•  126
    A Permissivist Defense of Pascal’s Wager
    Erkenntnis 1-26. forthcoming.
    Epistemic permissivism is the thesis that the evidence can rationally permit more than one attitude toward a proposition. Pascal’s wager is the idea that one ought to believe in God for practical reasons, because of what one can gain if theism is true and what one has to lose if theism is false. In this paper, I argue that if epistemic permissivism is true, then the defender of Pascal’s wager has powerful responses to two prominent objections. First, I argue that if permissivism is true, then pe…Read more
  •  84
    Although much has been written about divine knowledge, and some on divine beliefs, virtually nothing has been written about divine credences. In this essay we comparatively assess four views on divine credences: (1) God has only beliefs, not credences; (2) God has both beliefs and credences; (3) God has only credences, not beliefs; and (4) God has neither credences nor beliefs, only knowledge. We weigh the costs and benefits of these four views and draw connections to current discussions in phil…Read more
  •  67
    On the Independence of Belief and Credence
    Philosophical Issues. forthcoming.
    Much of the literature on the relationship between belief and credence has focused on the reduction question: that is, whether either belief or credence reduces to the other. This debate, while important, only scratches the surface of the belief-credence connection. Even on the anti-reductive dualist view, belief and credence could still be very tightly connected. Here, I explore questions about the belief-credence connection that go beyond reduction. This paper is dedicated to what I call the i…Read more
  •  213
    Epistemic Akrasia and Belief‐Credence Dualism
    with Peter Tan
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. forthcoming.
    We call attention to certain cases of epistemic akrasia, arguing that they support belief-credence dualism. Belief-credence dualism is the view that belief and credence are irreducible, equally fundamental attitudes. Consider the case of an agent who believes p, has low credence in p, and thus believes that they shouldn’t believe p. We argue that dualists, as opposed to belief-firsters (who say credence reduces to belief) and credence-firsters (who say belief reduces to credence) can best explai…Read more
  •  315
    Faith and Reason
    In Mark A. Lamport (ed.), The Handbook of Philosophy and Religion, Rowman and Littlefield. forthcoming.
    What is faith? How is faith different than belief and hope? Is faith irrational? If not, how can faith go beyond the evidence? This chapter introduces the reader to philosophical questions involving faith and reason. First, we explore a four-part definition of faith. Then, we consider the question of how faith could be rational yet go beyond the evidence.
  •  116
    The Ethics of Religious Belief
    Religious Studies Archives 1 (4): 1-10. 2021.
    On some religious traditions, there are obligations to believe certain things. However, this leads to a puzzle, since many philosophers think that we cannot voluntarily control our beliefs, and, plausibly, ought implies can. How do we make sense of religious doxastic obligations? The papers in this issue present four responses to this puzzle. The first response denies that we have doxastic obligations at all; the second denies that ought implies can. The third and fourth responses maintain that …Read more
  •  216
    Settling the Unsettled: Roles for Belief
    Analysis 81 (2): 359-368. 2021.
    In Unsettled Thoughts, Julia Staffel argues that non-ideal thinkers should seek to approximate ideal Bayesian rationality. She argues that the more rational you are, the more benefits of rationality you will enjoy. After summarizing Staffel's main results, this paper looks more closely at two issues that arise later in the book: the relationship between Bayesian rationality and other kinds of rationality, and the role that outright belief plays in addition to credence. Ultimately, I argue that t…Read more
  •  211
    Faithfully Taking Pascal’s Wager
    The Monist. forthcoming.
    This paper examines the relationship between Pascal’s wager, faith, and hope. First, I argue that many who take Pascal’s wager have genuine faith that God exists. The person of faith and the wagerer have several things in common, including a commitment to God and positive cognitive and conative attitudes toward God’s existence. I also argue that if one’s credences in theism are too low to have faith, the wagerer can still hope that God exists, another commitment-justifying theological virtue. I …Read more
  •  332
    Why Credences Are Not Beliefs
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    A question of recent interest in epistemology and philosophy of mind is how belief and credence relate to each other. A number of philosophers argue for a belief-first view of the relationship between belief and credence. On the belief-first view, what it is to have a credence just is to have a particular kind of belief, that is, a belief whose content involves probabilities or epistemic modals. Here, I argue against the belief-first view: specifically, I argue that it cannot account for agents …Read more
  •  232
    The morality of abortion is a longstanding controversy. One may wonder whether it’s even possible to make significant progress on an issue over which so much ink has already been split and there is such polarizing disagreement (Boyle 1994). The papers in this issue show that this progress is possible—there is more to be said about abortion and other crucial beginning-of-life issues. They do so largely by applying contemporary philosophical tools to moral questions involving life’s beginning. The…Read more
  •  184
    Faith, Hope, and Justification
    In Luis R. G. Oliveira & Paul Silva Jr (eds.), Propositional and Doxastic Justification, Routledge. forthcoming.
