University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2007
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Epistemology
Philosophy of Action
  •  1
    Causality and Explanation (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 53 (3): 729-730. 2000.
    In Causality and Explanation, Wesley Salmon has assembled two decades of his essays on scientific explanation and causality, many of which were previously unpublished or hard to find. Offering introductory essays for beginners in the philosophy of science, as well as advanced material on technical and applied topics, this collection traces the gradual development and modification of Salmon’s views. Throughout this development the central spirit of Salmon’s project shines through: to “put the ‘ca…Read more
  •  252
    How Not to Refute Quine: Evaluating Kim’s Alternatives to Naturalized Epistemology
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (4): 473-495. 2007.
    This paper offers an interpretation of Quine’s naturalized epistemology through the lens of Jaegwon Kim’s influential critique of the same. Kim argues that Quine forces a false choice between traditional deductivist foundationalism and naturalized epistemology and contends that there are viable alternative epistemological projects. However it is suggested that Quine would reject these alternatives by reference to the same fundamental principles that led him to reject traditional epistemology and…Read more
  •  181
    Both traditional and naturalistic epistemologists have long assumed that the examination of human psychology has no relevance to the prescriptive goal of traditional epistemology, that of providing first-person guidance in determining the truth. Contrary to both, I apply insights about the psychology of human perception and concept-formation to a very traditional epistemological project: the foundationalist approach to the epistemic regress problem. I argue that direct realism about perception c…Read more
  •  114
    Abstract   The debate in the philosophy of perception between direct realists and representationalists should influence the debate in epistemology between internalists and externalists about justification. If direct realists are correct, there are more consciously accessible justifiers for internalists to exploit than externalists think. Internalists can retain their distinctive internalist identity while accepting this widened conception of internalistic justification: even if they welcome the …Read more
  •  119
    The Elusiveness of Doxastic Compatibilism
    American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (3): 233-252. 2015.
    This paper evaluates recent proposals for compatibilism about doxastic freedom, and attempts to refine them by applying Fischer and Ravizza’s moderate reasons-responsiveness compatibilism to doxastic freedom. I argue, however, that even this refined version of doxastic compatibilism is subject to challenging counter-examples and is more difficult to support than traditional compatibilism about freedom of action. In particular, it is much more difficult to identify convincing examples of the sort…Read more
  •  94
    I defend of a version of doxastic voluntarism, by criticizing an argument advanced recently by Pamela Hieronymi against the possibility of belief at will. Conceiving of belief at will as believing immediately in response to practical reasons, Hieronymi claims that none of the forms of control we exercise over our beliefs measure up to this standard. While there is a form of direct control we exercise over our beliefs, "evaluative control," she claims it does not give us the power to believe at w…Read more
  •  222
    Until recently it has been conventional to assume that ethical egoism is "ethical" is name, alone, and that no account that considers one's own interests as the standard of moral obligation could count as seriously "ethical." In recent years, however, philosophers have shown increasing respect for more sophisticated forms of ethical egoism which attempt to define self-interest in enriched terms characterizing self-interest as human flourishing in both material and psychological dimensions. But p…Read more
  •  83
    This paper observes that in the midst of a thickening debate over the concept of “epistemic possibility,” nearly every philosopher assumes that the concept is equivalent to a mere absence of epistemic impossibility, that a proposition is epistemically possible if and only if our knowledge does not entail that it is false. I suggest that it is high time that we challenge this deeply entrenched assumption. I assemble an array of data that singles out the distinctive meaning and function of epistem…Read more
  •  143
    Varieties of naturalized epistemology: Criticisms and alternatives
    Dissertation, University of Illinois. 2007.
    “Naturalized epistemology” is a recent attempt to transform the theory of knowledge into a branch of natural science. Traditional epistemologists object to this proposal on the grounds that it eliminates the distinctively philosophical content of epistemology. In this thesis, I argue that traditional philosophers are justified in their reluctance to accept naturalism, but that their ongoing inability to refute it points to deeper problems inherent in traditional epistemology. I establish my thes…Read more
  •  87
    In this paper I consider one of the leading philosophic-psychological theories of “folk psychology,” the simulation theory of Robert Gordon. According to Gordon, we attribute mental states to others not by representing those states or by applying the generalizations of theory, but by imagining ourselves in the position of a target to be interpreted and exploiting our own decision-making skills to make assertions which we then attribute to others as ‘beliefs’. I describe a leading objections to G…Read more
  •  113
    Quine’s Pragmatic Solution to Sceptical Doubts
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 18 (2): 177-204. 2010.
    In this paper I examine a series of criticisms that have been levelled against Quine's naturalized epistemology, regarding its response to the problem of scepticism. Barry Stroud and Michael Williams, assuming that Quine wishes to refute scepticism, argue that Quine not only fails to undertake this refutation, but is also committed to theses (such as the inscrutability of reference and the underdetermination of theory by evidence) which imply versions of scepticism of their own. In Quine's defen…Read more
  •  28
    Michael Bergmann (2006) has argued that an internalistic view of justification faces a dilemma. Assuming as internalism does that to have a justified belief, subjects must be aware of the justifiers of the belief and of their relevance to the truth of the belief, Bergmann notes that one is either aware of this relevance conceptually or not. But, says Bergmann, if the required awareness is conceptual, internalism is encumbered with an infinite regress. If it is not-if it is only "weak awareness"—…Read more
  •  181
    How We Choose Our Beliefs
    Philosophia (1): 1-13. 2013.
    Recent years have seen increasing attacks on the "deontological" conception (or as we call it, the guidance conception) of epistemic justification, the view that epistemology offers advice to knowers in forming beliefs responsibly. Critics challenge an important presupposition of the guidance conception: doxastic voluntarism, the view that we choose our beliefs. We assume that epistemic guidance is indispensable, and seek to answer objections to doxastic voluntarism, most prominently William Als…Read more