•  609
    Chance and the Continuum Hypothesis
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. forthcoming.
    This paper presents and defends an argument that the continuum hypothesis is false, based on considerations about objective chance and an old theorem due to Banach and Kuratowski. More specifically, I argue that the probabilistic inductive methods standardly used in science presuppose that every proposition about the outcome of a chancy process has a certain chance between 0 and 1. I also argue in favour of the standard view that chances are countably additive. Since it is possible to randomly p…Read more
  •  16
    Loose Talk, Scale Presuppositions and QUD
    In Julian J. Schlöder, Dean McHugh & Floris Roelofsen (eds.), Proceedings of the 22nd Amsterdam Colloquium, . pp. 171-180. 2019.
    I present a new pragmatic theory of loose talk, focussing on the loose use of numbers and measurement expressions. The account explains loose readings as arising from a pragmatic mechanism aimed at restoring relevance to the question under discussion (QUD), appealing to Krifka's notion of a measurement scale. The core motivating observation is that the loose reading of a claim need not be weaker than its literal content, as almost all pragmatic treatments of loose talk have assumed (e.g. Laserso…Read more
  •  64
    Minimal Rationality and the Web of Questions
    In Dirk Kindermann, Peter van Elswyk & Andy Egan (eds.), Unstructured Content, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    This paper proposes a new account of bounded or minimal doxastic rationality (in the sense of Cherniak 1986), based on the notion that beliefs are answers to questions (à la Yalcin 2018). The core idea is that minimally rational beliefs are linked through thematic connections, rather than entailment relations. Consequently, such beliefs are not deductively closed, but they are closed under parthood (where a part is an entailment that answers a smaller question). And instead of avoiding all incon…Read more
  •  636
    Conversational Exculpature
    Philosophical Review 127 (2): 151-196. 2018.
    Conversational exculpature is a pragmatic process whereby information is subtracted from, rather than added to, what the speaker literally says. This pragmatic content subtraction explains why we can say “Rob is six feet tall” without implying that Rob is between 5'0.99" and 6'0.01" tall, and why we can say “Ellen has a hat like the one Sherlock Holmes always wears” without implying Holmes exists or has a hat. This article presents a simple formalism for understanding this pragmatic mechanism, s…Read more