•  1110
    We revisit an important exchange on the problem of radical skepticism between Richard Rorty and Michael Williams. In his contribution to this exchange, Rorty defended the kind of transcendental approach to radical skepticism that is offered by Donald Davidson, in contrast to Williams’s Wittgenstein-inspired view. It is argued that the key to evaluating this debate is to understand the particular conception of the radical skeptical problem that is offered in influential work by Barry Stroud, a …Read more
  •  932
    The Epistemology of Cognitive Enhancement
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (2): 220-242. 2016.
    A common epistemological assumption in contemporary bioethics held b y both proponents and critics of non-traditional forms of cognitive enhancement is that cognitive enhancement aims at the facilitation of the accumulation of human knowledge. This paper does three central things. First, drawing from recent work in epistemology, a rival account of cognitive enhancement, framed in terms of the notion of cognitive achievement rather than knowledge, is proposed. Second, we outline and respond to an…Read more
  •  809
    Knowledge‐How and Cognitive Achievement
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1): 181-199. 2015.
    According to reductive intellectualism, knowledge-how just is a kind of propositional knowledge (e.g., Stanley & Williamson 2001; Stanley 2011a, 2011b; Brogaard, 2008a, 2008b, 2009, 2011, 2009, 2011). This proposal has proved controversial because knowledge-how and propositional knowledge do not seem to share the same epistemic properties, particularly with regard to epistemic luck. Here we aim to move the argument forward by offering a positive account of knowledge-how. In particular, we propos…Read more
  •  739
    Recent Work on Radical Skepticism
    American Philosophical Quarterly 39 (3): 215-257. 2002.
    This discussion surveys recent developments in the treatment of the epistemological problem of skepticism. These are arguments which attack our knowledge of certain truths rather than, say, our belief in the existence of certain entities. In particular, this article focuses on the radical versions of these skeptical arguments, arguments which purport to show that knowledge is, for the most part, impossible, rather than just that we lack knowledge in a particular discourse. Although most of the k…Read more
  •  671
    Whereas a number of recent articles have focussed upon whether the thesis of content externalism is compatible with a certain sort of knowledge that is gained via first-person authority,1 far less attention has been given to the relationship that this thesis bears to the possession of knowledge in general and, in particular, its relation to internalist and externalist epistemologies. Nevertheless, although very few actual arguments have been presented to this end, there does seem to be a shared …Read more
  •  618
    Anti-Luck Virtue Epistemology
    Journal of Philosophy 109 (3): 247-279. 2012.
  •  573
    Contrastivism, evidence, and scepticism
    Social Epistemology 22 (3). 2008.
    I offer a critical treatment of the contrastivist response to the problem of radical scepticism. In particular, I argue that if contrastivism is understood along externalist lines then it is unnecessary, while if it is understood along internalist lines then it is intellectually dissatisfying. Moreover, I claim that a closer examination of the conditions under which it is appropriate to claim knowledge reveals that we can accommodate many of the intuitions appealed to by contrastivists without h…Read more
  •  462
    On Metaepistemological Scepticism
    In Michael Bergmann & Brett Brett Coppenger (eds.), Intellectual Assurance: Essays on Traditional Epistemic Internalism, Oxford University Press. 2016.
    Fumerton’s distinctive brand of metaepistemological scepticism is compared and contrasted with the related position outlined by Stroud. It is argued that there are at least three interesting points of contact between Fumerton and Stroud’s metaepistemology. The first point of contact is that both Fumerton and Stroud think that (1) externalist theories of justification permit a kind of non-inferential, perceptual justification for our beliefs about non-psychological reality, but it’s not sufficien…Read more
  •  450
    McDowellian neo-mooreanism
    In Fiona Macpherson & Adrian Haddock (eds.), Disjunctivism: Perception, Action, Knowledge, Oxford University Press. pp. 283--310. 2006.
