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Profile: Robert K. Garcia (Texas A&M University)
  1. Is It Possible to Care for Ecosystems? Policy Paralysis and Ecosystem Management.Robert K. Garcia & Jonathan A. Newman - 2016 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 19 (2):170-182.
    Conservationists have two types of arguments for why we should conserve ecosystems: instrumental and intrinsic value arguments. Instrumental arguments contend that we ought to conserve ecosystems because of the benefits that humans, or other morally relevant individuals, derive from ecosystems. Conservationists are often loath to rely too heavily on the instrumental argument because it could potentially force them to admit that some ecosystems are not at all useful to humans, or that if they are, they are not more useful than (...)
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  2. Bare Particulars and Constituent Ontology.Robert K. Garcia - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (2):149-159.
    My general aim in this paper is to shed light on the controversial concept of a bare particular. I do so by arguing that bare particulars are best understood in terms of the individuative work they do within the framework of a realist constituent ontology. I argue that outside such a framework, it is not clear that the notion of a bare particular is either motivated or coherent. This is suggested by reflection on standard objections to bare particulars. However, within (...)
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  3. Is Trope Theory a Divided House?Robert K. Garcia - 2015 - In Gabriele Galluzzo Michael Loux (ed.), The Problem of Universals in Contemporary Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 133-155.
    In this paper I explore Michael Loux’s important distinction between “tropes” and “tropers”. First, I argue that the distinction throws into relief an ambiguity and discrepancy in the literature, revealing two fundamentally different versions of trope theory. Second, I argue that the distinction brings into focus unique challenges facing each of the resulting trope theories, thus calling into question an alleged advantage of trope theory—that by uniquely occupying the middle ground between its rivals, trope theory is able to recover and (...)
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  4. Tropes and Dependency Profiles: Problems for the Nuclear Theory of Substance.Robert K. Garcia - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (2):167-176.
    In this article I examine the compatibility of a leading trope bundle theory of substance, so-called Nuclear Theory, with trope theory more generally. Peter Simons (1994) originally proposed Nuclear Theory (NT), and continues to develop (1998, 2000) and maintain (2002/03) the view. Recently, building on Simons’s theory, Markku Keinänen (2011) has proposed what he calls the Strong Nuclear Theory (SNT). Although the latter is supposed to shore up some of NT’s weaknesses, it continues to maintain NT’s central tenet, the premise (...)
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  5. Introduction.Robert K. Garcia & Nathan L. King - 2009 - In Robert K. Garcia & Nathan L. King (eds.), Is Goodness Without God Good Enough? A Debate on Faith, Secularism, and Ethics. Rowman & Littlefield.
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  6. Two Ways to Particularize a Property.Robert K. Garcia - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (4):635-652.
    Trope theory is an increasingly prominent contender in contemporary debates about the existence and nature of properties. But it suffers from ambiguity concerning the nature of a trope. Disambiguation reveals two fundamentally different concepts of a trope: modifier tropes and module tropes. These types of tropes are unequally suited for metaphysical work. Modifier tropes have advantages concerning powers, relations, and fundamental determinables, whereas module tropes have advantages concerning perception, causation, character-grounding, and the ontology of substance. Thus, the choice between modifier (...)
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  7. Artificial Intelligence and Personhood.Robert K. Garcia - 2002 - In John Kilner, Diane Uustal & Christopher Hook (eds.), Cutting Edge Bioethics: A Christian Exploration of Technology and Trends.
  8. Descartes's Independence Conception of Substance and His Separability Argument for Substance Dualism.Robert K. Garcia - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Research 39:165-190.
    I critically examine the view that Descartes’s independence conception (IC) of substance plays a crucial role in his “separability argument” for substance dualism. I argue that IC is a poisoned chalice. I do so by considering how an IC-based separability argument fares on two different ways of thinking about principal attributes. On the one hand, if we take principal attributes to be universals, then a separability argument that deploys IC establishes a version of dualism that is unacceptably strong. On the (...)
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  9. Closing in on Causal Closure.Robert K. Garcia - 2014 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (1-2):96-109.
    I examine the meaning and merits of a premise in the Exclusion Argument, the causal closure principle that all physical effects have physical causes. I do so by addressing two questions. First, if we grant the other premises, exactly what kind of closure principle is required to make the Exclusion Argument valid? Second, what are the merits of the requisite closure principle? Concerning the first, I argue that the Exclusion Argument requires a strong, “stringently pure” version of closure. The latter (...)
