•  275
    Feyerabend, Pluralism, and Parapsychology
    Bulletin of the Parapsychological Association 5 (1): 5-9. 2018.
    Feyerabend is well-known as a pluralist, and notorious for his defences of, and sympathetic references to, heterodox subjects, such as parapsychology. Focusing on the latter, I ask how we should understand the relationship between the pluralism and the defences, drawing on Marcello Truzzi's and Martin Gardner's remarks on Feyerabend along the way.
  •  280
    Epistemic Courage and the Harms of Epistemic Life
    In Heather Battaly (ed.), The Routledge Handbook to Virtue Epistemology, Routledge. pp. 244-255. forthcoming.
    Since subjection to harm is an intrinsic feature of our social and epistemic lives, there is a perpetual need for individual and collective agents with the virtue of epistemic courage. In this chapter, I survey some of the main issues germane to this virtue, such as the nature of courage and of harm, the range of epistemic activities that can manifest courage, and the status of epistemic courage as a collective and as a professional virtue.
  •  177
    Confucianism, Curiosity, and Moral Self-Cultivation
    In Ilhan Inan, Lani Watson, Safiye Yigit & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Curiosity, Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 97-116. 2018.
    I propose that Confucianism incorporates a latent commitment to the closely related epistemic virtues of curiosity and inquisitiveness. Confucian praise of certain people, practices, and dispositions is only fully intelligible if these are seen as exercises and expressions of epistemic virtues, of which curiosity and inquisitiveness are the obvious candidates. My strategy is to take two core components of Confucian ethical and educational practice and argue that each presupposes a specific virtu…Read more
  •  11
    Life, "Technics", and the Decline of the West
    The Berlin Review of Books 00-00. 2017.
    An essay review of the Routledge Revival edition of Oswald Spengler, 'Man and Technics (1932)
  •  6
    We propose that certain forms of chronic illness can be transformative experiences, in the sense described by L.A. Paul.
  •  129
    Epistemic Corruption and Manufactured Doubt: The Case of Climate Science
    with Justin B. Biddle and Anna Leuschner
    Public Affairs Quarterly 31 (3): 165-187. 2017.
    Criticism plays an essential role in the growth of scientific knowledge. In some cases, however, criticism can have detrimental effects; for example, it can be used to ‘manufacture doubt’ for the purpose of impeding public policy making on issues such as tobacco consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., Oreskes & Conway 2010). In this paper, we build on previous work by Biddle and Leuschner (2015) who argue that criticism that meets certain conditions can be epistemically detrimental. We e…Read more
  •  93
    Capital Epistemic Vices
    Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 6 (8): 11-16. 2017.
    I offer a way to reflect on and taxonomise the vices of the mind. This is the idea of capital vices, an idea that has, historically, been mainly confined to moral and spiritual character traits, but is able to play a role in vice epistemology—or so I propose.
  •  405
    Epistemic Corruption and Education
    Episteme 16 (2): 220-235. 2019.
    I argue that, although education should have positive effects on students’ epistemic character, it is often actually damaging, having bad effects. Rather than cultivating virtues of the mind, certain forms of education lead to the development of the vices of the mind - it is therefore epistemically corrupting. After sketching an account of that concept, I offer three illustrative case studies.
  •  129
    Spiritual exemplars
    International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 79 (4): 410-424. 2018.
    This paper proposes that spiritual persons are an excellent focus for the study of 'living religion' and offers a methodology for doing so. By ‘spiritual persons’, I have in mind both exemplary figures – like Jesus or the Buddha – and the multitude of ‘ordinary’ spiritual persons whose lives are led in aspiration to the spiritual goods the exemplars manifest (enlightenment, say, or holiness). I start with Linda Zagzebski's recent argument that moral persuasion primarily occurs through encounters…Read more
  • A Future Without Science?
    The Philosopher 99 (2). 2011.
  •  254
    Phenomenology of Illness, Philosophy, and Life
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 62 56-62. 2017.
    An essay review of Havi Carel, 'Phenomenology of Illness' (OUP 2015).
  •  52
    Was Feyerabend a Postmodernist?
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (1): 55-68. 2016.
    ABSTRACTThis article asks whether the philosophy of Paul K. Feyerabend can be reasonably classified as postmodernist, a label applied to him by friends and foes alike. After describing some superficial similarities between the style and content of both Feyerabend’s and postmodernist writings, I offer three more robust characterisations of postmodernism in terms of relativism, ‘incredulity to metanarratives’, and ‘depthlessness’. It emerges that none of these characterisations offers a strong jus…Read more
  •  77
    Is Scientism Epistemically Vicious?
    In Jeroen de Ridder, Rik Peels & René van Woudenberg (eds.), Scientism: Prospects and Problems, Oxford University Press. pp. 222-249. 2017.
    This chapter offers a virtue epistemological framework for making sense of the common complaint that scientism is arrogant, dogmatic, or otherwise epistemically vicious. After characterising scientism in terms of stances, I argue that their components can include epistemically vicious dispositions, with the consequence that an agent who adopts such stances can be led to manifest epistemic vices. The main focus of the chapter is the vice of closed-mindedness, but I go on to consider the idea that…Read more
  •  127
    Inevitability, contingency, and epistemic humility
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55 12-19. 2016.
    I reject both (a) inevitabilism about the historical development of the sciences and (b) what Ian Hacking calls the "put up or shut up" argument against those who make contingentist claims. Each position is guilty of a lack of humility about our epistemic capacities.
  •  194
    Epistemic Injustice in Healthcare: A Philosophical Analysis
    with Havi Carel
    Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (4): 529-540. 2014.
