•  60
    Intellectual progress involves forming a more accurate picture of the world. But it also figuring out which concepts to use for theorizing about the world. Bayesian epistemology has had much to say about the former aspect of our cognitive lives, but little if at all about the latter. I outline a framework for formulating questions about conceptual change in a broadly Bayesian framework. By enriching the resources of Epistemic Utility Theory with a more expansive conception of epistemic value, I …Read more
  •  161
    Negation, expressivism, and intentionality
    Philosophical Quarterly 70 (279): 246-267. 2020.
    Many think that expressivists have a special problem with negation. I disagree. For if there is a problem with negation, I argue, it is a problem shared by those who accept some plausible claims about the nature of intentionality. Whether there is any special problem for expressivists turns, I will argue, on whether facts about what truth-conditions beliefs have can explain facts about basic inferential relations among those beliefs. And I will suggest that the answer to this last question is, o…Read more
  •  168
    Conceptual evaluation: epistemic
    In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics, Oxford University Press. pp. 304-332. 2020.
    On a view implicitly endorsed by many, a concept is epistemically better than another if and because it does a better job at ‘carving at the joints', or if the property corresponding to it is ‘more natural' than the one corresponding to another. This chapter offers an argument against this seemingly plausible thought, starting from three key observations about the way we use and evaluate concepts from en epistemic perspective: that we look for concepts that play a role in explanations of things …Read more
  •  102
    Good Questions
    In Jeffrey Dunn & Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (eds.), Epistemic Consequentialism, . pp. 123-145. 2018.
    Pérez Carballo adopts an epistemic utility theory picture of epistemic norms where epistemic utility functions measure the value of degrees of belief, and rationality consists in maximizing expected epistemic utility. Within this framework he seeks to show that we can make sense of the intuitive idea that some true beliefs—say true beliefs about botany—are more valuable than other true beliefs—say true beliefs about the precise number of plants in North Dakota. To do so, however, Pérez Carballo …Read more
  •  79
    Communication for Expressivists
    Ethics 126 (3): 607-635. 2016.
    How can expressivists make sense of the practice of communication? If communication is not a joint enterprise aimed at sharing information about the world, why do we engage in communication the way we do? Call this *the problem of communication*. Starting from basic assumptions about the rationality of speakers and the nature of assertion, we argue that speakers engaging in conversation about normative matters must presuppose that there is a unique normative standard on which the attitudes of co…Read more
  •  117
    Rationality & Second‐Order Preferences
    Noûs 52 (1): 196-215. 2018.
    It seems natural to think of an unwilling addict as having a pattern of preferences that she does not endorse—preferences that, in some sense, she does not ‘identify’ with. Following Frankfurt (1971), Jeffrey (1974) proposed a way of modeling those features of an agent’s preferences by appealing to preferences among preferences.Th„e addict’s preferences are preferences she does not prefer to have. I argue that this modeling suggestion will not do, for it follows from plausible assumptions that a …Read more
  •  23
    Semantic Hermeneutics
    In Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning, Oxford University Press. pp. 119-146. 2014.
    It is widely acknowledged that metaethical expressivism requires taking on some substantive commitments in the theory of meaning. Those commitments, however, do not require abandoning orthodox views in compositional semantics. Instead, they should be understood as bearing on one aspect of the metasemantic project, viz. that of interpreting a compositional semantic theory---what I call 'semantic hermeneutics'. I spell out the nature of this project and distinguish it from that of explaining why w…Read more
  •  132
    Structuring Logical Space
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2): 460-491. 2016.
    I develop a non-representationalist account of mathematical thought, on which the point of mathematical theorizing is to provide us with the conceptual capacity to structure and articulate information about the physical world in an epistemically useful way. On my view, accepting a mathematical theory is not a matter of having a belief about some subject matter; it is rather a matter of structuring logical space, in a sense to be made precise. This provides an elegant account of the cognitive uti…Read more
  •  24
    On Greco on transmission
    Episteme 13 (4): 499-505. 2016.
    Greco wants to understand the difference between knowledge generation and transmission. Doing so, he argues, will show that there are substantively different norms governing the two types of knowledge acquisition. I offer an alternative way of cashing out the difference between transmission and generation in non-normative terms.