•  71
    Absolute gradable adjectives and loose talk
    Linguistics and Philosophy 47 (2): 341-360. 2024.
    Kennedy (Linguist Philos 30:1–45, 2007) forcefully proposes what is now a widely assumed semantics for absolute gradable adjectives. On this semantics, maximum standard adjectives like “straight” and “dry” ascribe a maximal degree of the underlying quantity. Meanwhile, minimum standard adjectives like “bent” and “wet” merely ascribe a non-zero, non-minimal degree of the underlying quantity. This theory clashes with the ordinary intuition that sentences like “The stick is straight” are frequently…Read more
  •  56
    Knowledge and Asymmetric Loss
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 14 (3): 1055-1076. 2023.
    This paper offers a novel account of practical factor effects on knowledge attributions that is consistent with the denial of contextualism, relativism and pragmatic encroachemt. The account goes as follows. Knowledge depends on factors like safety, reliability or probability. In many cases, it is uncertain just how safe, how reliably formed or how probable the target proposition is. This means that we have to estimate these quantities in order to form knowledge judgements. Such estimates of unc…Read more
  •  91
    Assertion and Certainty
    Philosophical Quarterly 74 (1): 169-186. 2023.
    Assertions have a curious relationship to certainty. On the one hand, it seems clear that we can assert many everyday propositions while not being absolutely certain about them. On the other hand, it seems odd to say things like ‘p, but I am not absolutely certain that p’. In this paper, I aim to solve this conundrum. I suggest a pretense theory of assertion, according to which assertions of p are proposals to act as if the conversational participants were absolutely certain of p. I suggest that…Read more
  •  276
    On Deniability
    Mind 132 (526): 372-401. 2023.
    Communication can be risky. Like other kinds of actions, it comes with potential costs. For instance, an utterance can be embarrassing, offensive, or downright illegal. In the face of such risks, speakers tend to act strategically and seek ‘plausible deniability’. In this paper, we propose an account of the notion of deniability at issue. On our account, deniability is an epistemic phenomenon. A speaker has deniability if she can make it epistemically irrational for her audience to reason in cer…Read more
  •  84
    Much at stake in knowledge
    Mind and Language 36 (5): 729-749. 2020.
    Orthodoxy in the contemporary debate on knowledge ascriptions holds that the truth‐value of knowledge ascriptions is purely a matter of truth‐relevant factors. One familiar challenge to orthodoxy comes from intuitive practical factor effects . But practical factor effects turn out to be hard to confirm in experimental studies, and where they have been confirmed, they may seem easy to explain away. We suggest a novel experimental paradigm to show that practical factor effects exist. It trades on …Read more
  •  155
    Degrees of Acceptance
    Philosophical Quarterly (3): 578-594. 2022.
    While many authors distinguish belief from acceptance, it seems almost universally agreed that no similar distinction can be drawn between degrees of belief, or credences, and degrees of acceptance. I challenge this assumption in this paper. Acceptance comes in degrees and acknowledging this helps to resolve problems in at least two philosophical domains. Degrees of acceptance play vital roles when we simplify our reasoning, and they ground the common ground of a conversation if we assume contex…Read more
  •  181
    Beliefs don’t simplify our reasoning, credences do
    Analysis 81 (2): 199-207. 2021.
    Doxastic dualists acknowledge both outright beliefs and credences, and they maintain that neither state is reducible to the other. This gives rise to the ‘Bayesian Challenge’, which is to explain why we need beliefs if we have credences already. On a popular dualist response to the Bayesian Challenge, we need beliefs to simplify our reasoning. I argue that this response fails because credences perform this simplifying function at least as well as beliefs do.
  •  406
    A direction effect on taste predicates
    Philosophers' Imprint 20 (27): 1-22. 2020.
