•  1216
    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
  •  943
    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
  •  553
    Wagering Against Divine Hiddenness
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 8 (4): 85-108. 2016.
    J.L. Schellenberg argues that divine hiddenness provides an argument for the conclusion that God does not exist, for if God existed he would not allow non-resistant non-belief to occur, but non-resistant non-belief does occur, so God does not exist. In this paper, I argue that the stakes involved in theistic considerations put pressure on Schellenberg’s premise that non-resistant non-belief occurs. First, I specify conditions for someone’s being a resistant non-believer. Then, I argue that many…Read more
  •  543
    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
  •  388
    Belief, Credence, and Faith
    Religious Studies 55 (2): 153-168. 2019.
    In this article, I argue that faith’s going beyond the evidence need not compromise faith’s epistemic rationality. First, I explain how some of the recent literature on belief and credence points to a distinction between what I call B-evidence and C-evidence. Then, I apply this distinction to rational faith. I argue that if faith is more sensitive to B-evidence than to C-evidence, faith can go beyond the evidence and still be epistemically rational.
  •  382
    Belief, Credence, and Evidence
    Synthese 1-20. forthcoming.
    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
  •  369
    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
  •  350
    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
  •  286
    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
  •  284
    A Defense of Intrapersonal Belief Permissivism
    Episteme 1-15. forthcoming.
    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
  •  244
    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
  •  229
    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
  •  226
    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
  •  140
    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.
  •  128
    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
  •  111
    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.
  •  88
    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
  •  49
    What’s Epistemic About Epistemic Paternalism?
    In Jonathan Matheson & Kirk Lougheed (eds.), Essays in Epistemic Autonomy, Routledge. forthcoming.
    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
  •  45
    This guide accompanies the following article(s): Jackson, E., Philosophy Compass 15/6 (2020) pp. 1-13 10.1111/phc3.12668.x
  • This book is devoted to applied ethics. We focus on six popular and controversial topics: abortion, the environment, animals, poverty, punishment, and disability. We cover three chapters per topic, and each chapter is devoted to a famous or influential argument on the topic. After we present an influential argument, we then consider objections to the argument, and replies to the objections. The book is impartial, and set up in order to equip the reader to make up her own mind about the controver…Read more