• 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
  •  133
    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.
  •  311
    Keynes, Uncertainty and Interest Rates
    Cambridge Journal of Economics 26 (1): 47-62. 2002.
    Uncertainty plays an important role in The General Theory, particularly in the theory of interest rates. Keynes did not provide a theory of uncertainty, but he did make some enlightening remarks about the direction he thought such a theory should take. I argue that some modern innovations in the theory of probability allow us to build a theory which captures these Keynesian insights. If this is the right theory, however, uncertainty cannot carry its weight in Keynes’s arguments. This does not me…Read more
  •  86
    F-relevant respects are never precisely defined, but the intuitive idea is clear enough. Smart- relevant respects are mental abilities, Philosopher-relevant respects presumably include where one is employed, what kinds of things one writes, etc, and, most importantly for this paper, the only Tall-relevant respect is height.
  •  115
    In “A Reliabilist Solution to the Problem of Promiscuous Bootstrapping”, Hilary Kornblith (2009) proposes a reliabilist solution to the bootstrapping problem. I’m going to argue that Kornblith’s proposal, far from solving the bootstrapping problem, in fact makes the problem much harder for the reliabilist to solve. Indeed, I’m going to argue that Kornblith’s considerations give us a way to develop a quick reductio of a certain kind of reliabilism. Let’s start with a crude statement of the proble…Read more
  •  93
    An important tradition in metaphysics takes its job to be finding a limited number of ingredients with which we can tell the complete story of the world (or some subject matter). Physicalism, for example, claims that the list of ingredients sufficient to tell the complete story about the very small, or about the non-sentient, is sufficient to tell the complete story about all of the world. Some people take the moral of this kind of metaphysics to be eliminativist; that we can tell the complete s…Read more
  •  62
    Call Justificatory Probabilism (hereafter, JP) the thesis that there is some (classical) probability function Pr such that for an agent S with evidence E, the degree to which they are justified in believing a hypothesis H is given by Pr(H|E). As stated, the thesis is fairly ambiguous, though none of the disambiguations are obviously true. Indeed, several of them are obviously false. If JP is a thesis about how justified agents are in fully believing propositions, it is trivially false. I’m about…Read more
  •  243
    From Classical to Intuitionistic Probability
    Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 44 (2): 111-123. 2003.
    We generalize the Kolmogorov axioms for probability calculus to obtain conditions defining, for any given logic, a class of probability functions relative to that logic, coinciding with the standard probability functions in the special case of classical logic but allowing consideration of other classes of "essentially Kolmogorovian" probability functions relative to other logics. We take a broad view of the Bayesian approach as dictating inter alia that from the perspective of a given logic, rat…Read more
  •  267
    Review of Rosanna Keefe, Theories of Vagueness (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2): 491-494. 2003.
    Many philosophers, I suspect, are partial to supervaluational theories of vagueness. And with good reason. Its rivals all seem to promise metaphysical mysteries concerning hitherto unnoticed, and perhaps unnoticeable, sharp boundaries around our concepts, or radical revision in our logical practices. And not only have philosophers been so tempted. The texts are a little unclear, but it seems several economists can be read as adopting supervaluational solutions to the difficulties raised by vague…Read more
  •  274
    Notes for a talk exploring Timothy Williamson's arguments against evidence neutrality.
  •  198
    Probability and scepticism
    In Dylan Dodd Elia Zardini (ed.), Scepticism and Perceptual Justification, Oxford University Press. pp. 71-86. 2014.
    If we add as an extra premise that the agent does know H, then it is possible for her to know E — H, we get the conclusion that the agent does not really know H. But even without that closure premise, or something like it, the conclusion seems quite dramatic. One possible response to the argument, floated by both Descartes and Hume, is to accept the conclusion and embrace scepticism. We cannot know anything that goes beyond our evidence, so we do not know very much at all. This is a remarkably s…Read more
  •  70
    Our primary interest this week will be in two objections Jackson mentions which seem to threaten his program. Each of them is avoided by appeal to the two-dimensional framework we sketched last week. Before we go over that framework again, we will start by looking at the objections. For reasons that may become apparent shortly, we will look at them in reverse order. So first we’ll look at this objection from Chapter 3, an objection which turns on the discovery of a posteriori necessities by Krip…Read more
  •  179
    Suppose a rational agent S has some evidence E that bears on p, and on that basis makes a judgment about p. For simplicity, we’ll normally assume that she judges that p, though we’re also interested in cases where the agent makes other judgments, such as that p is probable, or that p is well-supported by the evidence. We’ll also assume, again for simplicity, that the agent knows that E is the basis for her judgment. Finally, we’ll assume that the judgment is a rational one to make, though we won…Read more
  •  273
    Morality, fiction, and possibility
    Philosophers' Imprint 4 1-27. 2004.
    Authors have a lot of leeway with regard to what they can make true in their story. In general, if the author says that p is true in the fiction we’re reading, we believe that p is true in that fiction. And if we’re playing along with the fictional game, we imagine that, along with everything else in the story, p is true. But there are exceptions to these general principles. Many authors, most notably Kendall Walton and Tamar Szabó Gendler, have discussed apparent counterexamples when p is “mora…Read more
  •  217
    True, Truer, Truest
    Philosophical Studies 123 (1-2): 47-70. 2005.
    What the world needs now is another theory of vagueness. Not because the old theories are useless. Quite the contrary, the old theories provide many of the materials we need to construct the truest theory of vagueness ever seen. The theory shall be similar in motivation to supervaluationism, but more akin to many-valued theories in conceptualisation. What I take from the many-valued theories is the idea that some sentences can be truer than others. But I say very different things to the ordering…Read more
  •  259
    Centrality and marginalisation
    Philosophical Studies 171 (3): 517-533. 2014.
    A contribution to a symposium on Herman Cappelen's Philosophy without Intuitions.
  •  58
    Dean Pettit recently argued in Mind that understanding a word did not require knowing what it meant. Adam and I show that his core arguments, which mostly turn on showing that some particular cases are cases of understanding without knowledge, do not work.
  •  107
    Assume, for fun, that temporal parts theory is true, and that some kind of modal realism (perhaps based on ersatz worlds) is true. Within this grand metaphysical picture, what are the ordinary objects? Do they have many temporal parts, or just one? Do they have many modal parts, or just one? I survey the issues involved in answering this question, including the problem of temporary intrinsics, the problem of the many, Kripke's objections to counterpart theory and quantifier domain restrictions.
  •  425
    Assertion, knowledge, and action
    Philosophical Studies 149 (1): 99-118. 2010.
    We argue against the knowledge rule of assertion, and in favour of integrating the account of assertion more tightly with our best theories of evidence and action. We think that the knowledge rule has an incredible consequence when it comes to practical deliberation, that it can be right for a person to do something that she can't properly assert she can do. We develop some vignettes that show how this is possible, and how odd this consequence is. We then argue that these vignettes point towards…Read more
  •  378
    Games, Beliefs and Credences
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2): 209-236. 2016.
    In previous work I’ve defended an interest-relative theory of belief. This paper continues the defence. It has four aims. 1. To offer a new kind of reason for being unsatis ed with the simple Lockean reduction of belief to credence. 2. To defend the legitimacy of appealing to credences in a theory of belief. 3. To illustrate the importance of theoretical, as well as practical, interests in an interest-relative account of belief. 4. To revise my account to cover propositions that are practically …Read more