•  102
    Swyneshed Revisited
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    I propose an approach to liar and Curry paradoxes inspired by the work of Roger Swyneshed in his treatise on insolubles (1330-1335). The keystone of the account is the idea that liar sentences and their ilk are false (and only false) and that the so-called ''capture'' direction of the T-schema should be restricted. The proposed account retains what I take to be the attractive features of Swyneshed's approach without leading to some worrying consequences Swyneshed accepts. The approach and the re…Read more
  •  54
    The Many Faces of Impossibility
    Cambridge University Press. 2024.
    Possible worlds have revolutionised philosophy and some related fields. But, in recent years, tools based on possible worlds have been found to be limited in many respects. Impossible worlds have been introduced to overcome these limitations. This Element aims to raise and answer the neglected question of what is characteristically impossible about impossible worlds. The Element sheds new light on the nature of impossible worlds. It also aims to analyse the main features and utility of impossibl…Read more
  •  460
    Thought and Talk in a Generous World
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9 (n/a). 2022.
    The problem of the many seems to problematize the platitude that we can think about particular things in the world. How is it that, given how very many cat-like candidates there are, we often manage to think and talk about a particular cat? I argue that this challenge stems from an under-examined assumption about the relationship between metaphysics and intentionality. I explore and develop a way of characterizing what it is to think and talk about the world, according to which an abundant ontol…Read more
  •  505
    Levelling counterfactual scepticism
    Synthese 199 (1-2): 927-947. 2020.
    In this paper, we develop a novel response to counterfactual scepticism, the thesis that most ordinary counterfactual claims are false. In the process we aim to shed light on the relationship between debates in the philosophy of science and debates concerning the semantics and pragmatics of counterfactuals. We argue that science is concerned with many domains of inquiry, each with its own characteristic entities and regularities; moreover, statements of scientific law often include an implicit c…Read more
  •  527
    Private Investigators and Public Speakers
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 9 (1): 95-113. 2023.
    Near the end of 'Naming the Colours', Lewis (1997) makes an interesting claim about the relationship between linguistic and mental content; we are typically unable to read the content of a belief off the content of a sentence used to express that belief or vice versa. I call this view autonomism. I motivate and defend autonomism and discuss its importance in the philosophy of mind and language. In a nutshell, I argue that the different theoretical roles that mental and linguistic content play su…Read more
  •  531
    And Therefore
    with Bram Vaassen and Alex Sandgren
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. 2021.
    This article focuses on `therefore' constructions such as ‘The switch is on, and therefore the lights are on’. We submit that the contribution of `therefore’ is to express a dependence as part of the core content of these constructions, rather than being conveyed by conventional implicature (Grice 1975, Potts 2005, Neta 2013) or a triggered presupposition (Pavese 2017, forthcoming, Stokke 2017). We argue that the standard objections to this view can be answered by relying on the general projecti…Read more
  •  1002
    Law-Abiding Causal Decision Theory
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (4): 899-920. 2023.
    In this paper we discuss how Causal Decision Theory should be modified to handle a class of problematic cases involving deterministic laws. Causal Decision Theory, as it stands, is problematically biased against your endorsing deterministic propositions (for example it tells you to deny Newtonian physics, regardless of how confident you are of its truth). Our response is that this is not a problem for Causal Decision Theory per se, but arises because of the standard method for assessing the tru…Read more
  •  530
    Turning Aboutness About
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (1): 136-155. 2021.
    There are two families of influential and stubborn puzzles that many theories of aboutness (intentionality) face: underdetermination puzzles and puzzles concerning representations that appear to be about things that do not exist. I propose an approach that elegantly avoids both kinds of puzzle. The central idea is to explain aboutness (the relation supposed to stand between thoughts and terms and their objects) in terms of relations of co-aboutness (the relation of being about the same thing tha…Read more
  •  712
    Determinism, Counterfactuals, and Decision
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2): 286-302. 2021.
    Rational agents face choices, even when taking seriously the possibility of determinism. Rational agents also follow the advice of Causal Decision Theory (CDT). Although many take these claims to be well-motivated, there is growing pressure to reject one of them, as CDT seems to go badly wrong in some deterministic cases. We argue that deterministic cases do not undermine a counterfactual model of rational deliberation, which is characteristic of CDT. Rather, they force us to distinguish between…Read more
  •  1573
    Two Kinds of Logical Impossibility
    Noûs 54 (4): 795-806. 2020.