    The recent literature abounds with accounts of the semantics and pragmatics of so-called predicates of personal taste, i.e. predicates whose application is, in some sense or other, a subjective matter. Relativism and contextualism are the major types of theories. One crucial difference between these theories concerns how we should assess previous taste claims. Relativism predicts that we should assess them in the light of the taste standard governing the context of assessment. Contextualism pred…Read more
  •  430
    Knowledge and loose talk
    In Christos Kyriacou & Kevin Wallbridge (eds.), Skeptical Invariantism Reconsidered, Routledge. pp. 272-297. 2021.
    Skeptical invariantists maintain that the expression “knows” invariably expresses an epistemically extremely demanding relation. This leads to an immediate challenge. The knowledge relation will hardly if ever be satisfied. Consequently, we can rarely if ever apply “knows” truly. The present paper assesses a prominent strategy for skeptical invariantists to respond to this challenge, which appeals to loose talk. Based on recent developments in the theory of loose talk, I argue that such appeals …Read more
  •  190
    Taste, traits, and tendencies
    Philosophical Studies 178 (4): 1183-1206. 2021.
    Many experiential properties are naturally understood as dispositions such that e.g. a cake tastes good to you iff you are disposed to get gustatory pleasure when you eat it. Such dispositional analyses, however, face a challenge. It has been widely observed that one cannot properly assert “The cake tastes good to me” unless one has tried it. This acquaintance requirement is puzzling on the dispositional account because it should be possible to be disposed to like the cake even if this dispositi…Read more
  •  17
    Précis zu Knowledge, Stakes and Error
    Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 74 (1): 105-108. 2020.
  •  17
    Repliken zu den Kommentaren
    Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 74 (1): 120-123. 2020.
  •  105
    Knowledge ascriptions depend on so-called non-traditional factors. For instance, we become less inclined to ascribe knowledge when it’s important to be right, or once we are reminded of possible sources of error. A number of potential explanations of this data have been proposed in the literature. They include revisionary semantic explanations based on epistemic contextualism and revisionary metaphysical explanations based on anti-intellectualism. Classical invariantists reject such revisionary …Read more
  •  45
    The term “know” is one of the ten most common verbs in English, and yet a central aspect of its usage remains mysterious. Our willingness to ascribe knowledge depends not just on epistemic factors such as the quality of our evidence. It also depends on seemingly non-epistemic factors. For instance, we become less inclined to ascribe knowledge when it’s important to be right, or once our attention is drawn to possible sources of error. Accounts of this phenomenon proliferate, but no consensus has…Read more
  •  102
    Relativism and Conservatism
    Erkenntnis 85 (4): 757-772. 2020.
    Relativism and contextualism have been suggested as candidate semantics for “knowledge” sentences. I argue that relativism faces a problem concerning the preservation of beliefs in memory. Contextualism has been argued to face a similar problem. I argue that contextualists, unlike relativists, can respond to the concern. The overall upshot is that contextualism is superior to relativism in at least one important respect.
  •  567
    It is commonly held that retraction data, if they exist, show that assessment relativism is preferable to non-indexical contextualism. I argue that this is not the case. Whether retraction data have the suggested probative force depends on substantive questions about the proper treatment of tense and location. One’s preferred account in these domains should determine whether one accepts assessment relativism or non-indexical contextualism.
  •  127
    Anti-intellectualism, egocentrism and bank case intuitions
    Philosophical Studies 175 (11): 2841-2857. 2018.
    Salience-sensitivity is a form of anti-intellectualism that says the following: whether a true belief amounts to knowledge depends on which error-possibilities are salient to the believer. I will investigate whether salience-sensitivity can be motivated by appeal to bank case intuitions. I will suggest that so-called third-person bank cases threaten to sever the connection between bank case intuitions and salience-sensitivity. I will go on to argue that salience-sensitivists can overcome this wo…Read more
  •  108
    Knowledge and availability
    Philosophical Psychology 31 (4): 554-573. 2018.
    The mentioning of error-possibilities makes us less likely to ascribe knowledge. This paper offers a novel psychological account of this data. The account appeals to “subadditivity,” a well-known psychological tendency to judge possibilities as more likely when they are disjunctively described.
