• The main goal of this paper is to investigate the relation between the meaning of a sentence and its truth conditions. We report on a comprehension experiment on counterfactual conditionals, based on a context in which a light is controlled by two switches. Our main finding is that the truth-conditionally equivalent clauses (i) "switch A or switch B is down" and (ii) "switch A and switch B are not both up" make different semantic contributions when embedded in a conditional antecedent. Assuming …Read more
  • I introduce a proof system for the logic of relative fundamentality, as well as a natural semantics with respect to which the system is both sound and complete. I then “modalise” the logic, and finally I discuss the properties of grounding given a suggested account of this notion in terms of necessity and relative fundamentality.
  • The question of what exists is often seen as one of the metaphysician’s primary concerns—an ontological stance is a central and basic component of a great many positions in metaphysics. Consider, in particular, the debate surrounding the metaphysics of time: the question of whether non-present entities exist is typically thought of as one of the fundamental issues at stake in the debate, with each position on the nature of time consisting in part of an answer to this question of ontology. My pur…Read more
  • This paper aims to draw attention to an explanatory problem posed by the existence of multiply realized or universal behavior exhibited by certain physical systems. The problem is to explain how it is possible that systems radically distinct at lower-scales can nevertheless exhibit identical or nearly identical behavior at upper-scales. Theoretically this is reflected by the fact that continuum theories such as fluid mechanics are spectacularly successful at predicting, describing, and explainin…Read more
  • Robert Batterman examines a form of scientific reasoning called asymptotic reasoning, arguing that it has important consequences for our understanding of the scientific process as a whole. He maintains that asymptotic reasoning is essential for explaining what physicists call universal behavior. With clarity and rigor, he simplifies complex questions about universal behavior, demonstrating a profound understanding of the underlying structures that ground them. This book introduces a valuable new…Read more
  • Form and inheritance in Aristotle's embryology
    Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 39 183-212. 2010.
    This article argues for an interpretation of Aristotle’s biological account of familial resemblance that allows us to read Aristotle’s embryology as employing the same concept of “form” as he employs in his Metaphysics. The dominant view for the last several decades has been that in order to account for the phenomenon of inherited characteristics, Aristotle’s biology must appeal to a “sub-specific” form, one that includes all of the traits that parents pass on to their offspring. That view, howe…Read more
  • Aristotle on Essence and Habit
    Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 48 267-293. 2015.
    Despite his awareness that organisms are well suited to the habitats they are typically found in, Aristotle nowhere tries to explain this. It is unlikely that he thinks this “fit” (as I call it) between organisms and their habitats is simply a lucky coincidence, given how vehemently he rejects that as an explanation of the fit between organisms’ various body parts. But it is quite puzzling that Aristotle never explicitly addresses this, since it is a question that seemed so pressing to later phi…Read more
  • Belief and Indeterminacy
    Philosophical Review 121 (1): 1-54. 2012.
    An attractive approach to the semantic paradoxes holds that cases of semantic pathology give rise to indeterminacy. What attitude should a rational agent have toward a proposition that it takes to be indeterminate in this sense? Orthodoxy holds that rationality requires that an agent disbelieve such a proposition. I argue that a rational agent should be such that it is indeterminate whether it believes the proposition in question. For rational agents, indeterminacy in the objects of their attitu…Read more
  • Vagueness and semantic indiscriminability
    Philosophical Studies 160 (3): 365-377. 2012.
    I argue, pace Timothy Williamson, that one cannot provide an adequate account of what it is for a case to be borderline by appealing to facts about our inability to discriminate our actual situation from nearby counterfactual situations in which our language use differs in subtle ways. I consider the two most natural ways of using such resources to provide an account of what it is for a case to be borderline and argue that both face crippling defects. I argue that the problems faced by these two…Read more
  • Rational Probabilistic Incoherence
    Philosophical Review 122 (4): 527-575. 2013.
    Probabilism is the view that a rational agent's credences should always be probabilistically coherent. It has been argued that Probabilism follows, given the assumption that an epistemically rational agent ought to try to have credences that represent the world as accurately as possible. The key claim in this argument is that the goal of representing the world as accurately as possible is best served by having credences that are probabilistically coherent. This essay shows that this claim is fal…Read more
  • Calibration and Probabilism
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 1. 2014.
  • Unruly Words (review)
    Philosophical Review 124 (3): 415-419. 2015.
  • Agreement theorems for self-locating belief
    Review of Symbolic Logic 9 (2): 380-407. 2016.
    Abstract
  • I consider a puzzling case presented by Jose Benardete, and by appeal to this case develop a paradox involving counterfactual conditionals. I then show that this paradox may be leveraged to argue for certain non-obvious claims concerning the logic of counterfactuals.
  • Doxastic Logic
    Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology. forthcoming.
  • Agreement and Updating For Self-Locating Belief
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (3): 513-547. 2018.
