•  1963
    What is the biological function of perception? I hold perception, especially visual perception in humans, has the biological function of accurately representing the environment. Tyler Burge argues this cannot be so in Origins of Objectivity (Oxford, 2010), for accuracy is a semantical relationship and not, as such, a practical matter. Burge also provides a supporting example. I rebut the argument and the example. Accuracy is sometimes also a practical matter if accuracy partly explains how perce…Read more
  •  88
    Defending millianism
    Mind 108 (431): 555-561. 1999.
    Millianism is the view that all there is to the meaning of a name is its bearer. In a recent paper Bryan Frances seeks to undercut the traditional argument against Millianism as well as offer a new argument in favor of Millianism. I argue that both endeavors fail.
  •  53
    Review of Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Moral Skepticisms (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (3). 2007.
  •  566
    Functions, Warrant, History
    In Abrol Fairweather & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Naturalizing Epistemic Virtue, Cambridge University Press. pp. 15-35. 2014.
    I hold that epistemic warrant consists in the normal functioning of the belief-forming process when the process has forming true beliefs reliably as an etiological function. Evolution by natural selection is the central source of etiological functions. This leads many to think that on my view warrant requires a history of natural selection. What then about learning? What then about Swampman? Though functions require history, natural selection is not the only source. Self-repair and trial-and-err…Read more
  •  65
    Brandom on singular terms
    Philosophical Studies 93 (3): 247-264. 1999.
  •  41
    Epistemic Entitlement (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2020.
    Table of Contents 1. Introduction and Overview: Two Entitlement Projects, Peter J. Graham, Nikolaj J.L.L. Pedersen, Zachary Bachman, and Luis Rosa Part I. Engaging Burge's Project 2. Entitlement: The Basis of Empirical Warrant, Tyler Burge 3. Perceptual Entitlement and Scepticism, Anthony Brueckner and Jon Altschul 4. Epistemic Entitlement Its Scope and Limits, Mikkel Gerken 5. Why Should Warrant Persist in Demon Worlds?, Peter J. Graham Part II. Extending the Externalist Project 6. Epistemic En…Read more
  •  423
    The standard taxonomy of theories of epistemic justification generates four positions from the Foundationalism v. Coherentism and Internalism v. Externalism disputes. I develop a new taxonomy driven by two other distinctions: Fundamentalism v. Non-Fundamentalism and Actual-Result v. Proper-Aim conceptions of epistemic justification. Actual-Result theorists hold that a belief is justified only if, as an actual matter of fact, it is held or formed in a way that makes it more likely than not to be …Read more
  •  47
    Gabor Forrai has written a very clear and articulate defense of internal realism, the view that the categories and structures of the world are a function of our conceptual schemes. Internal realism is opposed to metaphysical realism, the view that the world’s structure is wholly independent, both causally and ontologically, of the human mind. For the metaphysical realist, the world is one thing and the mind is another. For the internal realist, on the other hand, though the world is causally ind…Read more
  •  480
    Epistemic Entitlement
    Noûs 46 (3): 449-482. 2012.
    What is the best account of process reliabilism about epistemic justification, especially epistemic entitlement? I argue that entitlement consists in the normal functioning (proper operation) of the belief-forming process when the process has forming true beliefs reliably as an etiological function. Etiological functions involve consequence explanation: a belief-forming process has forming true beliefs reliably as a function just in case forming-true beliefs reliably partly explains the persiste…Read more
  •  197
    What is testimony?
    Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187): 227-232. 1997.
    C.A.J. Coady, in his book Testimony: A Philosophical Study (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), offers conditions on an assertion that p to count as testimony. He claims that the assertion that p must be by a competent speaker directed to an audience in need of evidence and it must be evidence that p. I offer examples to show that Coady’s conditions are too strong. Testimony need not be evidence; the speaker need not be competent; and, the statement need not be relevant or directed to someone in nee…Read more
  •  404
    Liberal fundamentalism and its rivals
    In Jennifer Lackey & Ernest Sosa (eds.), The Epistemology of Testimony, Oxford University Press. pp. 93--115. 2006.
    Many hold that perception is a source of epistemically basic (direct) belief: for justification, perceptual beliefs do not need positive inferential support from other justified beliefs, especially from beliefs about one’s current sensory episodes. Perceptual beliefs can, however, be defeated or undermined by other things one believes, and so to be justified in the end there must be no undefeated undermining grounds. Similarly for memory and introspection.1..
