•  68
    Knowledge, Reasons, and Errors about Error Theory
    In Robin McKenna & Christos Kyriacou (eds.), Metaepistemology: Realism & Antirealism, Palgrave Macmillan. 2018.
    According to moral error theorists, moral claims necessarily represent categorically or robustly normative facts. But since there are no such facts, moral thought and discourse are systematically mistaken. One widely discussed objection to the moral error theory is that it cannot be true because it leads to an epistemic error theory. We argue that this objection is mistaken. Objectors may be right that the epistemic error theory is untenable. We also agree with epistemic realists that our episte…Read more
  •  1255
    Being More Realistic About Reasons: On Rationality and Reasons Perspectivism
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3): 605-627. 2019.
    This paper looks at whether it is possible to unify the requirements of rationality with the demands of normative reasons. It might seem impossible to do because one depends upon the agent’s perspective and the other upon features of the situation. Enter Reasons Perspectivism. Reasons perspectivists think they can show that rationality does consist in responding correctly to reasons by placing epistemic constraints on these reasons. They think that if normative reasons are subject to the right e…Read more
  •  162
    Small Stakes Give You the Blues: The Skeptical Costs of Pragmatic Encroachment
    Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofía. forthcoming.
    According to the fallibilist, it is possible for us to know things when our evidence doesn't entail that our beliefs are correct. Even if there is some chance that we're mistaken about p, we might still know that p is true. Fallibilists will tell you that an important virtue of their view is that infallibilism leads to skepticism. In this paper, we'll see that fallibilist impurism has considerable skeptical consequences of its own. We've missed this because we've focused our attention on the h…Read more
  •  412
    Do Reasons and Evidence Share the Same Residence?
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3): 720-727. 2016.
    This is part of an authors meets critics session on Daniel Star's wonderful book, Knowing Better. I discuss a potential problem with Kearns and Star's Reasons as Evidence thesis. The issue has to do with the difficulties we face is we treat normative reasons as evidence and impose no possession conditions on evidence. On such a view, it's hard to see how practical reasoning could be a non-monotonic process. One way out of the difficulty would be to allow for (potent) unpossessed reasons but insi…Read more
  •  664
    Truth, knowledge, and the standard of proof in criminal law
    Synthese 197 (12): 5253-5286. forthcoming.
    Could it be right to convict and punish defendants using only statistical evidence? In this paper, I argue that it is not and explain why it would be wrong. This is difficult to do because there is a powerful argument for thinking that we should convict and punish defendants using statistical evidence. It looks as if the relevant cases are cases of decision under risk and it seems we know what we should do in such cases (i.e., maximize expected value). Given some standard assumptions about the v…Read more
  •  39
    Pritchard’s Reasons in advance
    Journal of Philosophical Research. forthcoming.
  •  271
    The Truth in Gnosticism
    Análisis. Revista de Investigación Filosófica. forthcoming.
    The paper discusses some challenges to veritism, the view that the fundamental epistemic good is knowledge. It looks like the best way to meet these challenges might be to appeal to some of Sosa's ideas about the value of achievements, but I argue that the performance normativity framework only gives us part of what we want. What we need is a more radical break with the veritist approach. We need to embrace gnosticism, the view that knowledge is the fundamental epistemic good.
  •  330
    Knowledge and Normativity
    In Markos Valaris & Stephen Hetherington (eds.), Knowledge in Contemporary Philosophy, Bloomsbury Academic. forthcoming.
    Abstract: On the standard story about knowledge, knowledge has a normative dimension by virtue of the fact that knowledge involves justification. On the standard story, justification is necessary but insufficient for knowledge. The additional conditions that distinguish knowledge from justified belief are normatively insignificant. In this chapter we will consider whether the concept of knowledge might be irrelevant to normative questions in epistemology. Some proponents of the standard story m…Read more
  •  1551
    A Plea for Epistemic Excuses
    In Fabian Dorsch Julien Dutant (ed.), The New Evil Demon Problem, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    The typical epistemology course begins with a discussion of the distinction between justification and knowledge and ends without any discussion of the distinction between justification and excuse. This is unfortunate. If we had a better understanding of the justification-excuse distinction, we would have a better understanding of the intuitions that shape the internalism-externalism debate. My aims in this paper are these. First, I will explain how the kinds of excuses that should interest epist…Read more
  •  172
    Does 'Ought' Still Imply 'Can'?