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  10. Towards a Just Solar Radiation Management Compensation System: A Defense of the Polluter Pays Principle.Robert K. Garcia - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (2):178-182.
    In their ‘Ethical and Technical Challenges in Compensating for Harm Due to Solar Radiation Management Geoengineering’ (2014), Toby Svoboda and Peter Irvine (S&I) argue that there are significant technical and ethical challenges that stand in the way of crafting a just solar radiation management (SRM) compensation system. My aim in this article is to contribute to the project of addressing these problems. I do so by focusing on one of S&I’s important ethical challenges, their claim that the polluter pays principle (...)
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  11. Getting Our Minds Out of the Gutter: Fallacies That Foul Our Discourse (and Virtues That Clean It Up).Robert K. Garcia & Nathan L. King - 2013 - In Michael W. Austin (ed.), Virtues in Action: New Essays in Applied Virtue Theory. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 190-206.
    Contemporary discourse is littered with nasty and derailed disagreements. In this paper we hope to help clean things up. We diagnose two patterns of thought that often plague and exacerbate controversy. We illustrate these patterns and show that each involves both a logical mistake and a failure of intellectual charity. We also draw upon recent work in social psychology to shed light on why we tend to fall into these patterns of thought. We conclude by suggesting how the intellectual virtues (...)
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  12. Bundle Theory's Black Box: Gap Challenges for the Bundle Theory of Substance.Robert K. Garcia - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (1):115-126.
    My aim in this article is to contribute to the larger project of assessing the relative merits of different theories of substance. An important preliminary step in this project is assessing the explanatory resources of one main theory of substance, the so-called bundle theory. This article works towards such an assessment. I identify and explain three distinct explanatory challenges an adequate bundle theory must meet. Each points to a putative explanatory gap, so I call them the Gap Challenges. I consider (...)
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  13. Is God's Benevolence Impartial?Robert K. Garcia - 2013 - Southwest Philosophy Review 29 (1):23-30.
    In this paper I consider the intuitive idea that God is fair and does not play favorites. This belief appears to be held by many theists. I will call it the Principle of Impartial Benevolence (PIB) and put it as follows: As much as possible, for all persons, God equally promotes the good and equally prevents the bad. I begin with the conviction that there is a prima facie tension between PIB and the disparity of human suffering. My aim in (...)
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  14. Tropes as Divine Acts: The Nature of Creaturely Properties in a World Sustained by God.Robert K. Garcia - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (3):105--130.
    I aim to synthesize two issues within theistic metaphysics. The first concerns the metaphysics of creaturely properties and, more specifically, the nature of unshareable properties, or tropes. The second concerns the metaphysics of providence and, more specifically, the way in which God sustains creatures, or sustenance. I propose that creaturely properties, understood as what I call modifier tropes, are identical with divine acts of sustenance, understood as acts of property-conferral. I argue that this *theistic conferralism* is attractive because it integrates (...)
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  15. Tropes as Character-Grounders.Robert K. Garcia - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):499-515.
    There is a largely unrecognized ambiguity concerning the nature of a trope. Disambiguation throws into relief two fundamentally different conceptions of a trope and provides two ways to understand and develop each metaphysical theory that put tropes to use. In this paper I consider the relative merits that result from differences concerning a trope’s ability to ground the character of ordinary objects. I argue that on each conception of a trope, there are unique implications and challenges concerning character-grounding.
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  16. Minds Sans Miracles: Colin McGinn's Naturalized Mysterianism.Robert K. Garcia - 2000 - Philosophia Christi 2 (2):227-242.
    In this paper, I discuss Colin McGinn’s claim that the mind is not miraculous but merely mysterious, and that this mystery is due to the limits of our cognitive faculties. To adequately present the flow and unity of McGinn’s overall argument, I offer an extended and uninterrupted précis of his case, followed by a critique. I will argue that McGinn’s argument is unsuccessful if it is intended to persuade non-naturalists, but nevertheless may be a plausible position for a naturalist, qua (...)
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  17. La caja negra de la teoría del haz: desafíos explicativos para la teoría de la sustancia como haz de propiedades.Robert K. Garcia - 2014 - Quaderns de Filosofia i Ciència 1 (2):55-72.