    It is claimed that McDowell’s treatment of scepticism offers a potential way of resurrecting the much derided ‘Moorean’ response to scepticism in a fashion that avoids the problems facing classical internalist and externalist construals of neo-Mooreanism. I here evaluate the prospects for a McDowellian neo-Mooreanism and, in doing so, offer further support for the view
  •  424
    Anti-luck epistemology
    Synthese 158 (3): 277-297. 2007.
    In this paper, I do three things. First, I offer an overview of an anti- luck epistemology, as set out in my book, Epistemic Luck. Second, I attempt to meet some of the main criticisms that one might level against the key theses that I propose in this work. And finally, third, I sketch some of the ways in which the strategy of anti- luck epistemology can be developed in new directions
  •  413
    Disjunctivism and Scepticism
    In Baron Reed & Diego E. Machuca (eds.), Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present, Bloomsbury Academic. forthcoming.
    An overview of the import of disjunctivism to the problem of radical scepticism is offered. In particular, the disjunctivist account of perceptual experience is set out, along with the manner in which it intersects with related positions such as naïve realism and intentionalism, and it is shown how this account can be used to a motivate an anti-sceptical proposal. In addition, a variety of disjunctivism known as epistemological disjunctivism is described, and it is explained how this proposal of…Read more
  •  389
    Knowledge, Understanding and Epistemic Value
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 64 19-43. 2009.
    It is argued that a popular way of accounting for the distinctive value of knowledge by appeal to the distinctive value of cognitive achievements fails because it is a mistake to identify knowledge with cognitive achievements. Nevertheless, it is claimed that understanding, properly conceived, is a type of cognitive achievement, and thus that the distinctive value of cognitive achievements can explain why understanding is of special value
  •  387
    Sensitivity, safety, and anti-luck epistemology
    In John Greco (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism, Oxford University Press. 2008.
    This paper surveys attempts in the recent literature to offer a modal condition on knowledge as a way of resolving the problem of scepticism. In particular, safety-based and sensitivity-based theories of knowledge are considered in detail, along with the anti-sceptical prospects of an explicitly anti-luck epistemology.
  •  348
    Epistemic Luck
    Oxford University Press UK. 2005.
    One of the key supposed 'platitudes' of contemporary epistemology is the claim that knowledge excludes luck. One can see the attraction of such a claim, in that knowledge is something that one can take credit for - it is an achievement of sorts - and yet luck undermines genuine achievement. The problem, however, is that luck seems to be an all-pervasive feature of our epistemic enterprises, which tempts us to think that either scepticism is true and that we don't know very much, or else that luc…Read more
  •  329
    This paper explores the ramifications of the extended cognition thesis in the philosophy of mind for contemporary epistemology. In particular, it argues that all theories of knowledge need to accommodate the ability intuition that knowledge involves cognitive ability, but that once this requirement is understood correctly there is no reason why one could not have a conception of cognitive ability that was consistent with the extended cognition thesis. There is thus, surprisingly, a straightforwa…Read more
  •  298
    While it is widely regarded that intellectual humility is among the intellectual virtues, there is as of yet little consensus on the matter of what possessing and exercising intellectual humility consists in, and how it should be best understood as advancing our epistemic goals. For example, does intellectual humility involve an underestimation of one’s intellectual abilities, or rather, does it require an accurate conception? Is intellectual humility a fundamentally interpersonal/social virtue…Read more
  •  272
    Recent work on epistemic value
    American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2). 2007.
    Recent discussion in epistemology has seen a huge growth in interest in the topic of epistemic value. In this paper I describe the background to this new movement in epistemology and critically survey the contemporary literature on this topic.
  •  272
    The Routledge Companion to Epistemology (edited book)
    Routledge. 2010.
    Epistemology, the philosophy of knowledge, is at the core of many of the central debates and issues in philosophy, interrogating the notions of truth, objectivity, trust, belief and perception. _The Routledge Companion to Epistemology_ provides a comprehensive and the up-to-date survey of epistemology, charting its history, providing a thorough account of its key thinkers and movements, and addressing enduring questions and contemporary research in the field. Organized thematically, the _Compani…Read more
  •  270
    Epistemic Risk
    Journal of Philosophy 113 (11): 550-571. 2016.