  •  114
    Conveying information
    Synthese 123 (3): 365-392. 2000.
    This paper states three counterexamples to the claim that testimony cannot generate knowledge, that a hearer can only acquire testimonial knowledge from a speaker who knows: a twins case, the fossil case, and an inversion case. The paper provides an explanation for why testimony can generate knowledge. Testimonial knowledge involves the flow of information from a speaker to a hearer through the linguistic channel.
  •  118
    The theoretical diagnosis of skepticism
    Synthese 158 (1): 19-39. 2007.
    Radical skepticism about the external implies that no belief about the external is even prima facie justified. A theoretical reply to skepticism has four stages. First, show which theories of epistemic justification support skeptical doubts (show which theories, given other reasonable assumptions, entail skepticism). Second, show which theories undermine skeptical doubts (show which theories, given other reasonable assumptions, do not support the skeptic’s conclusion). Third, show which of the l…Read more
  •  218
    According to the Acceptance Principle, a person is entitled to accept a proposition that is presented as true (asserted) and that is intelligible to him or her, unless there are stronger reasons not to. Burge assumes this Principle and then argues that it has an apriori justification, basis or rationale. This paper expounds Burge's teleological reliability framework and the details of his a priori justification for the Principle. It then raises three significant doubts.
  •  708
    Testimonial Entitlement and the Function of Comprehension
    In Duncan Pritchard, Alan Millar & Adrian Haddock (eds.), Social Epistemology, Oxford University Press. pp. 148--174. 2010.
    This paper argues for the general proper functionalist view that epistemic warrant consists in the normal functioning of the belief-forming process when the process has forming true beliefs reliably as an etiological function. Such a process is reliable in normal conditions when functioning normally. This paper applies this view to so-called testimony-based beliefs. It argues that when a hearer forms a comprehension-based belief that P (a belief based on taking another to have asserted that P) t…Read more
  •  638
    Metaphysical libertarianism and the epistemology of testimony
    American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (1): 37-50. 2004.
    Reductionism about testimony holds that testimonial warrant or entitlement is just a species of inductive warrant. Anti-Reductionism holds that it is different from inductive but analogous to perceptual or memorial warrant. Perception receives much of its positive epistemic status from being reliably truthconducive in normal conditions. One reason to reject the epistemic analogy is that testimony involves agency – it goes through the will of the speaker – but perception does not. A speaker might…Read more
  •  738
    Does Justification Aim at Truth?
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1): 51-72. 2011.
    Does epistemic justification aim at truth? The vast majority of epistemologists instinctively answer 'Yes'; it's the textbook response. Joseph Cruz and John Pollock surprisingly say no. In 'The Chimerical Appeal of Epistemic Externalism' they argue that justification bears no interesting connection to truth; justification does not even aim at truth. 'Truth is not a very interesting part of our best understanding' of justification (C&P 2004, 137); it has no 'connection to the truth.' A 'truth-aim…Read more
  •  182
    The reliability of testimony
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (3): 695-709. 2000.
    Are we entitled or justified in taking the word of others at face value? An affirmative answer to this question is associated with the views of Thomas Reid. Recently, C. A. J. Coady has defended a Reidian view in his impressive and influential book. Testimony: A Philosophical Study. His central and most Oliginal argument for his positions involves reflection upon the practice of giving and accepting reports, of making assertions and relying on the word of others. His argument purports to show th…Read more
  •  161
    Against Inferential Reliabilism: Making Origins Matter More
    Philosophical Analysis: The Journal of the Korean Society for Analytic Philosophy 15 87-122. 2014.
  •  136
    Testimonial justification: Inferential or non-inferential?
    Philosophical Quarterly 56 (222). 2006.
    Anti-reductionists hold that beliefs based upon comprehension (of both force and content) of tellings are non-inferentially justified. For reductionists, on the other hand, comprehension as such is not in itself a warrant for belief: beliefs based on it are justified only if inferentially supported by other beliefs. I discuss Elizabeth Fricker's argument that even if anti-reductionism is right in principle, its significance is undercut by the presence of background inferential support: for matur…Read more