    In this paper, we argue that a distinction ought to be drawn between two ways in which a given world might be logically impossible. First, a world w might be impossible because the laws that hold at w are different from those that hold at some other world (say the actual world). Second, a world w might be impossible because the laws of logic that hold in some world (say the actual world) are violated at w. We develop a novel way of modelling logical possibility that makes room for both kinds of …Read more
  •  1049
    Strictly speaking
    with Renée Jorgensen Bolinger
    Analysis 80 (1): 3-11. 2020.
    A type of argument occasionally made in metaethics, epistemology and philosophy of science notes that most ordinary uses of some expression fail to satisfy the strictest interpretation of the expression, and concludes that the ordinary assertions are false. This requires there to be a presumption in favour of a strict interpretation of expressions that admit of interpretations at different levels of strictness. We argue that this presumption is unmotivated, and thus the arguments fail.
  •  1000
    A New Puzzle for Phenomenal Intentionality
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6. 2019.
    Phenomenal intentionality theories have recently enjoyed significant attention. According to these theories, the intentionality of a mental representation (what it is about) crucially depends on its phenomenal features. We present a new puzzle for these theories, involving a phenomenon called ‘intentional identity’, or ‘co-intentionality’. Co-intentionality is a ubiquitous intentional phenomenon that involves tracking things even when there is no concrete thing being tracked. We suggest that phe…Read more
  •  198
    Puzzling Pierre and Intentional Identity
    Erkenntnis 84 (4): 861-875. 2019.
    This paper concerns Kripke’s puzzle about belief. I have two goals in this paper. The first is to argue that two leading approaches to Kripke’s puzzle, those of Lewis and Chalmers, are inadequate as they stand. Both approaches require the world to supply an object that the relevant intentional attitudes pick out. The problem is that there are cases which, I argue, exhibit the very same puzzling phenomenon in which the world does not supply an object in the required way. The second goal is to dra…Read more
  •  311
    A metarepresentational theory of intentional identity
    Synthese 196 (9): 3677-3695. 2019.
    Geach points out that some pairs of beliefs have a common focus despite there being, apparently, no object at that focus. For example, two or more beliefs can be directed at Vulcan even though there is no such planet. Geach introduced the label ‘intentional identity’ to pick out the relation that holds between attitudes in these cases; Geach says that ’[w]e have intentional identity when a number of people, or one person on different occasions, have attitudes with a common focus, whether or not …Read more
  •  270
    Secondary belief content, what is it good for?
    Philosophical Studies 175 (6): 1467-1476. 2018.
    Some use the need to explain communication, agreement, and disagreement to argue for two-dimensional conceptions of belief content. One prominent defender of an account of this sort is David Chalmers. Chalmers claims that beliefs have two kinds of content. The second dimension of belief content, which is tied to what beliefs pick out in the actual world, is supposed to help explain communication, agreement, and disagreement. I argue that it does not. Since the need to explain these phenomena is …Read more
  •  1436
    Cruel Intensions: An Essay on Intentional Identity and Intentional Attitudes
    Dissertation, The Australian National University. 2016.
    Some intentional attitudes (beliefs, fears, desires, etc.) have a common focus in spite of there being no object at that focus. For example, two beliefs may be about the same witch even when there are no witches, different astronomers had beliefs directed at Vulcan, even though there is no such planet. This relation of having a common focus, whether or not there is an actual concrete object at that focus, is called intentional identity. In the first part of this thesis I develop a new theory of …Read more
  •  1358
    Creationism and cardinality
    Analysis 74 (4): 615-622. 2014.
    Creationism about fictional entities requires a principle connecting what fictions say exist with which fictional entities really exist. The most natural way of spelling out such a principle yields inconsistent verdicts about how many fictional entities are generated by certain inconsistent fictions. Avoiding inconsistency without compromising the attractions of creationism will not be easy
  •  386
    This paper is about intentional identity, the phenomenon of intentional attitudes having a common focus. I present an argument against an approach to explaining intentional identity, defended by Nathan Salmon, Terence Parsons and others, that involves positing exotic objects. For example, those who adopt this sort of view say that when two astronomers had beliefs about Vulcan, their attitudes had a common focus because there is an exotic object that both of their beliefs were about. I argue that…Read more