•  2000
    What good are counterexamples?
    Philosophical Studies 115 (1): 1-31. 2003.
    Intuitively, Gettier cases are instances of justified true beliefs that are not cases of knowledge. Should we therefore conclude that knowledge is not justified true belief? Only if we have reason to trust intuition here. But intuitions are unreliable in a wide range of cases. And it can be argued that the Gettier intuitions have a greater resemblance to unreliable intuitions than to reliable intuitions. Whats distinctive about the faulty intuitions, I argue, is that respecting them would mean a…Read more
  •  1481
    Deontology and Descartes’s Demon
    Journal of Philosophy 105 (9): 540-569. 2008.
    In his Principles of Philosophy, Descartes says, Finally, it is so manifest that we possess a free will, capable of giving or withholding its assent, that this truth must be reckoned among the first and most common notions which are born with us
  •  1160
    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
  •  556
    Intrinsic properties and combinatorial principles
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2): 365-380. 2001.
    Three objections have recently been levelled at the analysis of intrinsicness offered by Rae Langton and David Lewis. While these objections do seem telling against the particular theory Langton and Lewis offer, they do not threaten the broader strategy Langton and Lewis adopt: defining intrinsicness in terms of combinatorial features of properties. I show how to amend their theory to overcome the objections without abandoning the strategy
  •  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
  •  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.
  •  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
  •  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
  •  421
    Review: David Lewis (review)
    Mind 116 (461): 191-193. 2007.
  •  415
    Conditionals and indexical relativism
    Synthese 166 (2): 333-357. 2009.
    I set out and defend a view on indicative conditionals that I call “indexical relativism ”. The core of the view is that which proposition is expressed by an utterance of a conditional is a function of the speaker’s context and the assessor’s context. This implies a kind of relativism, namely that a single utterance may be correctly assessed as true by one assessor and false by another.
  •  414
    Disagreements, Philosophical and Otherwise
    In Jennifer Lackey & David Christensen (eds.), The Epistemology of Disagreement: New Essays, Oxford University Press. pp. 54. 2013.
    Conciliatory theories of disagreement face a revenge problem; they cannot be coherently believed by one who thinks they have peers who are not conciliationists. I argue that this is a deep problem for conciliationism.
  •  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.
  •  396
    Knowledge, Bets, and Interests
    In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions, Oxford University Press. pp. 75--103. 2012.
  •  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
  •  366
    Luminous margins
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (3). 2004.
    Timothy Williamson has recently argued that few mental states are luminous , meaning that to be in that state is to be in a position to know that you are in the state. His argument rests on the plausible principle that beliefs only count as knowledge if they are safely true. That is, any belief that could easily have been false is not a piece of knowledge. I argue that the form of the safety rule Williamson uses is inappropriate, and the correct safety rule might not conflict with luminosity.
  •  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
  •  364
    Are you a Sim?
    Philosophical Quarterly 53 (212). 2003.
    Nick Bostrom argues that if we accept some plausible assumptions about how the future will unfold, we should believe we are probably not humans. The argument appeals crucially to an indifference principle whose precise content is a little unclear. I set out four possible interpretations of the principle, none of which can be used to support Bostrom’s argument. On the first two interpretations the principle is false, on the third it does not entail the conclusion, and on the fourth it only entail…Read more
  •  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
  •  306
    Stalnaker on sleeping beauty
    Philosophical Studies 155 (3): 445-456. 2011.
    The Sleeping Beauty puzzle provides a nice illustration of the approach to self-locating belief defended by Robert Stalnaker in Our Knowledge of the Internal World (Stalnaker, 2008), as well as a test of the utility of that method. The setup of the Sleeping Beauty puzzle is by now fairly familiar. On Sunday Sleeping Beauty is told the rules of the game, and a (known to be) fair coin is flipped. On Monday, Sleeping Beauty is woken, and then put back to sleep. If, and only if, the coin landed tails…Read more
  •  298
    I argue with my friends a lot. That is, I offer them reasons to believe all sorts of philosophical conclusions. Sadly, despite the quality of my arguments, and despite their apparent intelligence, they don’t always agree. They keep insisting on principles in the face of my wittier and wittier counterexamples, and they keep offering their own dull alleged counterexamples to my clever principles. What is a philosopher to do in these circumstances? (And I don’t mean get better friends.) One popular…Read more
  •  274
    Notes for a talk exploring Timothy Williamson's arguments against evidence neutrality.
  •  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
  •  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
  •  259
    Centrality and marginalisation
    Philosophical Studies 171 (3): 517-533. 2014.
    A contribution to a symposium on Herman Cappelen's Philosophy without Intuitions.
  •  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
  •  250
    Defending interest-relative invariantism
    Logos and Episteme 2 (4): 591-609. 2011.
    I defend interest-relative invariantism from a number of recent attacks. One common thread to my response is that interest-relative invariantism is a muchweaker thesis than is often acknowledged, and a number of the attacks only challenge very specific, and I think implausible, versions of it. Another is that a number of the attacks fail to acknowledge how many things we have independent reason to believe knowledge is sensitive to. Whether there is a defeater for someone's knowledge can be sensi…Read more
  •  246
    Indicative and subjunctive conditionals
    Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203): 200-216. 2001.
    This paper presents a new theory of the truth conditions for indicative conditionals. The theory allows us to give a fairly unified account of the semantics for indicative and subjunctive conditionals, though there remains a distinction between the two classes. Put simply, the idea behind the theory is that the distinction between the indicative and the subjunctive parallels the distinction between the necessary and the a priori. Since that distinction is best understood formally using the resou…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
  •  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