•  35
    In a recent article in this journal, Krzysztof Poslajko reconstructs—and endorses as probative—a dilemma for interpretivism first posed by Alex Byrne. On the first horn of the dilemma, the interpretivist takes attitudes to emerge in relation to an ideal interpreter (and thus loses any connection with actual folk psychological practices). On the second horn, the interpretivist takes attitudes to emerge in relation to individuals’ judgements (and thus denies the possibility of error). I show that …Read more
  •  161
    Street smarts
    Synthese 1-20. forthcoming.
    A pluralistic approach to folk psychology must countenance the evaluative, regulatory, predictive, and explanatory roles played by attributions of intelligence in social practices across cultures. Building off of the work of the psychologist Robert Sternberg and the philosophers Gilbert Ryle and Daniel Dennett, I argue that a relativistic interpretivism best accounts for the many varieties of intelligence that emerge from folk discourse. To be intelligent (in the sense invoked in folk psychologi…Read more
  •  44
    How Beliefs are like Colors
    Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania. 2018.
    Teresa believes in God. Maggie’s wife believes that the Earth is flat, and also that Maggie should be home from work by now. Anouk—a cat—believes it is dinner time. This dissertation is about what believing is: it concerns what, exactly, ordinary people are attributing to Teresa, Maggie’s wife, and Anouk when affirming that they are believers. Part I distinguishes the attitudes of belief that people attribute to each other (and other animals) in ordinary life from the cognitive states of belief …Read more
  •  384
    Interpretivism and norms
    Philosophical Studies 177 (4): 905-930. 2020.
    This article reconsiders the relationship between interpretivism about belief and normative standards. Interpretivists have traditionally taken beliefs to be fixed in relation to norms of interpretation. However, recent work by philosophers and psychologists reveals that human belief attribution practices are governed by a rich diversity of normative standards. Interpretivists thus face a dilemma: either give up on the idea that belief is constitutively normative or countenance a context-sensiti…Read more
  •  454
    Beliefs as inner causes: the (lack of) evidence
    Philosophical Psychology 31 (6): 850-877. 2018.
    Many psychologists studying lay belief attribution and behavior explanation cite Donald Davidson in support of their assumption that people construe beliefs as inner causes. But Davidson’s influential argument is unsound; there are no objective grounds for the intuition that the folk construe beliefs as inner causes that produce behavior. Indeed, recent experimental work by Ian Apperly, Bertram Malle, Henry Wellman, and Tania Lombrozo provides an empirical framework that accords well with Gilber…Read more
  •  343
    Cartesian critters can't remember
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 69 72-85. 2018.
    Descartes held the following view of declarative memory: to remember is to reconstruct an idea that you intellectually recognize as a reconstruction. Descartes countenanced two overarching varieties of declarative memory. To have an intellectual memory is to intellectually reconstruct a universal idea that you recognize as a reconstruction, and to have a sensory memory is to neurophysiologically reconstruct a particular idea that you recognize as a reconstruction. Sensory remembering is thus a c…Read more
  •  231
    Cabbage à la Descartes
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3 609-637. 2016.
    This article offers an interpretation of Descartes’s method of doubt. It wields an examination of Descartes’s pedagogy—as exemplified by The Search for Truth as well as the Meditations—to make the case for the sincerity (as opposed to artificiality) of the doubts engendered by the First Meditation. Descartes was vigilant about balancing the need to use his method of doubt to achieve absolute certainty with the need to compensate for the various foibles of his scholastic and unschooled readers. N…Read more