•  322
    I attempt to give necessary and sufficient conditions for when an act of flirtation has taken place.
  •  286
    What Is Ontological Realism?
    Philosophy Compass 5 (10): 880-890. 2010.
  •  255
    Merely Verbal Disputes
    Erkenntnis 79 (S1): 11-30. 2014.
    Philosophers readily talk about merely verbal disputes, usually without much or any explicit reflection on what these are, and a good deal of methodological significance is attached to discovering whether a dispute is merely verbal or not. Currently, metaphilosophical advances are being made towards a clearer understanding of what exactly it takes for something to be a merely verbal dispute. This paper engages with this growing literature, pointing out some problems with existing approaches, and…Read more
  •  224
    Modal knowledge, counterfactual knowledge and the role of experience
    Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233): 693-701. 2008.
    In recent work Timothy Williamson argues that the epistemology of metaphysical modality is a special case of the epistemology of counterfactuals. I argue that Williamson has not provided an adequate argument for this controversial claim, and that it is not obvious how what he says should be supplemented in order to derive such an argument. But I suggest that an important moral of his discussion survives this point. The moral is that experience could play an epistemic role which is more epistemic…Read more
  •  218
    Serious Verbal Disputes: Ontology, Metaontology, and Analyticity
    Journal of Philosophy 111 (9-10): 454-469. 2014.
    This paper builds on some important recent work by Amie Thomasson, wherein she argues that recent disputes about the existence of ordinary objects have arisen due to eliminiativist metaphysicians’ misunderstandings. Some, she argues, are mistaken about how the language of quantification works, while others neglect the existence and significance of certain analytic entailments. Thomasson claims that once these misunderstandings are cleared away, it is trivially easy to answer existence questions …Read more
  •  209
    Disposition Impossible
    Noûs 46 (4): 732-753. 2012.
    Are there dispositions which not only do not manifest, but which could not manifest? We argue that there are dispositions to Ф in circumstances C where C is impossible, and some where Ф is impossible. Furthermore, postulating these dispositions does useful theoretical work. This paper describes a number of cases of dispositions had by objects even though those dispositions are not possibly manifest, and argues for the importance of these dispositions.
  •  207
    Entitlement and rationality
    Synthese 157 (1): 25-45. 2007.
    This paper takes the form of a critical discussion of Crispin Wright’s notion of entitlement of cognitive project. I examine various strategies for defending the claim that entitlement can make acceptance of a proposition epistemically rational, including one which appeals to epistemic consequentialism. Ultimately, I argue, none of these strategies is successful, but the attempt to isolate points of disagreement with Wright issues in some positive proposals as to how an epistemic consequentialis…Read more
  •  204
    A priori knowledge: Debates and developments
    Philosophy Compass 3 (3). 2008.
    forthcoming in Philosophy Compass. This is a paper which aims both to survey the field and do some work at its cutting edge.
  •  198
    Lewis has argued that quasi-realism is fictionalism. Blackburn denies this, offering reasons which rely on a descriptive reading of quasi-realism. This note offers a different, more general argument against Lewis's claim, available to prescriptive as well as descriptive quasi-realists.
  •  186
    Boghossian and epistemic analyticity
    Croatian Journal of Philosophy 22 (1): 113-127. 2008.
    Boghossian claims that we can acquire a priori knowledge by means of a certain form of argument, our grasp of whose premises relies on the existence of implicit definitions. I discuss an objection to his ‘analytic theory of the a priori’. The worry is that in order to employ this kind of argument we must already know its conclusion. Boghossian has responded to this type of objection in recent work, but I argue that his responses are unconvincing. Along the way, I resist Ebert’s reasons for think…Read more
  •  156
    Realism and Independence
    American Philosophical Quarterly 42 (3). 2005.
    I argue that mind-independence realism should be characterised in terms of what I call 'essential', rather than 'modal', independence from our mental lives. I explore the connections between the two kinds of independence, and argue that characterizations in terms of essence respect more intuitions about what realism is, harmonize better with standard characterizations of anti-realism, and avert the threat of subversion from Blackburn's quasi-realist.
  •  130
    Epistemic Norms and Natural Facts
    American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (3). 2007.
    in American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (3), July 2007, pp. 259-72. Argues that epistemically normative claims are made true by the same facts as, but do not mean the same as, certain natural-sounding claims.
  •  125
    Backwards explanation
    Philosophical Studies 140 (1). 2008.