    Philosophia 40 (4): 821-828. 2012.
    According to ‘ought’ implies ‘can’ (OIC), your obligation can never be to do what you cannot do. In a recent attack on OIC, Graham has argued that intuitions about justified intervention can help us determine whether the agent whose actions we use force to prevent would have acted permissibly or not. These intuitions, he suggests, cause trouble for the idea that you can be obligated to refrain from doing what you can refrain from doing. I offer a defense of OIC and explain how non-consequentiali…Read more
  •  1088
    On Treating Something as a Reason for Action
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1): 1-5. 2008.
    No abstract.
  •  514
    Evidence and its Limits
    In Conor McHugh Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical, Oxford University Press. 2018.
    On a standard view about reasons, evidence, and justification, there is justification for you to believe all and only what your evidence supports and the reasons that determine whether there is justification to believe are all just pieces of evidence. This view is mistaken about two things. It is mistaken about the rational role of evidence. It is also mistaken about the rational role of reasons. To show this, I present two basis problems for the standard view and argue that it lacks the resou…Read more
  •  640
    Just do it? When to do what you judge you ought to do
    Synthese 195 (9): 3755-3772. 2018.
    While it is generally believed that justification is a fallible guide to the truth, there might be interesting exceptions to this general rule. In recent work on bridge-principles, an increasing number of authors have argued that truths about what a subject ought to do are truths we stand in some privileged epistemic relation to and that our justified normative beliefs are beliefs that will not lead us astray. If these bridge-principles hold, it suggests that justification might play an interest…Read more
  •  89
  •  1121
    Who Cares What You Accurately Believe?
    Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1): 217-248. 2015.
    This is a critical discussion of the accuracy-first approach to epistemic norms. If you think of accuracy (gradational or categorical) as the fundamental epistemic good and think of epistemic goods as things that call for promotion, you might think that we should use broadly consequentialist reasoning to determine which norms govern partial and full belief. After presenting consequentialist arguments for probabilism and the normative Lockean view, I shall argue that the consequentialist framewo…Read more
  •  98
    Lotteries, Probabilities, and Permissions
    Logos and Episteme 3 (3): 509-14. 2012.
    Thomas Kroedel argues that we can solve a version of the lottery paradox if we identify justified beliefs with permissible beliefs. Since permissions do not agglomerate, we might grant that someone could justifiably believe any ticket in a large and fair lottery is a loser without being permitted to believe that all the tickets will lose. I shall argue that Kroedel’s solution fails. While permissions do not agglomerate, we would have too many permissions if we characterized justified belief as s…Read more
  •  485
    Disagreement and Defeat
    In Diego Machuca (ed.), Disagreement and Skepticism, . 2013.
    The equal weight view says that if you discover that you disagree with a peer, you should decrease your confidence that you are in the right. Since peer disagreement seems to be quite prevalent, the equal weight view seems to tell us that we cannot reasonably believe many of the interesting things we believe because we can always count on a peer to contest the interesting things that we believe. While the equal weight view seems to have skeptical implications, few epistemologists worry about the…Read more
  •  92
    Know Your Rights: On Warranted Assertion and Truth
    Erkenntnis 79 (6): 1355-1365. 2014.
    A standard objection to the suggestion that the fundamental norm of assertion is the truth norm (i.e., one must not assert p unless p) is that this norm cannot explain why warrant requires knowledge-level evidence. In a recent paper, Whiting has defended the truth-first approach to the norms of assertion by appeal to a distinction between the warrant there is to assert and the warrant one has to assert. I shall argue that this latest defensive strategy is unsuccessful
  •  130
    The New Evil Demon Problem
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    An overview of the new evil demon problem.
  •  162
    From E = K to scepticism?
    Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233): 679-684. 2008.
