•  262
    This paper is a critical response to Eli Hirsch’s recent work in metaontology. Hirsch argues that several prominent ontological disputes about physical objects are verbal, a conclusion he takes to vindicate common sense ontology. In my response, I focus on the debate over composition (van Inwagen’s special composition question). I argue that given Hirsch’s own criterion for a dispute’s being verbal – a dispute is verbal iff charity requires each side to interpret the other sides as speaking t…Read more
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  •  174
  •  167
    No objects, no problem?
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4). 2005.
    One familiar form of argument for rejecting entities of a certain kind is that, by rejecting them, we avoid certain difficult problems associated with them. Such problem-avoidance arguments backfire if the problems cited survive the elimination of the rejected entities. In particular, we examine one way problems can survive: a question for the realist about which of a set of inconsistent statements is false may give way to an equally difficult question for the eliminativist about which of a set …Read more
  •  262
    Dogmatism, Underminers and Skepticism
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3): 533-562. 2013.
  •  1
    Between Deflationism and the Correspondence Theory
    Dissertation, Brown University. 1998.
    I offer an account of truth that combines elements of deflationism and traditional correspondence theories. We need such an intermediary account, I argue, in order to adequately answer two kinds of questions: "Why do we find it obvious that 'p' is true iff p?" and "Why is it contingent that 'p' is true iff p?" If what it is for 'p' to be true is explained by simply saying that p, as the deflationist claims, it is hard to see how it could be contingent that 'p' is true iff p. But if it is claimed…Read more
  •  118
    The concrete modal realist challenge to platonism
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (4). 1998.
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  375
    Perceptual reasons
    Philosophical Studies 173 (4): 991-1006. 2016.
    The two main theories of perceptual reasons in contemporary epistemology can be called Phenomenalism and Factualism. According to Phenomenalism, perceptual reasons are facts about experiences conceived of as phenomenal states, i.e., states individuated by phenomenal character, by what it’s like to be in them. According to Factualism, perceptual reasons are instead facts about the external objects perceived. The main problem with Factualism is that it struggles with bad cases: cases where perceiv…Read more
  •  365
    Looks and Perceptual Justification
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (1): 110-133. 2018.
    Imagine I hold up a Granny Smith apple for all to see. You would thereby gain justified beliefs that it was green, that it was apple, and that it is a Granny Smith apple. Under classical foundationalism, such simple visual beliefs are mediately justified on the basis of reasons concerning your experience. Under dogmatism, some or all of these beliefs are justified immediately by your experience and not by reasons you possess. This paper argues for what I call the looks view of the justification …Read more