    The distinction between propositional and doxastic justification is normally applied to belief. The goal of this paper is to apply the distinction to faith and hope. Before doing so, I discuss the nature of faith and hope, and how they contrast with belief—belief has no essential conative component, whereas faith and hope essentially involve the conative. I discuss implications this has for evaluating faith and hope, and apply this to the propositional/doxastic distinction. There are two key ups…Read more
  •  213
    Dilemmas, Disagreement, and Dualism
    In Scott Stapleford, Kevin McCain & Matthias Steup (eds.), Epistemic Dilemmas: New Arguments, New Angles, Routledge. 2021.
    This paper introduces and motivates a solution to a dilemma from peer disagreement. Following Buchak (2021), I argue that peer disagreement puts us in an epistemic dilemma: there is reason to think that our opinions should both change and not change when we encounter disagreement with our epistemic peers. I argue that we can solve this dilemma by changing our credences, but not our beliefs in response to disagreement. I explain how my view solves the dilemma in question, and then offer two addit…Read more
  •  337
    Belief, Credence, and Moral Encroachment
    Synthese 1-22. forthcoming.
    Radical moral encroachment is the view that belief itself is morally evaluable, and that some moral properties of belief itself make a difference to epistemic rationality. To date, almost all proponents of radical moral encroachment hold to an asymmetry thesis: the moral encroaches on rational belief, but not on rational credence. In this paper, we argue against the asymmetry thesis; we show that, insofar as one accepts the most prominent arguments for radical moral encroachment on belief, one s…Read more
  •  102
    This guide accompanies the following article(s): Jackson, E., Philosophy Compass 15/6 (2020) pp. 1-13 10.1111/phc3.12668.x
  •  316
    What’s Epistemic About Epistemic Paternalism?
    In Jonathan Matheson & Kirk Lougheed (eds.), Epistemic Autonomy, Routledge. 2022.
    The aim of this paper is to (i) examine the concept of epistemic paternalism and (ii) explore the consequences of normative questions one might ask about it. I begin by critically examining several definitions of epistemic paternalism that have been proposed, and suggesting ways they might be improved. I then contrast epistemic and general paternalism and argue that it’s difficult to see what makes epistemic paternalism an epistemic phenomenon at all. Next, I turn to the various normative questi…Read more
  •  799
    I examine three attitudes: belief, faith, and hope. I argue that all three attitudes play the same role in rationalizing action. First, I explain two models of rational action—the decision-theory model and the belief-desire model. Both models entail there are two components of rational action: an epistemic component and a conative component. Then, using this framework, I show how belief, faith, and hope that p can all make it rational to accept, or act as if, p. I conclude by showing how my pict…Read more
  •  1179
    The Relationship Between Belief and Credence
    Philosophy Compass 15 (6). 2020.
    Sometimes epistemologists theorize about belief, a tripartite attitude on which one can believe, withhold belief, or disbelieve a proposition. In other cases, epistemologists theorize about credence, a fine-grained attitude that represents one’s subjective probability or confidence level toward a proposition. How do these two attitudes relate to each other? This article explores the relationship between belief and credence in two categories: descriptive and normative. It then explains the broade…Read more
  •  551
    Credence: A Belief-First Approach
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5). 2020.
    This paper explains and defends a belief-first view of the relationship between belief and credence. On this view, credences are a species of beliefs, and the degree of credence is determined by the content of what is believed. We begin by developing what we take to be the most plausible belief-first view. Then, we offer several arguments for it. Finally, we show how it can resist objections that have been raised to belief-first views. We conclude that the belief-first view is more plausible tha…Read more
  •  254
    Epistemic paternalism is the practice of interfering with someone’s inquiry, without their consent, for their own epistemic good. In this chapter, I explore the relationship between epistemic paternalism and two other epistemological theses: epistemic permissivism and standpoint epistemology. I argue that examining this relationship is fruitful because it sheds light on a series of cases in which epistemic paternalism is unjustified and brings out notable similarities between epistemic permissiv…Read more
  •  226
    Epistemology
    In Paul Allen (ed.), The T&T Clark Encyclopedia of Christian Theology, T&t Clark/bloomsbury. forthcoming.
    Epistemology is the study of knowledge. This entry covers epistemology in two parts: one historical, one contemporary. The former provides a brief theological history of epistemology. The latter outlines three categories of contemporary epistemology: traditional epistemology, social epistemology, and formal epistemology, along with corresponding theological questions that arise in each.
  •  2938
    Salvaging Pascal’s Wager
    with Andrew Rogers
    Philosophia Christi 21 (1): 59-84. 2019.