    In a recent article Dylan Dodd has argued that anyone who holds that all knowledge is evidence must concede that we know next to nothing about die external world. The argument is intended to show that any infallibilist account of knowledge is committed to scepticism, and that anyone who identifies our evidence with the propositions we know is committed to infallibilism. I shall offer some reasons for thinking Dodd's argument is unsound, and explain where his argument goes wrong
  •  510
    Are Epistemic Reasons Ever Reasons to Promote?
    Logos and Episteme 4 (3): 353-360. 2013.
    In trying to distinguish the right kinds of reasons from the wrong, epistemologists often appeal to the connection to truth to explain why practical considerations cannot constitute reasons. The view they typically opt for is one on which only evidence can constitute a reason to believe. Talbot has shown that these approaches don’t exclude the possibility that there are non-evidential reasons for belief that can justify a belief without being evidence for that belief. He thinksthat there are in…Read more
  •  36
    Review of Paul Boghossian, Content and Justification: Philosophical Papers (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (5). 2009.
  •  60
    Apostasy done right
    The Philosophers' Magazine 59 (59): 113-114. 2012.
  •  466
    La Verdad en el Gnosticismo
    Análisis. Revista de Investigación Filosófica 3 217-241. 2016.
    Hay dos supuestos sobre el valor epistémico que guían las discusiones más recientes sobre éste. El primero es que hay algo bueno con respecto a la creencia verdadera. El segundo supuesto es que es posible que dos creencias difieran en su valor incluso si ambas creencias son igualmente correctas. El veritista tiene fácil explicar el primer supuesto, pero tiene más difícil explicar el segundo. Para explicarlo, el veritista tiene que mostrar que las creencias verdaderas pueden diferir en su valor p…Read more
  •  454
    Don’t Know, Don’t Believe: Reply to Kroedel
    Logos and Episteme 4 (2): 231-38. 2013.
    In recent work, Thomas Kroedel has proposed a novel solution to the lottery paradox. As he sees it, we are permitted/justified in believing some lottery propositions, but we are not permitted/justified in believing them all. I criticize this proposal on two fronts. First, I think that if we had the right to add some lottery beliefs to our belief set, we would not have any decisive reason to stop adding more. Suggestions to the contrary run into the wrong kind of reason problem. Reflection on the…Read more
  •  575
    On the coherence of inversion
    Acta Analytica 24 (2): 127-137. 2009.
    In this paper, I shall evaluate a strategy recently used to try to demonstrate the impossibility of behaviorally undetectable spectrum inversion. After showing that the impossibility proof proves too much, I shall identify where it goes wrong. In turn, I shall explain why someone attracted to functionalist and representationalist assumptions might rightly remain agnostic about the possibility of inversion.
  •  1044
    The Right in the Good: A Defense of Teleological Non-Consequentialism in Epistemology
    In Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij Jeff Dunn (ed.), Epistemic Consequentialism, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    There has been considerable discussion recently of consequentialist justifications of epistemic norms. In this paper, I shall argue that these justifications are not justifications. The consequentialist needs a value theory, a theory of the epistemic good. The standard theory treats accuracy as the fundamental epistemic good and assumes that it is a good that calls for promotion. Both claims are mistaken. The fundamental epistemic good involves accuracy, but it involves more than just that. The …Read more
  •  457
    Knowledge and Awareness
    Analysis 75 (4): 596-603. 2015.
    This paper takes a critical look at the idea that knowledge involves reflective access to reasons that provide rational support. After distinguishing between different kinds of awareness, I argue that the kind of awareness involved in awareness of reasons is awareness of something general rather than awareness of something that instances some generality. Such awareness involves the exercise of conceptual capacities and just is knowledge. Since such awareness is knowledge, this kind of awareness…Read more
  •  640
    A note concerning justification and access
    Episteme 10 (4): 369-386. 2013.
    Certain combinations of attitudes are manifestly unreasonable. It is unreasonable to believe that dogs bark, for example, if one concedes that one has no justification to believe this. Why are the irrational combinations irrational? One suggestion is that these are attitudes that a subject cannot have justification to have. If this is right, we can test claims about the structure of propositional justification by relying on our observations about which combinations of attitudes constitute Moorea…Read more