Jonathan Barker

Jonathan Barker

Visiting Graduate Fellow


Jonathan Barker is visiting from the University of Virginia, where he is writing his dissertation under the direction of Trenton Merricks.

Jonathan’s dissertation argues against the widespread view that metaphysical grounding is the ultimate or most complete form of explanation, and develops some more modest work for grounding in the metaphysics of material objects, the problem of vagueness, and the epistemology of debunking and defeat.

His research at the Center for Philosophy of Religion will focus on the various debunking arguments, which threaten our moral, perceptual, and religious beliefs by claiming that there is no appropriate explanatory connection between those beliefs and their respective subject matter. In particular, Jonathan plans to explore the extent to which grounding, essence, identity, and other metaphysical relations can help neutralize the debunking threat.