    Many think that Pascal’s Wager is a hopeless failure. A primary reason for this is because a number of challenging objections have been raised to the wager, including the “many gods” objection and the “mixed strategy” objection. We argue that both objections are formal, but not substantive, problems for the wager, and that they both fail for the same reason. We then respond to additional objections to the wager. We show how a version of Pascalian reasoning succeeds, giving us a reason to pay spe…Read more
  •  546
    Permissivism is the view that there are evidential situations that rationally permit more than one attitude toward a proposition. In this paper, I argue for Intrapersonal Belief Permissivism (IaBP): that there are evidential situations in which a single agent can rationally adopt more than one belief-attitude toward a proposition. I give two positive arguments for IaBP; the first involves epistemic supererogation and the second involves doubt. Then, I should how these arguments give intrapersona…Read more
  •  451
    Permissivism, Underdetermination, and Evidence
    In Clayton Littlejohn & Maria Lasonen-Aarnio (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence, Routledge. pp. 1-13. forthcoming.
    Permissivism is the thesis that, for some body of evidence and a proposition p, there is more than one rational doxastic attitude any agent with that evidence can take toward p. Proponents of uniqueness deny permissivism, maintaining that every body of evidence always determines a single rational doxastic attitude. In this paper, we explore the debate between permissivism and uniqueness about evidence, outlining some of the major arguments on each side. We then consider how permissivism can be u…Read more
  •  495
    Belief and Credence: A Defense of Dualism
    Dissertation, University of Notre Dame. 2019.
    Belief is a familiar attitude: taking something to be the case or regarding it as true. But we are more confident in some of our beliefs than in others. For this reason, many epistemologists appeal to a second attitude, called credence, similar to a degree of confidence. This raises the question: how do belief and credence relate to each other? On a belief-first view, beliefs are more fundamental and credences are a species of beliefs, e.g. beliefs about probabilities. On a credence-first view, …Read more
  •  617
    How Belief-Credence Dualism Explains Away Pragmatic Encroachment
    Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276): 511-533. 2019.
    Belief-credence dualism is the view that we have both beliefs and credences and neither attitude is reducible to the other. Pragmatic encroachment is the view that stakes alone can affect the epistemic rationality of states like knowledge or justified belief. In this paper, I argue that dualism offers a unique explanation of pragmatic encroachment cases. First, I explain pragmatic encroachment and what motivates it. Then, I explain dualism and outline a particular argument for dualism. Finally, …Read more
  •  141
    I defend belief-credence dualism, the view that we have both beliefs and credences and both attitudes are equally fundamental. First, I explain belief, credence, and three views on their relationship. Then, I argue for dualism. I do so first by painting a picture of the mind on which belief and credence are two cognitive tools that we use for different purposes. Finally, I respond to two objections to dualism. I conclude that dualism is a promising view, and one that both epistemologists and phi…Read more
  •  592
    Belief, Credence, and Evidence
    Synthese 197 (11): 5073-5092. 2020.
    I explore how rational belief and rational credence relate to evidence. I begin by looking at three cases where rational belief and credence seem to respond differently to evidence: cases of naked statistical evidence, lotteries, and hedged assertions. I consider an explanation for these cases, namely, that one ought not form beliefs on the basis of statistical evidence alone, and raise worries for this view. Then, I suggest another view that explains how belief and credence relate to evidence. …Read more
  •  216
    Beliefs and Blameworthiness
    Stance 7 7-17. 2014.
    In this paper, I analyze epistemic blameworthiness. After presenting Michael Bergmann’s definition of epistemic blameworthiness, I argue that his definition is problematic because it does not have a control condition. I conclude by offering an improved definition of epistemic blameworthiness and defending this definition against potential counterexamples.
  •  1536
    Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters
    Philosophical Studies 176 (9): 2477-2496. 2019.
    In this paper, I argue that the relationship between belief and credence is a central question in epistemology. This is because the belief-credence relationship has significant implications for a number of current epistemological issues. I focus on five controversies: permissivism, disagreement, pragmatic encroachment, doxastic voluntarism, and the relationship between doxastic attitudes and prudential rationality. I argue that each debate is constrained in particular ways, depending on whether …Read more
  •  807
    The Nature and Rationality of Faith
    In Joshua Rasmussen & Kevin Vallier (eds.), A New Theist Response to the New Atheists, Routledge. pp. 77-92. 2020.
    A popular objection to theistic commitment involves the idea that faith is irrational.  Specifically, some seem to put forth something like the following argument: (P1) Everyone (or almost everyone) who has faith is epistemically irrational, (P2) All theistic believers have faith, thus (C) All (or most) theistic believers are epistemically irrational.  In this paper, I argue that this line of reasoning fails. I do so by considering a number of candidates for what faith might be.  I argue that, f…Read more