    In this paper we argue that ill persons are particularly vulnerable to epistemic injustice in the sense articulated by Fricker. Ill persons are vulnerable to testimonial injustice through the presumptive attribution of characteristics like cognitive unreliability and emotional instability that downgrade the credibility of their testimonies. Ill persons are also vulnerable to hermeneutical injustice because many aspects of the experience of illness are difficult to understand and communicate and …Read more
  •  377
    Epistemic Injustice and Illness
    with Havi Carel
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (2): 172-190. 2017.
    This article analyses the phenomenon of epistemic injustice within contemporary healthcare. We begin by detailing the persistent complaints patients make about their testimonial frustration and hermeneutical marginalization, and the negative impact this has on their care. We offer an epistemic analysis of this problem using Miranda Fricker's account of epistemic injustice. We detail two types of epistemic injustice, testimonial and hermeneutical, and identify the negative stereotypes and structu…Read more
  •  119
    Most historians explains changes in conceptions of the epistemic virtues and vices in terms of social and historical developments. I argue that such approaches, valuable as they are, neglect the fact that certain changes also reflect changes in metaphysical sensibilities. Certain epistemic virtues and vices are defined relative to an estimate of our epistemic situation that is, in turn, defined by a broader vision or picture of the nature of reality. I defend this claim by charting changing conc…Read more
  •  72
    Introduction: Reappraising Paul Feyerabend
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 57 1-8. 2016.
    This volume is devoted to a reappraisal of the philosophy of Paul Feyerabend. It has four aims. The first is to reassess his already well-known work from the 1960s and 1970s in light of contemporary developments in the history and philosophy of science. The second is to explore themes in his neglected later work, including recently published and previously unavailable writings. The third is to assess the contributions that Feyerabend can make to contemporary debate, on topics such as perspectivi…Read more
  •  50
    Three cheers for science and philosophy!
    Think 10 (29): 37-41. 2011.
    Stephen Hawking recently caused controversy by suggesting that philosophy had become obsolete in the face of the advance of modern science. Hawking's The Grand Design is only the latest in a long series of premature notifications of the obsolescence of philosophy. A wide range of writers, including but not limited to scientists and philosophers, have suggested that philosophy, in part or in whole, has been superseded by the sciences in a way that, all things considered, justifies its abandonment…Read more
  •  165
    Receptivity to Mystery: Cultivation, Loss, and Scientism
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (3): 51-68. 2012.
    The cultivation of receptivity to the mystery of reality is a central feature of many religious and philosophical traditions, both Western and Asian. This paper considers two contemporary accounts of receptivity to mystery – those of David E. Cooper and John Cottingham – and considers them in light of the problem of loss of receptivity. I argue that a person may lose their receptivity to mystery by embracing what I call a scientistic stance, and the paper concludes by offering two possible respo…Read more
  •  44
    Objectivity, abstraction, and the individual: The influence of Søren Kierkegaard on Paul Feyerabend
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1): 125-134. 2011.
    This paper explores the influence of Søren Kierkegaard upon Paul Feyerabend by examining their common criticisms of totalising accounts of human nature. Both complained that philosophical and scientific theories of human nature which were methodologically committed to objectivity and abstraction failed to capture the richness of human experience. Kierkegaard and Feyerabend argued that philosophy and the science were threatening to become obstacles to human development by imposing abstract theori…Read more
  •  64
    Historical Contingency and the Impact of Scientific Imperialism
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (3). 2013.
    In a recent article in this journal, Steve Clarke and Adrian Walsh propose a normative basis for John Dupré’s criticisms of scientific imperialism, namely, that scientific imperialism can cause a discipline to fail to progress in ways that it otherwise would have. This proposal is based on two presuppositions: one, that scientific disciplines have developmental teleologies, and two, that these teleologies are optimal. I argue that we should reject both of these presuppositions and so conclude th…Read more
  •  55
    Feyerabend on Science and Education
    Journal of Philosophy of Education 47 (3): 407-422. 2013.
    This article offers a sympathetic interpretation of Paul Feyerabend's remarks on science and education. I present a formative episode in the development of his educational ideas—the ‘Berkeley experience'—and describe how it affected his views on the place of science within modern education. It emerges that Feyerabend arrived at a conception of education closely related to that of Michael Oakeshott and Martin Heidegger—that of education as ‘releasement’. Each of those three figures argued that th…Read more
  •  325
    Exemplars, Ethics, and Illness Narratives
    Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 38 (4): 323-334. 2017.
    Many people report that reading first-person narratives of the experience of illness can be morally instructive or educative. But although they are ubiquitous and typically sincere, the precise nature of such educative experiences is puzzling—for those narratives typically lack the features that modern philosophers regard as constitutive of moral reason. I argue that such puzzlement should disappear, and the morally educative power of illness narratives explained, if one distinguishes two differ…Read more
  •  1
    Against Method (review)
    British Journal for the History of Science 44 (2): 311-312. 2011.
  •  31
    A Phenomenological Challenge to 'Enlightened Secularism'
    Religious Studies 49 (3): 377-398. 2013.
    This article challenges Philip Kitcher’s recent proposals for an ‘enlightened secularism’. I use William James’s theory of the emotions and his related discussion of ‘temperaments’ to argue that religious and naturalistic commitments are grounded in tacit, inarticulate ways that one finds oneself in a world. This indicates that, in many cases, religiosity and naturalism are grounded not in rational and evidential considerations, but in a tacit and implicit sense of reality which is disclosed thr…Read more