Jeffrey E. Brower Purdue University
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  • Faculty, Purdue University
  • PhD, University of Iowa, 1996.

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  1. Michael Bergmann & Jeffrey E. Brower (2006). A Theistic Argument Against Platonism (and in Support of Truthmakers and Divine Simplicity). Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 2:357-386.
    Predication is an indisputable part of our linguistic behavior. By contrast, the metaphysics of predication has been a matter of dispute ever since antiquity. According to Plato—or at least Platonism, the view that goes by Plato’s name in contemporary philosophy—the truths expressed by predications such as “Socrates is wise” are true because there is a subject of predication (e.g., Socrates), there is an abstract property or universal (e.g., wisdom), and the subject exemplifies the property.1 This view is supposed to be (...)
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  2. Jeffrey E. Brower (2011). Abelard's Theory of Relations. Review of Metaphysics 51 (3):605-631.
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  3. Jeffrey E. Brower (2011). Matter, Form, and Individuation. In Brian Davies & Eleonore Stump (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas. Oxford University Press.
    Few notions are more central to Aquinas’s thought than those of matter and form. Although he invokes these notions in a number of different contexts, and puts them to a number of different uses, he always assumes that in their primary or basic sense they are correlative both with each other and with the notion of a “hylomorphic compound”—that is, a compound of matter (hyle) and form (morphe). Thus, matter is an entity that can have form, form is an entity (...)
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  4. Jeffrey E. Brower (2010). Aristotelian Endurantism: A New Solution to the Problem of Temporary Intrinsics. Mind 119 (476):883 - 905.
    It is standardly assumed that there are three — and only three — ways to solve problem of temporary intrinsics: (a) embrace presentism, (b) relativize property possession to times, or (c) accept the doctrine of temporal parts. The first two solutions are favoured by endurantists, whereas the third is the perdurantist solution of choice. In this paper, I argue that there is a further type of solution available to endurantists, one that not only avoids the usual costs, but is structurally (...)
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  5. Jeffrey E. Brower, Aristotelian Endurantism & A. New (2010). Index of Mind Vol. 119 Nos 1–4, 2010. Mind 119:476.
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  6. Jeffrey E. Brower, Medieval Theories of Relations. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The purpose of this entry is to provide a systematic introduction to medieval views about the nature and ontological status of relations. Given the current state of our knowledge of medieval philosophy, especially with regard to relations, it is not possible to discuss all the nuances of even the best known medieval philosophers' views. In what follows, therefore, we shall restrict our aim to identifying and describing (a) the main types of position that were developed during the Middle Ages, and (...)
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  7. Jeffrey E. Brower (2009). Simplicity and Aseity. In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press.
    There is a traditional theistic doctrine, known as the doctrine of divine simplicity, according to which God is an absolutely simple being, completely devoid of any metaphysical complexity. On the standard understanding of this doctrine—as epitomized in the work of philosophers such as Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas—there are no distinctions to be drawn between God and his nature, goodness, power, or wisdom. On the contrary, God is identical with each of these things, along with anything else that can be predicated (...)
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  8. Jeffrey E. Brower (2008). Making Sense of Divine Simplicity. Faith and Philosophy 25 (1):3-30.
    According to the doctrine of divine simplicity, God is an absolutely simple being lacking any distinct metaphysical parts, properties, or constituents. Although this doctrine was once an essential part of traditional philosophical theology, it is now widely rejected as incoherent. In this paper, I develop an interpretation of the doctrine designed to resolve contemporary concerns about its coherence, as well as to show precisely what is required to make sense of divine simplicity.
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  9. Jeffrey Brower & Susan Brower-Toland (2008). Aquinas on Mental Representation: Concepts and Intentionality. Philosophical Review 117 (2):193 - 243.
    This essay explores some of the central aspects of Aquinas's account of mental representation, focusing in particular on his views about the intentionality of concepts (or intelligible species). It begins by demonstrating the need for a new interpretation of his account, showing in particular that the standard interpretations all face insurmountable textual difficulties. It then develops the needed alternative and explains how it avoids the sorts of problems plaguing the standard interpretations. Finally, it draws out the implications of this interpretation (...)
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  10. Michael Bergmann & Jeffrey E. Brower (2007). The God of Eth and the God of Earth. Think 5 (14):33-38.
    Stephen Law has recently argued (Think 9), using a dialogue set on the fictional planet Eth, that traditional belief in God is . Bergmann and Brower argue that theists on Earth should not be convinced.
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  11. Jeffrey E. Brower (2007). Special Issue on Peter Abelard (Editor's Introduction). American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (2):163-167.
  12. Jeffrey E. Brower (2007). Editor's Introduction. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (2):163-167.
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  13. Jeffrey E. Brower (2006). The Cambridge Companion to Duns Scotus (Review). Philosophical Review 115 (2):259-262.
    Each volume in this series of companions to major philosophers contains specially commissioned essays by an international team of scholars, together with a substantial bibliography, and will serve as a reference work for students and non-specialists. One aim of the series is to dispel the intimidation such readers often feel when faced with the work of a difficult and challenging thinker. John Duns Scotus (1265/6-1308) was (along with Aquinas and Ockham) one of the three principal figures in medieval philosophy and (...)
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  14. Jeffrey E. Brower (2005). Aquinas's Metaphysics of Modality: A Reply to Leftow. Modern Schoolman 83 (3):201-212.
