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Brian Embry
University of Groningen
  1. Descartes on Free Will and Moral Possibility.Brian Embry - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:380-398.
    An early modern scholastic conception of moral possibility helps make sense of Descartes's own perplexing use of that concept and solves the exegetical puzzles surrounding Descartes's conflicting remarks about free will.
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  2. Counterfactuals Without Possible Worlds? A Difficulty for Fine’s Exact Semantics for Counterfactuals.Brian Embry - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy (5):276-287.
    In this paper I argue that there is a difficulty for Fine's exact semantics for counterfactuals. The difficulty undermines Fine's reasons for preferring exact semantics to possible worlds semantics.
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  3. Truth and Truthmakers in Early Modern Scholasticism.Brian Embry - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):196-216.
    17th-century Iberian and Italian scholastics had a concept of a truthmaker [verificativum] similar to that found in contemporary metaphysical debates. I argue that the 17th-century notion of a truthmaker can be illuminated by a prevalent 17th-century theory of truth according to which the truth of a proposition is the mereological sum of that proposition and its intentional object. I explain this theory of truth and then spell out the account of truthmaking it entails.
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    Francisco Suárez on Beings of Reason and Non-Strict Ontological Pluralism.Brian Embry - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19 (27).
    For Francisco Suárez, beings of reason are non-existent objects that we can think about, objects like goat-stags and round squares. The first section of the fifty-fourth of Suárez’s Metaphysical Disputations is about the ontological status of beings of reason. Suárez’s view has been the subject of disagreement in the literature because he sometimes says that there are beings of reason, and he sometimes says there are not. In this paper, I argue for and explain an ontological pluralist reading of Suárez. (...)
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  5. An Early Modern Scholastic Theory of Negative Entities: Thomas Compton Carleton on Lacks, Negations, and Privations.Brian Embry - 2015 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (1):22-45.
    Seventeenth century scholastics had a rich debate about the ontological status and nature of lacks, negations, and privations. Realists in this debate posit irreducible negative entities responsible for the non-existence of positive entities. One of the first scholastics to develop a realist position on negative entities was Thomas Compton Carleton. In this paper I explain Carleton's theory of negative entities, including what it is for something to be negative, how negative entities are individuated, whether they are abstract or concrete, and (...)
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  6. On (Not) Believing That God Has Answered a Prayer.Brian Embry - 2017 - Faith and Philosophy (1):132-141.
    Scott Davison has raised an epistemic challenge to the doctrine of petitionary prayer. Roughly, the challenge is that we cannot know or have reason to believe that a prayer has been answered. Davison argues that the epistemic challenge undermines all the extant defenses of petitionary prayer. I argue that it does not.
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  7. How Not To Be a Truthmaker Maximalist: Francisco Peinado on Truthmakers for Negative Truths.Brian Embry - 2016 - In Robert Pasnau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy, Volume 4. Oxford University Press. pp. 159-183.
    A seventeenth-century scholastic attempt to restrict the truthmaker principle to positive truths.
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  8. Francisco Suárez on Eternal Truths, Eternal Essences, and Extrinsic Being.Brian Embry - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4.
    It is necessarily true that water is H2O, but it is a contingent fact that there is any water at all. Water therefore seems ill suited to ground the necessary truth that water is H2O. One view traditionally attributed to Scotus and Henry of Ghent was that while water is contingent, the essence of water is necessary; hence, the essence of water can ground the so-called eternal truth that water is H2O. Francisco Suárez rejects this view on the grounds that (...)
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    Sebastián Izquierdo's Theory of Priority.Brian Embry - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (4):491-509.
    This paper explains Sebastián Izquierdo's (1601-1681) theory of priority. Izquierdo was a seventeenth-century Spanish scholastic philosopher who was best known in the seventeenth century for his ambitious work, Pharus Scientiarum (“Lighthouse of the Sciences”), which attempts to carry out the Baconian project of establishing a universal art of acquiring and disseminating knowledge. Disputation 15 of the Pharus contains one of the most detailed treatments of priority in the history of philosophy. The purpose of this paper is to limn the contours (...)
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