue' is true when the predicate's extension contains Fred, the semantics here says that it is true when  being blue is part of being Fred. Both Montague and Leibniz have similar treatments of singular propositions. But Montague uses possibility space to characterize intensionality, whereas I do the converse. And Leibniz's conceptual containment theory has problems with both quantified and relational propositions. The semantics here resolves those problems, captures hyperintensional distinctions among predicates, and has more expressive power than standard approaches.



In progress, PDF available by email

I argue that the standard semantics for Standard Deontic Logic is redundant in a certain way. It is as if you opened a clock and found that one of the gears was itself a clock. I then present a new semantics for Standard Deontic Logic without the redundancy.


This spring, I'm teaching undergraduate logic and a graduate seminar in deontic logic.


Northern Illinois


101 Introduction to Philosophy (fall 2015, spring 2016)

205 Symbolic Logic (fall 2016, fall 2017, spring 2018)

312 Introduction to Metaphysics (spring 2016)

322 Early Modern (spring 2017)


421/521 Leibniz (fall 2016)

602 Deontic Logic (spring 2018)

612b Modal Metaphysics (fall 2015, fall 2017)

UNC-Chapel Hill

101 Introduction to Philosophy online (spring 2012)

155 Introduction to Mathematical Logic (summer 2011, summer 2012)

 165 Bioethics, online (spring 2014, summer 2014)

311 Early Modern Philosophy (fall 2011)