Cover page

Key Concepts in Philosophy

  1. Heather Battaly, Virtue
  2. Lisa Bortolotti, Irrationality
  3. Joseph Keim Campbell, Free Will
  4. Roy T. Cook, Paradoxes
  5. Douglas Edwards, Properties
  6. Bryan Frances, Disagreement
  7. Douglas Kutach, Causation
  8. Ian Evans and Nicolas D. Smith, Knowledge
  9. Joshua Weisberg, Consciousness
  10. Chase Wrenn, Truth
Title page

For my wife, Lori Speak, whose love and friendship remind me that evil will not have the last word


Many thanks to Emma Hutchinson of Polity Press for her initial vision, wise counsel, and constant encouragement at each stage of this project. This book owes a great deal to the many students, both undergraduate and graduate, who have taken courses with me on the topic of the problem of evil over the past few years. I have learned particularly from Katherine Brown, Curtis Holtzen, Derek von Barandy, and Alex Zambrano. Two initially anonymous reviewers for Polity Press provided extremely useful feedback on a draft of the book. Raymond VanArragon in particular, who was kind enough to come out from behind his anonymity, made a substantial contribution to the overall quality of the manuscript and saved me from a number of embarrassments – including confusing the names of an influential human ecologist and a left-handed Houston Rockets shooting guard. Manuel Vargas read the entire manuscript and provided terrific suggestions throughout. A second special thanks to Katherine Brown for extraordinary copy editing and the construction of the index.

It was a great pleasure to serve as a Visiting Research Fellow at Biola University's Center for Christian Thought during the spring of 2013 and as a Visiting Scholar at Rutgers University's Center for Philosophy of Religion during the 2013/14 academic year. Both opportunities afforded me great freedom to work on this project while also providing me with nearly unlimited philosophical inspiration. Finally, I would like to thank Loyola Marymount University, the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, and the LMU Department of Philosophy for the sabbatical time that allowed me to take advantage of the various fellowship opportunities that made writing this book such a pleasure.