    We discuss explanation of an earlier event by a later event, and argue that prima facie cases of backwards event explanation are ubiquitous. Some examples: (1) I am tidying my flat because my brother is coming to visit tomorrow. (2) The scarlet pimpernels are closing because it is about to rain. (3) The volcano is smoking because it is going to erupt soon. We then look at various ways people might attempt to explain away these prima facie cases by arguing that in each case the 'real' explanation…Read more
  •  118
    Concepts, experience and modal knowledge1
    Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1): 255-279. 2010.
    forthcoming in R. Cameron, B. Hale and A. Hoffmann (ed.s), The Logic, Epistemology and Metaphysics of Modality, Oxford University Press. Presents a concept-grounding account of modal knowledge.
  •  108
    Knowledge of arithmetic
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4): 727-747. 2005.
    The goal of the research programme I describe in this article is a realist epistemology for arithmetic which respects arithmetic's special epistemic status (the status usually described as a prioricity) yet accommodates naturalistic concerns by remaining fundamentally empiricist. I argue that the central claims which would allow us to develop such an epistemology are (i) that arithmetical truths are known through an examination of our arithmetical concepts; (ii) that (at least our basic) arithme…Read more
  •  106
    The nature of normativity
    Analysis 69 (1): 156-166. 2009.
    This is a big-picture book, 2 written with a breadth of focus which I find admirable. It exhibits what's come to be known as the ‘intersubdiscplinary’ approach to philosophy, which is not restricted by traditional boundaries within the discipline but rather proceeds with an eye to all sorts of areas of philosophy where relevant arguments, results, analogies and strategies might be lurking. I approve of this way of doing philosophy; it seems to me that all too often that wheels are reinvented, or…Read more
  •  99
    Reflective Knowledge and Epistemic Circularity
    Philosophical Papers 40 (3): 305-325. 2011.
    Abstract This paper examines the kind of epistemic circularity which, according to Ernest Sosa, is unavoidably entailed whenever one has what he calls ?reflective? knowledge (that is, knowledge that p such that the knower reflectively endorses the reliability of the epistemic sources by which she came to her belief that p). I begin by describing the relevant kind of circularity and its role in Sosa's epistemology, en route presenting and resisting Sosa's arguments that this kind of circularity i…Read more
  •  96
    Justification magnets
    Philosophical Studies 164 (1): 93-111. 2013.
    David Lewis is associated with the controversial thesis that some properties are more eligible than others to be the referents of our predicates solely in virtue of those properties’ being more natural; independently, that is, of anything to do with our patterns of usage of the relevant predicates. On such a view, the natural properties act as ‘reference magnets’. In this paper I explore (though I do not endorse) a related thesis in epistemology: that some propositions are ‘justification magnets…Read more
  •  93
    The traditional conception of the a priori
    Synthese 192 (9): 2725-2746. 2015.
    In this paper, we explore the traditional conception of a prioricity as epistemic independence of evidence from sense experience. We investigate the fortunes of the traditional conception in the light of recent challenges by Timothy Williamson. We contend that Williamson’s arguments can be resisted in various ways. En route, we argue that Williamson’s views are not as distant from tradition as they might seem at first glance
  •  90
    Sleeping Beauty: A Wake-Up Call
    Philosophia Mathematica 13 (2): 194-201. 2005.
    This note concerns a puzzle about probability which has recently caught the attention of a number of philosophers. According to the current philosophical consensus, the solution to the puzzle reveals that one can acquire new information, sufficient to change one's credences in certain events, just by having a certain experience, even though one knew all along that one would have an experience which felt exactly like this. I argue that the philosophical consensus is mistaken
  •  80
    Modal Monogamy
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2. 2015.
  •  76
  •  70
    Liar-like paradox and object language features
    American Philosophical Quarterly 45 (1). 2008.
    We argue that it would seem to be a mistake to blame Liar-like paradox on certain features of the object language, since the effect can be created with very minimal object languages that contain none of the usual suspects (truth-like predicates, reference to their own truth-bearers, negation, etc.).
  •  70
    Carrie Jenkins presents a new account of arithmetical knowledge, which manages to respect three key intuitions: a priorism, mind-independence realism, and empiricism. Jenkins argues that arithmetic can be known through the examination of empirically grounded concepts, non-accidentally accurate representations of the mind-independent world
  •  69
    What Is Love? An Incomplete Map of the Metaphysics
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2): 349--364. 2015.
  •  66
    Anti-realism and Epistemic Accessibility
    Philosophical Studies 132 (3): 525-551. 2007.
    I argue that Fitch’s ‘paradox of knowability’ presents no special problem for the epistemic anti-realist who believes that reality is epistemically accessible to us. For the claim which is the target of the argument (If p then it is possible to know p) is not a commitment of anti-realism. The epistemic anti-realist’s commitment is (or should be) to the recognizability of the states of affairs which render true propositions true, not to the knowability of the propositions themselves. A formal app…Read more
  •  62
    Review: The Knowability Paradox (review)
    Mind 115 (460): 1141-1147. 2006.