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Robert Merrihew Adams

Robert Merrihew Adams (Bob Adams; born 1937) is an American philosopher of metaphysics, religion and morality.

Adams taught for many years at UCLA before moving to Yale University in the early 1990s as the Clark Professor of Moral Philosophy and Metaphysics. As chairman, he revived the Philosophy Department. Adams retired from Yale in 2004 and taught part time at University of Oxford in England, where he is a fellow of Mansfield College and where his wife was Regius Professor of Divinity. In 2009 he became a Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

As a historical scholar, he has published on the work of the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and is a respected Leibniz scholar. His work in the philosophy of religion includes influential essays on the problem of evil and divine command theories of ethics. He is a past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers. In 1999, he delivered the Gifford Lectures, "God and Being". He is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Science and the British Academy.

His wife, Marilyn McCord Adams, is also a philosopher, working on medieval philosophy and the philosophy of religion.

Selected works

  • "Must God Create the Best?" Philosophical Review, 81 (1982). Reprinted in The Virtue of Faith and Other Essay in Philosophical Theology, below.
  • "A Modified Divine Command Theory of Ethical Wrongness". Religion and Morality: A Collection of Essays, Gene Outka and John P. Reeder, eds. New York: Doubleday. Reprinted in The Virtue of Faith and Other Essays in Philosophical Theology, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
  • "Theories of Actuality", Noûs, 1974.
  • "Motive Utilitarianism", Journal of Philosophy, 1976.
  • "Primitive Thisness and Primitive Identity", Journal of Philosophy, 1979.
  • "Actualism and Thisness", Synthèse, 1983.
  • "Time and Thisness", Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 1986.
  • The Virtue of Faith and Other Essays in Philosophical Theology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.
  • "Involuntary Sins", Philosophical Review, 1985.
  • "Divine Commands and the Social Nature of Obligation" Faith and Philosophy, 1987.
  • "The Knight of Faith", Faith and Philosophy, 1990.
  • "Moral Faith", Journal of Philosophy, 1995.
  • Leibniz: Determinist, Theist, Idealist Oxford, 1994.
  • "Things in Themselves", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 1997.
  • Finite and Infinite Goods (Oxford, 1999).
  • A Theory of Virtue: Excellence in Being for the Good (Oxford, 2006).

See also

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