• Epistemic Modals in Context
    In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth, Clarendon Press. 2005.
  • Intrinsic Properties and Combinatorial Principles
    In Robert M. Francescotti (ed.), Companion to Intrinsic Properties, De Gruyter. pp. 69-86. 2014.
  •  42
    Accuracy and the Imps
    Logos and Episteme 10 (3): 263-282. 2019.
    Recently several authors have argued that accuracy-first epistemology ends up licensing problematic epistemic bribes. They charge that it is better, given the accuracy-first approach, to deliberately form one false belief if this will lead to forming many other true beliefs. We argue that this is not a consequence of the accuracy-first view. If one forms one false belief and a number of other true beliefs, then one is committed to many other false propositions, e.g., the conjunction of that fals…Read more
  •  26
    Normative Externalism
    Oxford University Press. 2019.
    Normative Externalism argues that it is not important that people live up to their own principles. What matters, in both ethics and epistemology, is that they live up to the correct principles: that they do the right thing, and that they believe rationally. This stance, that what matters are the correct principles, not one's own principles, has implications across ethics and epistemology. In ethics, it undermines the ideas that moral uncertainty should be treated just like factual uncertainty, t…Read more
  •  36
    Lloyd Humberstone’s recently published Philosophical Applications of Modal Logic presents a number of new ideas in modal logic as well explication and critique of recent work of many others. We extend some of these ideas and answer some questions that are left open in the book.
  •  97
    Review of _ What do Philosophers do? Scepticism and the Practice of Philosophy _, by Penelope Maddy
  •  132
    Interests, evidence and games
    Episteme 15 (3): 329-344. 2018.
    Pragmatic encroachment theories have a problem with evidence. On the one hand, the arguments that knowledge is interest-relative look like they will generalise to show that evidence too is interest-relative. On the other hand, our best story of how interests affect knowledge presupposes an interest-invariant notion of evidence. The aim of this paper is to sketch a theory of evidence that is interest-relative, but which allows that ‘best story’ to go through with minimal changes. The core idea is…Read more
  •  83
    This collection arose out of a conference on intuitions at the University of Notre Dame in April 1996. The papers in it mainly address two related questions: (a) How much evidential weight should be assigned to intuitions? and (b) Are concepts governed by necessary and sufficient conditions, or are they governed by ‘family resemblance’ conditions, as Wittgenstein suggested? The book includes four papers by psychologists relating and analyzing some empirical findings concerning intuitions and ele…Read more
  •  245
    Intellectual Skill and the Rylean Regress
    Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267): 370-386. 2017.
    Intelligent activity requires the use of various intellectual skills. While these skills are connected to knowledge, they should not be identified with knowledge. There are realistic examples where the skills in question come apart from knowledge. That is, there are realistic cases of knowledge without skill, and of skill without knowledge. Whether a person is intelligent depends, in part, on whether they have these skills. Whether a particular action is intelligent depends, in part, on whether …Read more
  •  506
    The Bayesian and the Dogmatist
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt2): 169-185. 2007.
    Dogmatism is sometimes thought to be incompatible with Bayesian models of rational learning. I show that the best model for updating imprecise credences is compatible with dogmatism.
  •  552
    The Role of Naturalness in Lewis's Theory of Meaning
    Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 1 (10). 2013.
    Many writers have held that in his later work, David Lewis adopted a theory of predicate meaning such that the meaning of a predicate is the most natural property that is (mostly) consistent with the way the predicate is used. That orthodox interpretation is shared by both supporters and critics of Lewis's theory of meaning, but it has recently been strongly criticised by Wolfgang Schwarz. In this paper, I accept many of Schwarze's criticisms of the orthodox interpretation, and add some more. Bu…Read more
  •  160
    Begging the Question and Bayesians
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 687-697. 1999.
    The arguments for Bayesianism in the literature fall into three broad categories. There are Dutch Book arguments, both of the traditional pragmatic variety and the modern ‘depragmatised’ form. And there are arguments from the so-called ‘representation theorems’. The arguments have many similarities, for example they have a common conclusion, and they all derive epistemic constraints from considerations about coherent preferences, but they have enough differences to produce hostilities between th…Read more
  •  194
    Margins and Errors
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (1): 63-76. 2013.
    Recently, Timothy Williamson has argued that considerations about margins of errors can generate a new class of cases where agents have justified true beliefs without knowledge. I think this is a great argument, and it has a number of interesting philosophical conclusions. In this note I’m going to go over the assumptions of Williamson’s argument. I’m going to argue that the assumptions which generate the justification without knowledge are true. I’m then going to go over some of the recent argu…Read more
  •  255
    Chopping Up Gunk
    The Monist 87 (3): 339-50. 2004.
    We show that someone who believes in both gunk and the possibility of supertasks has to give up either a plausible principle about where gunk can be located, or plausible conservation principles
  •  177
    Induction and Supposition
    The Reasoner 6 78-80. 2012.