    The goal of this paper is to mark the transition from an anti-luck epistemology to an anti-risk epistemology, and to explain in the process how the latter has advantages over the former. We begin with an account of anti-luck epistemology and the modal account of luck that underpins it. Then we consider the close inter-relationships between luck and risk, and in the process set out the modal account of risk that is a natural extension of the modal account of luck. Finally, we apply the modal acco…Read more
  •  260
    Wittgenstein and the groundlessness of our believing
    Synthese 189 (2): 255-272. 2012.
    In his final notebooks, published as On Certainty , Wittgenstein offers a distinctive conception of the nature of reasons. Central to this conception is the idea that at the heart of our rational practices are essentially arational commitments. This proposal marks a powerful challenge to the standard picture of the structure of reasons. In particular, it has been thought that this account might offer us a resolution of the traditional scepticism/anti-scepticism debate. It is argued, however, tha…Read more
  •  259
    What is Knowledge? Where does it come from? Can we know anything at all? This lucid and engaging introduction grapples with these central questions in the theory of knowledge, offering a clear, non-partisan view of the main themes of epistemology including recent developments such as virtue epistemology and contextualism. Duncan Pritchard discusses traditional issues and contemporary ideas in thirteen easily digestible sections, including: the value of knowledge the structure of knowledge virtue…Read more
  •  251
    Virtue epistemology and epistemic luck
    Metaphilosophy 34 (1/2): 106--130. 2003.
    The recent movement towards virtue–theoretic treatments of epistemological concepts can be understood in terms of the desire to eliminate epistemic luck. Significantly, however, it is argued that the two main varieties of virtue epistemology are responding to different types of epistemic luck. In particular, whilst proponents of reliabilism–based virtue theories have been focusing on the problem of what I call “veritic” epistemic luck, non–reliabilism–based virtue theories have instead been conc…Read more
  •  239
    Defusing epistemic relativism
    Synthese 166 (2): 397-412. 2009.
    This paper explores the question of whether there is an interesting form of specifically epistemic relativism available, a position which can lend support to claims of a broadly relativistic nature but which is not committed to relativism about truth. It is argued that the most plausible rendering of such a view turns out not to be the radical thesis that it is often represented as being
  •  225
    The epistemology of testimony
    Philosophical Issues 14 (1). 2004.
    Let us focus on what I take it is the paradigm case of testimony—the intentional transfer of a belief from one agent to another, whether in the usual way via a verbal assertion made by the one agent to the other, or by some other means, such as through a note.1 So, for example, John says to Mary that the house is on fire (or, if you like, ‘texts’ her this message on her phone), and Mary, upon hearing this, forms the belief that the house is on fire and consequently exits the building at speed. C…Read more
  •  217
    Wittgenstein on Scepticism
    In Marie McGinn & Oskari Kuusela (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Wittgenstein, Oxford University Press. 2011.
    An overview of Wittgenstein’s remarks on scepticism in On Certainty is offered, especially with regard to the notion of a “hinge proposition”. Several possible interpretations of the anti-sceptical import of this text are then critically assessed, with each view situated within the contemporary literature on scepticism.
  •  217
  •  215
    Virtue Epistemology and Epistemic Twin Earth
    European Journal of Philosophy 22 (3): 335-357. 2014.
    A popular form of virtue epistemology—defended by such figures as Ernest Sosa, Linda Zagzebski and John Greco—holds that knowledge can be exclusively understood in virtue-theoretic terms. In particular, it holds that there isn't any need for an additional epistemic condition to deal with the problem posed by knowledge-undermining epistemic luck. It is argued that the sustainability of such a proposal is called into question by the possibility of epistemic twin earth cases. In particular, it is a…Read more