    Brian Leftow sets out to provide us with an account of Aquinas’s metaphysics of modality.1 Drawing on some important recent work, which is surely close to the spirit (if not quite the letter) of Aquinas’s thought, he frames his discussion in terms of “truthmakers”: what is it that makes true claims about possibility and necessity—that is to say, what serves as their ontological ground or ultimate metaphysical explanation?2 Leftow’s main thesis is that, for Aquinas, all true modal claims are made (...)
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  15. Jeffrey E. Brower & Michael Rea (2005). Material Constitution and the Trinity. Faith and Philosophy 22 (1):57-76.
    As is well known, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity poses a serious philosophical problem. On the one hand, it affirms that there are three distinct Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each of whom is God. On the other hand, it says that there is one and only one God. The doctrine therefore pulls us in two directions at once—in the direction of saying that there is exactly one divine being and in the direction of saying that there is more than (...)
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  16. Jeffrey E. Brower (2004). Anselm on Ethics. In Brian Davies & Brian Leftow (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Anselm. Cambridge University Press. 222--56.
    There is a real question about whether Anselm developed anything like a systematic ethical theory.1 Indeed, scholars have sometimes suggested that his treatment of ethical matters consists in little more than recapitulation of ethical principles implicit in Scripture or transmitted to him by Christian thinkers such as Augustine and Boethius.2 The truth of the matter, however, is quite the opposite. Although it is easy to overlook the systematic nature of Anselm’s ethical theorizing, as well as its genuine originality, his contribution (...)
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  17. Jeffrey E. Brower (2004). Abelard on the Trinity. In Jeffrey E. Brower & Kevin Guilfoy (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Abelard. Cambridge University Press.
    Theology is the preeminent academic discipline during the Middle Ages and, as a result, most of great thinkers of this period are highly trained theologians. Although this is common knowledge, it is sometimes overlooked that the systematic nature of medieval theology led its practitioners to develop full treatments of virtually every area within philosophy. Indeed, theological reflection not only provides the main context in which the medievals theorize about what we would now recognize as distinctively philosophical issues, but it is (...)
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  18. Jeffrey E. Brower (2004). The Problem with Social Trinitarianism: A Reply to Wierenga. Faith and Philosophy 21 (3):295-303.
    In a recent article, Edward Wierenga defends a version of Social Trinitarianism according to which the Persons of the Trinity form a unique society of really distinct divine beings, each of whom has its own exemplification of divinity. In this paper, I call attention to several philosophical and theological difficulties with Wierenga’s account, as well as to a problem that such difficulties pose for Social Trinitarianism generally. I then briefly suggest what I take to be a more promising approach to (...)
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  19. Jeffrey E. Brower & Kevin Guilfoy (eds.) (2004). The Cambridge Companion to Abelard. Cambridge University Press.
    Each volume of this series of companions to major philosophers contains specially commissioned essays by an international team of scholars, together with a substantial bibliography, and will serve as a reference work for students and non-specialists. One aim of the series is to dispel the intimidation such readers often feel when faced with the work of a difficult and challenging thinker. Peter Abelard (1079-1142) is one of the greatest philosophers of the medieval period. Although best known for his views about (...)
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  20. Jeffrey E. Brower & Michael Rea (2004). Understanding the Trinity. Logos 8:145-157.
    The doctrine of the Trinity poses a deep and difficult problem. On the one hand, it says that there are three distinct Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and that each of these Persons “is God”. On the other hand, it says that there is one and only one God. So it appears to involve a contradiction. It seems to say that there is exactly one divine being, and also that there is more than one. How are we to make sense of (...)
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  21. Jeffrey E. Brower (2003). Mind, Metaphysics, and Value in the Thomistic and Analytical Traditions (Review). [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2003 (3).
  22. Jeffrey Brower (2001). Relations Without Polyadic Properties: Albert the Great on the Nature and Ontological Status of Relations. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 83 (3):225-257.
    I think it would be fair to say that, until about 1900, philosophers were generally reluctant to admit the existence of what are nowadays called polyadic properties (for our purposes we may think of a polyadic property as a property whose instances can belong to two or more subjects at once).1 It is important to recognize, however, that this reluctance on the part of pre-twentieth-century philosophers did not prevent them from theorizing about relations. On the contrary, philosophers from the ancient (...)
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  23. Jeffrey E. Brower (2001). Duns Scotus (Review). Philosophia Christi 3:310-311.
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  24. Jeffrey E. Brower (2000). Cognitive Psychology in the Middle Ages (Review). Speculum 75:206-207.
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  25. Jeffrey E. Brower (2000). The Cambridge Companion to Ockham (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 38 (4):588-589.
    Contemporary analytic philosophers have always been among the most enthusiastic audiences for the volumes in the Cambridge Companion series. And of all the great philosophers of the Middle Ages, perhaps none has appealed more to their sensibilities than <span class='Hi'>William</span> Ockham. It is fitting, therefore, that after the publication of the Companion to Aquinas—the first volume in the series devoted to a medieval philosopher—there should appear a Companion to Ockham. The fifteen chapters comprising this volume survey the entire range of (...)
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  26. Jeffrey E. Brower (1998). Abelard's Theory of Relations: Reductionism and the Aristotelian Tradition. Review of Metaphysics 51 (3):605-631.
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