•  449
    Can we make mistakes about what rationality requires? A natural answer is that we can, since it is a platitude that rational belief does not require truth; it is possible for a belief to be rational and mistaken, and this holds for any subject matter at all. However, the platitude causes trouble when applied to rationality itself. The possibility of rational mistakes about what rationality requires generates a puzzle. When combined with two further plausible claims – the enkratic principle, and …Read more
  •  322
    Recklessness and Uncertainty: Jackson Cases and Merely Apparent Asymmetry
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (4): 391-413. 2019.
    Is normative uncertainty like factual uncertainty? Should it have the same effects on our actions? Some have thought not. Those who defend an asymmetry between normative and factual uncertainty typically do so as part of the claim that our moral beliefs in general are irrelevant to both the moral value and the moral worth of our actions. Here I use the consideration of Jackson cases to challenge this view, arguing that we can explain away the apparent asymmetries between normative and factual un…Read more
  •  113
    Is it OK to Make Mistakes? Appraisal and False Normative Belief
    Dissertation, University of St Andrews. 2019.
    Sometimes we make mistakes, even when we try to do our best. When those mistakes are about normative matters, such as what is required, this leads to a puzzle. This puzzle arises from the possibility of misleading evidence about what rationality requires. I argue that the best way to solve this puzzle is to distinguish between two kinds of evaluation: requirement and appraisal. The strategy I defend connects three distinct debates in epistemology, ethics, and normativity: the debate over how our…Read more
  •  89
    Giving Up the Enkratic Principle
    Logos and Episteme: An International Journal of Epistemology. forthcoming.
    The Enkratic Principle enjoys something of a protected status as a requirement of rationality. I argue that this status is undeserved, at least in the epistemic domain. Compliance with the principle should not be thought of as a requirement of epistemic rationality, but rather as defeasible indication of epistemic blamelessness. To show this, I present the Puzzle of Inconsistent Requirements, and argue that the best way to solve this puzzle is to distinguish two kinds of epistemic evaluation – r…Read more
  •  83
    I argue for the unexceptionality of evidence about what rationality requires. Specifically, I argue that, as for other topics, one’s total evidence can sometimes support false beliefs about this. Despite being prima facie innocuous, a number of philosophers have recently denied this. Some have argued that the facts about what rationality requires are highly dependent on the agent’s situation, and change depending on what that situation is like (Bradley, 2019). Others have argued that a particula…Read more
  •  19
    Brian Weatherson, Normative Externalism (review)
    Philosophy 95 391-394. 2020.
    In Normative Externalism, Brian Weatherson argues that living up to one’s principles is overrated: “If one’s own principles are good, then one should conform to them. But that’s because they are good, not because they are one’s own.” (224). Weatherson argues that there is no reason to avoid being a hypocrite, or having incoherent beliefs, because Tthe first-order question of what you ought to do (or believe) is independent of the second-order question of what you ought to believe about what you …Read more