•  134
    How Can Beliefs Wrong?: A Strawsonian Epistemology
    with Stephen White
    Philosophical Topics 46 (1): 97-114. 2018.
    We take a tremendous interest in how other people think of us. We have certain expectations of others, concerning how we are to figure in their thought and judgment. And we often feel wronged if those are disappointed. But it is puzzling how others’ beliefs could wrong us. On the one hand, moral considerations don’t bear on the truth of a belief and so seem to be the wrong kind of reasons for belief. On the other hand, truth-directed considerations seem to render moral considerations redundant. …Read more
  •  356
    Do Reasons Expire? An Essay on Grief
    Philosophers' Imprint 18. 2018.
    Suppose we suffer a loss, such as the death of a loved one. In light of her death, we will typically feel grief, as it seems we should. After all, our loved one’s death is a reason for grief. Yet with the passage of time, our grief will typically diminish, and this seems somehow all right. However, our reason for grief ostensibly remains the same, since the passage of time does not undo our loss. How, then, could it not be wrong for grief to diminish? Or how are we to make sense of the diminutio…Read more
  •  88
    Belief and Difficult Action
    Philosophers' Imprint 12 1-30. 2012.
    Suppose you decide or promise to do something that you have evidence is difficult to do. Should you believe that you will do it? On the one hand, if you believe that you will do it, your belief goes against the evidence—since having evidence that it’s difficult to do it constitutes evidence that it is likely that you won’t do it. On the other hand, if you don’t believe that you will do it but instead believe, as your evidence suggests, that it is likely that you will fail, your decision is not s…Read more
  •  71
    Trust, Reliance and the Participant Stance
    Philosophers' Imprint 17. 2017.
    It is common to think of the attitude of trust as involving reliance of some sort. For example, Annette Baier argues that trust is reliance on the good will of others, and Richard Holton argues that trust is reliance from a participant stance. However, it is puzzling how trust could involve reliance, because reliance, unlike trust, is responsive to practical reasons: we rely in light of reasons that show it worthwhile to rely, but we don’t trust in light of reasons that show it worthwhile to tru…Read more
  •  60
    What's wrong with promising to try?
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. 2017.
    There is often something wrong with merely promising to try to φ. In this article I explain what is wrong with such promises. I argue that a promise to try to φ, when it is entirely up to us to φ, is always wrong because it hides a possible choice under the veil of our susceptibility to circumstances beyond our control. I furthermore argue that this is often also the case when matters are not entirely up to us. Finally, I contend that sometimes the promise to try places undue burdens on the prom…Read more
  •  838
    Intending is Believing: A Defense of Strong Cognitivism
    Analytic Philosophy 59 (3): 309-340. 2018.
    We argue that intentions are beliefs—beliefs that are held in light of, and made rational by, practical reasoning. To intend to do something is neither more nor less than to believe, on the basis of one’s practical reasoning, that one will do it. The identification of the mental state of intention with the mental state of belief is what we call strong cognitivism about intentions. It is a strong form of cognitivism because we identify intentions with beliefs, rather than maintaining that beliefs…Read more
  •  207
    The Ethics of Belief
    Philosophy Compass 6 (1): 33-43. 2011.
    The ethics of belief is concerned with the question what we should believe. According to evidentialism, one should believe something if and only if one has adequate evidence for what one believes. According to classic pragmatism, other features besides evidence, such as practical reasons, can make it the case that one should believe something. According to a new kind of pragmatism, some epistemic notions may depend on one’s practical interests, even if what one should believe is independent of o…Read more
  •  126
    Promising against the Evidence
    Ethics 123 (2): 292-317. 2013.
    We often promise to ϕ despite having evidence that there is a significant chance that we won’t ϕ. This gives rise to a pressing philosophical problem: Are we irresponsible in making such promises since, it seems, we are insincere or irrational in making them? I argue that we needn’t be. When it’s up to us to ϕ, our practical reasons for ϕ-ing partly determine whether it is rational for us to believe that we will ϕ. That is why we can sometimes rationally believe that we will ϕ even if our belief…Read more
  •  45
    The New Wittgenstein (review)
    Croatian Journal of Philosophy 1 (1): 83-85. 2001.
  •  56
    Skepticism Between Excessiveness and Idleness
    European Journal of Philosophy 18 (1): 60-83. 2010.
    Skepticism seems to have excessive consequences: the impossibility of successful enquiry and differentiated judgment. Yet if skepticism could avoid these consequences, it would seem idle. I offer an account of moderate skepticism that avoids both problems. Moderate skepticism avoids excessiveness because skeptical reflection and ordinary enquiry are immune from one another: a skeptical hypothesis is out of place when raised with in an ordinary enquiry. Conversely, the result of an ordinary enqui…Read more
  •  82
    The Self-Knowledge Gambit
    Synthese 190 (12): 1977-1999. 2013.
    If we hold that perceiving is sufficient for knowing, we can raise a powerful objection to dreaming skepticism: Skeptics assume the implausible KK-principle, because they hold that if we don’t know whether we are dreaming or perceiving p, we don’t know whether p. The rejection of the KK-principle thus suggests an anti-skeptical strategy: We can sacrifice some of our self-knowledge—our second-order knowledge—and thereby save our knowledge of the external world. I call this strategy the Self-Knowl…Read more
  •  56
    Asymmetry arguments
    Philosophical Studies 173 (4): 1081-1102. 2016.
    In the First Meditation, the Cartesian meditator temporarily concludes that he cannot know anything, because he cannot discriminate dreaming from waking while he is dreaming. To resist the meditator’s conclusion, one could deploy an asymmetry argument. Following Bernard Williams, one could argue that even if the meditator cannot discriminate dreaming from waking while dreaming, it does not follow that he cannot do it while awake. In general, asymmetry arguments seek to identify an asymmetry betw…Read more
  •  139
    The desires of others
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (3): 385-400. 2010.
    An influential view, defended by Thomas Scanlon and others, holds that desires are almost never reasons. I seek to resist this view and show that someone who desires something does thereby have a reason to satisfy her desire. To show this, I argue, first, that the desires of some others are reasons for us and, second, that our own desires are no less reason-giving than those of others. In concluding, I emphasize that accepting my view does not commit one to a desire-based account of reasons. Des…Read more
  • Wittgenstein on time
    Synthesis Philosophica 16 (1): 97-102. 2001.
  •  29
    Berislav Marusic explores how we should take evidence into account when thinking about future actions, such as resolving to do something we know will be difficult. Should we believe we will follow through, or not? He argues that if it is important to us, we can rationally believe we will do it, even if our belief contradicts the evidence.