    Applying good inductive rules inside the scope of suppositions leads to implausible results. I argue it is a mistake to think that inductive rules of inference behave anything like 'inference rules' in natural deduction systems. And this implies that it isn't always true that good arguments can be run 'off-line' to gain a priori knowledge of conditional conclusions.
  •  365
    Scepticism, Rationalism, and Externalism
    Oxford Studies in Epistemology 1 311-331. 2006.
    This paper is about three of the most prominent debates in modern epistemology. The conclusion is that three prima facie appealing positions in these debates cannot be held simultaneously. The first debate is scepticism vs anti-scepticism. My conclusions apply to most kinds of debates between sceptics and their opponents, but I will focus on the inductive sceptic, who claims we cannot come to know what will happen in the future by induction. This is a fairly weak kind of scepticism, and I suspec…Read more
  •  155
    For Bayesians, Rational Modesty Requires Imprecision
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2. 2015.
    Gordon Belot has recently developed a novel argument against Bayesianism. He shows that there is an interesting class of problems that, intuitively, no rational belief forming method is likely to get right. But a Bayesian agent’s credence, before the problem starts, that she will get the problem right has to be 1. This is an implausible kind of immodesty on the part of Bayesians. My aim is to show that while this is a good argument against traditional, precise Bayesians, the argument doesn’t nea…Read more
  •  1159
    Running risks morally
    Philosophical Studies 167 (1): 141-163. 2014.
    I defend normative externalism from the objection that it cannot account for the wrongfulness of moral recklessness. The defence is fairly simple—there is no wrong of moral recklessness. There is an intuitive argument by analogy that there should be a wrong of moral recklessness, and the bulk of the paper consists of a response to this analogy. A central part of my response is that if people were motivated to avoid moral recklessness, they would have to have an unpleasant sort of motivation, wha…Read more
  •  115
    Orthodox Bayesian decision theory requires an agent’s beliefs representable by a real-valued function, ideally a probability function. Many theorists have argued this is too restrictive; it can be perfectly reasonable to have indeterminate degrees of belief. So doxastic states are ideally representable by a set of probability functions. One consequence of this is that the expected value of a gamble will be imprecise. This paper looks at the attempts to extend Bayesian decision theory to deal wit…Read more
  •  93
    Questioning Contextualism
    In Stephen Cade Hetherington (ed.), Aspects of Knowing: Epistemological Essays, Elsevier. pp. 133-147. 2006.
    I argue that orthodox contextualist theories concerning 'know' make false predictions concerning the proper answers to questions containing 'know'.
  •  398
    Vagueness as Indeterminacy
    In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic, Oxford University Press. 2010.
    Vagueness as Indeterminacy. I defend the traditional view that a vague term is one with an indeterminate denotation from a bevy of recent challenges.
  •  487
    Can we do without pragmatic encroachment
    Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1). 2005.
    I consider the problem of how to derive what an agent believes from their credence function and utility function. I argue the best solution of this problem is pragmatic, i.e. it is sensitive to the kinds of choices actually facing the agent. I further argue that this explains why our notion of justified belief appears to be pragmatic, as is argued e.g. by Fantl and McGrath. The notion of epistemic justification is not really a pragmatic notion, but it is being applied to a pragmatically defined …Read more
  •  206
    Attitudes and relativism
    Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1): 527-544. 2008.
    Data about attitude reports provide some of the most interesting arguments for, and against, various theses of semantic relativism. This paper is a short survey of three such arguments. First, I’ll argue (against recent work by von Fintel and Gillies) that relativists can explain the behaviour of relativistic terms in factive attitude reports. Second, I’ll argue (against Glanzberg) that looking at attitude reports suggests that relativists have a more plausible story to tell than contextualists …Read more
  •  395
    Knowledge, Bets, and Interests
    In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions, Oxford University Press. pp. 75--103. 2012.
  •  170
    Comments on Sherri Rousch’s Tracking Truth for the 2006 Philosophy of Science Association conference.
  •  212
    Humeans Aren’t Out of their Minds
    Noûs 41 (3). 2007.
    Humeanism is “the thesis that the whole truth about a world like ours supervenes on the spatiotemporal distribution of local qualities.” (Lewis, 1994, 473) Since the whole truth about our world contains truths about causation, causation must be located in the mosaic of local qualities that the Humean says constitute the whole truth about the world. The most natural ways to do this involve causation being in some sense extrinsic. To take the simplest possible Humean analysis, we might say that c …Read more
  •  51
    Sameness and Substance Renewed (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2002 (9). 2002.
    Sameness and Substance Renewed (hereafter, 2001) is, in effect, a second edition of Wiggins’s 1980 book Sameness and Substance (hereafter, 1980), which in turn expanded and corrected some ideas in his 1967 Identity and Spatio-Temporal Continuity (hereafter, 1967). All three books have similar aims. The first is to argue, primarily against Geach, that identity is absolute not relative. The second is to argue that, despite this, whenever an identity claim a = b is true, there is a sortal f such th…Read more