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  18. Food Ethics.Robert K. Garcia - 2015 - In Robert Audi (ed.), Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 3rd Edition.
  19. Toward Intellectually Virtuous Discourse: Two Vicious Fallacies and the Virtues That Inhibit Them.Robert K. Garcia & Nathan L. King - forthcoming - In Jason Baehr (ed.), Intellectual Virtues and Education: Essays in Applied Virtue Epistemology. Routledge.
    We have witnessed the athleticization of political discourse, whereby debate is treated like an athletic contest in which the aim is to vanquish one's opponents. When political discourse becomes a zero-sum game, it is characterized by suspicions, accusations, belief polarization, and ideological entrenchment. Unfortunately, athleticization is ailing the classroom as well, making it difficult for educators to prepare students to make valuable contributions to healthy civic discourse. Such preparation requires an educational environment that fosters the intellectual virtues that characterize an (...)
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  20. Trope.Robert K. Garcia - 2015 - In Robert Audi (ed.), Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 3rd Edition.
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  21. Is Goodness Without God Good Enough?Robert K. Garcia & Nathan L. King (eds.) - 2009 - Rowman & Littlefield.
    Morality and religion: intimately wed, violently opposed, or something else? Discussion of this issue appears in pop culture, the academy, and the media—often generating radically opposed views. At one end of the spectrum are those who think that unless God exists, ethics is unfounded and the moral life is unmotivated. At the other end are those who think that religious belief is unnecessary for—and even a threat to—ethical knowledge and the moral life. -/- This volume provides an accessible, charitable discussion (...)
     
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  22. Nominalist Constituent Ontologies: A Development and Critique.Robert K. Garcia - 2009 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    In this dissertation I consider the merits of certain nominalist accounts of phenomena related to the character of ordinary objects. What these accounts have in common is the fact that none of them is an error theory about standard cases of predication and none of them deploys God or uniquely theistic resources in its explanatory framework. -/- The aim of the dissertation is to answer the following questions: -/- • What is the best nominalist account on offer? • How might (...)
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  23. Philosophical Idling and Philosophical Relativity.Robert K. Garcia - 2015 - Ratio 28 (1):51-64.
    Peter Unger has challenged philosophical objectivism, the thesis that traditional philosophical problems have definite objective answers. He argues from semantic relativity for philosophical relativity, the thesis that for certain philosophical problems, there is no objective answer. I clarify, formulate and challenge Unger's argument. According to Unger, philosophical relativism explains philosophical idling, the fact that philosophical debates appear endless, philosophical disagreements seem irresolvable, and very little substantial progress seems made towards satisfactory and definite answers to philosophical problems. I argue, however, that (...)
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  24.  89
    Can a Case for Naturalism Be Naturalized?Robert K. Garcia - forthcoming - Aporía: Revista Internacional de Investigaciones Filosóficas.
  25.  52
    Sobre la Expresión “Propiedades Particularizadas”: Tropos Modificadores y Tropos Módulo.Robert K. Garcia - forthcoming - In Ezequiel Zerbudis (ed.), Poderes Causales, Tropos, y Otras Criaturas Extrañas: Ensayos de Metafísica Analítica. Título.
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  26.  1
    Descartes’s Independence Conception of Substance and His Separability Argument for Substance Dualism.Robert K. Garcia - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Research 39:165-190.
    I critically examine the view that Descartes’s independence conception of substance plays a crucial role in his “separability argument” for substance dualism. I argue that IC is a poisoned chalice. I do so by considering how an IC-based separability argument fares on two different ways of thinking about principal attributes. On the one hand, if we take principal attributes to be universals, then a separability argument that deploys IC establishes a version of dualism that is unacceptably strong. On the other (...)
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  27. Is Goodness Without God Good Enough?: A Debate on Faith, Secularism, and Ethics.Robert K. Garcia & Nathan L. King (eds.) - 2008 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Morality and religion: intimately wed, violently opposed, or something else? Discussion of this issue appears in pop culture, the academy, and the media―often generating radically opposed views. At one end of the spectrum are those who think that unless God exists, ethics is unfounded and the moral life is unmotivated. At the other end are those who think that religious belief is unnecessary for―and even a threat to―ethical knowledge and the moral life. -/- This volume provides an accessible, charitable discussion (...)
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  28. Substance: New Essays.Robert K. Garcia (ed.) - forthcoming - Philosophia Verlag.
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