  •  691
    Epistemic invariantism and contextualist intuitions
    Episteme 13 (2): 219-232. 2016.
    Epistemic invariantism, or invariantism for short, is the position that the proposition expressed by knowledge sentences does not vary with the epistemic standard of the context in which these sentences can be used. At least one of the major challenges for invariantism is to explain our intuitions about scenarios such as the so-called bank cases. These cases elicit intuitions to the effect that the truth-value of knowledge sentences varies with the epistemic standard of the context in which thes…Read more
  •  160
    The Many-Relations Problem for Adverbialism
    Analysis 75 (2): 231-237. 2015.
    Adverbialists propose to analyse sentences of the form ‘Jane has a blue afterimage’ as ‘Jane afterimages blue-ly’. One commonly raised objection to adverbialism is the many-property problem, the problem of accounting for sentences that seem to ascribe more than one property to an afterimage . Plausible responses to this objection may be on offer. In this note, however, I will argue that the many-property problem resurfaces at the level of relations and that, at this level, no solution for the pr…Read more
  •  161
    Knowledge, intuition and implicature
    Synthese 195 (6): 2821-2843. 2018.
    Moderate pragmatic invariantism (MPI) is a proposal to explain why our intuitions about the truth-value of knowledge claims vary with stakes and salient error-possibilities. The basic idea is that this variation is due to a variation not in the propositions expressed (as epistemic contextualists would have it) but in the propositions conversationally implicated. I will argue that MPI is mistaken: I will distinguish two kinds of implicature, namely, additive and substitutional implicatures. I wil…Read more
  •  747
    Innocent implicatures
    Journal of Pragmatics 87 54-63. 2015.
    It seems to be a common and intuitively plausible assumption that conversational implicatures arise only when one of the so-called conversational maxims is violated at the level of what is said. The basic idea behind this thesis is that, unless a maxim is violated at the level of what is said, nothing can trigger the search for an implicature. Thus, non-violating implicatures wouldn’t be calculable. This paper defends the view that some conversational implicatures arise even though no conversati…Read more
  •  103
    Relativism, Disagreement and Testimony
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1): 497-519. 2017.
    This article brings together two sets of data that are rarely discussed in concert; namely, disagreement and testimony data. I will argue that relativism yields a much more elegant account of these data than its major rival, contextualism. The basic idea will be that contextualists can account for disagreement data only by adopting principles that preclude a simple account of testimony data. I will conclude that, other things being equal, we should prefer relativism to contextualism. In ma…Read more
  •  130
    Relativism and Assertion
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (4): 730-740. 2017.
    Relativism entails that sentences like ‘Liquorice is tasty’ are used to assert relativistic propositions—that is, propositions whose truth-value is relative to a taste standard. I will defend this view against two objections. According to the first objection, relativism is incompatible with a Stalnakerian account of assertion. I will show that this objection fails because Stalnakerian assertions are proposals rather than attempts to update the common ground. According to the second objection, re…Read more
  •  845
    Epistemic contextualism can be stated properly
    Synthese 191 (15): 3541-3556. 2014.
    It has been argued that epistemic contextualism faces the so-called factivity problem and hence cannot be stated properly. The basic idea behind this charge is that contextualists supposedly have to say, on the one hand, that knowledge ascribing sentences like “S knows that S has hands” are true when used in ordinary contexts while, on the other hand, they are not true by the standard of their own context. In my paper, I want to show that the argument to the factivity problem fails because it re…Read more
  •  619
    Skeptical pragmatic invariantism: good, but not good enough
    Synthese 193 (8): 2577-2593. 2016.
    In this paper, I will discuss what I will call “skeptical pragmatic invariantism” as a potential response to the intuitions we have about scenarios such as the so-called bank cases. SPI, very roughly, is a form of epistemic invariantism that says the following: The subject in the bank cases doesn’t know that the bank will be open. The knowledge ascription in the low standards case seems appropriate nevertheless because it has a true implicature. The goal of this paper is to show that SPI is mist…Read more