Robert Merrihew Adams
Adams was born in Orange, New Jersey. He 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 after its near-collapse in personal and scholarly conflicts between analytical and Continental philosophers. Adams retired from Yale in 2004 and taught part-time at University of Oxford in England, where he was a fellow of Mansfield College. His wife, Marilyn McCord Adams, was Regius Professor of Divinity at Christ Church, Oxford. 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 the British Academy. Adams was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991.
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, LXXXI 317-332. 1982. Reprinted in The Virtue of Faith and Other Essay in Philosophical Theology below.
- "A Modified Divine Command Theory of Ethical Wrongness" in Religion and Morality: A Collection of Essays. eds. Gene Outka and John P. Reeder. New York: Doubleday. Reprinted in The Virtue of Faith.
- "Theories of Actuality", Noûs, VIII 211-231. 1974.
- "Motive Utilitarianism", Journal of Philosophy, LXXIII 467-481. 1976.
- "Primitive Thisness and Primitive Identity", Journal of Philosophy, LXXVI 5-26. 1979.
- "Actualism and Thisness", Synthèse, XLIX 3-41. 1981.
- "Time and Thisness", Midwest Studies in Philosophy, XI 315-329. 1986.
- The Virtue of Faith and Other Essays in Philosophical Theology. New York: Oxford University Press. 1987.
- "Involuntary Sins", Philosophical Review, XCIV 3-31. 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. New York: Oxford. 1994.
- "Things in Themselves", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 1997.
- Finite and Infinite Goods. New York: Oxford University Press. 1999.
- A Theory of Virtue: Excellence in Being for the Good. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 2006.
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