    In this paper, I argue that some plausible principles concerning which credences are rationally permissible for agents given information about one another’s epistemic and credal states have some surprising consequences for which credences an agent ought to have in light of self-locating information. I provide a framework that allows us to state these constraints and draw out these consequences precisely. I then consider and assess the prospects for rejecting these prima facie plausible principle…Read more
  • A Problem for Credal Consequentialism
    In Jeffrey Dunn & Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (eds.), Epistemic Consequentialism, . forthcoming.
  • I present an account of deterministic chance which takes, as its jumping-off point, the physico-mathematical approach to theorizing about deterministic chance known as 'the method of arbitrary functions'. This approach promisingly yields deterministic probabilities which align with what we take the chances to be---it tells us that there is approximately a 1/2 probability of a spun roulette wheel stopping on black, and approximately a 1/2 probability of a flipped coin landing heads up---but it re…Read more
  • Causal decision theorists say that the good news an act carries about factors outside of your control does not speak in favor of performing that act. But, by providing information about factors outside of your control, an act can tell you two, importantly different, kinds of things. It can tell you that the world in which you find yourself is good; but so too can it tell you that the act itself is in a position to improve things. While the first kind of news does not speak in favor of an act, th…Read more
  • Weisberg ([2009]) provides an argument that neither conditionalization nor Jeffrey conditionalization is capable of accommodating the holist’s claim that beliefs acquired directly from experience can suffer undercutting defeat. I diagnose this failure as stemming from the fact that neither conditionalization nor Jeffrey conditionalization give any advice about how to rationally respond to theory-dependent evidence, and I propose a novel updating procedure that does tell us how to respond to evid…Read more
  • The Emergence of Causation
    Journal of Philosophy 112 (6): 281-308. 2015.
    Several philosophers have embraced the view that high-level events—events like Zimbabwe's monetary policy and its hyper-inflation—are causally related if their corresponding low-level, fundamental physical events are causally related. I dub the view which denies this without denying that high-level events are ever causally related causal emergentism. Several extant philosophical theories of causality entail causal emergentism, while others are inconsistent with the thesis. I illustrate this with…Read more
  • A theory of structural determination
    J. Gallow
    Philosophical Studies 173 (1): 159-186. 2016.
    While structural equations modeling is increasingly used in philosophical theorizing about causation, it remains unclear what it takes for a particular structural equations model to be correct. To the extent that this issue has been addressed, the consensus appears to be that it takes a certain family of causal counterfactuals being true. I argue that this account faces difficulties in securing the independent manipulability of the structural determination relations represented in a correct stru…Read more
  • Learning and Value Change
    Philosophers' Imprint. forthcoming.
    Accuracy-first accounts of rational learning attempt to vindicate the intuitive idea that, while rationally-formed belief need not be true, it is nevertheless likely to be true. To this end, they attempt to show that the Bayesian's rational learning norms are a consequence of the rational pursuit of accuracy. Existing accounts fall short of this goal, for they presuppose evidential norms which are not and cannot be vindicated in terms of the single-minded pursuit of accuracy. I propose an alt…Read more
  • No one can serve two epistemic masters
    J. Gallow
    Philosophical Studies 175 (10): 2389-2398. 2018.
    Consider two epistemic experts—for concreteness, let them be two weather forecasters. Suppose that you aren’t certain that they will issue identical forecasts, and you would like to proportion your degrees of belief to theirs in the following way: first, conditional on either’s forecast of rain being x, you’d like your own degree of belief in rain to be x. Secondly, conditional on them issuing different forecasts of rain, you’d like your own degree of belief in rain to be some weighted average o…Read more
  • Diachronic Dutch Books and Evidential Import
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 2017.
    A handful of well-known arguments (the 'diachronic Dutch book arguments') rely upon theorems establishing that, in certain circumstances, you are immune from sure monetary loss (you are not 'diachronically Dutch bookable') if and only if you adopt the strategy of conditionalizing (or Jeffrey conditionalizing) on whatever evidence you happen to receive. These theorems require non-trivial assumptions about which evidence you might acquire---in the case of conditionalization, the assumption is that…Read more
  • Tim Maudlin has influentially argued that Humeanism about laws of nature stands in conflict with quantum mechanics. Specifically Humeanism implies the principle Separability: the complete physical state of a world is determined by the intrinsic physical state of each space-time point. Maudlin argues Separability is violated by the entangled states posited by QM. We argue that Maudlin only establishes that a stronger principle, which we call Strong Separability, is in tension with QM. Separabilit…Read more
  • Nomothetic Explanation and Humeanism about Laws of Nature
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. forthcoming.
    Humeanism about laws of nature — the view that the laws reduce to the Humean mosaic — is a popular view, but currently existing versions face powerful objections. The non-supervenience objection, the non-fundamentality objection and the explanatory circularity objection have all been thought to cause problems for the Humean. However, these objections share a guiding thought — they are all based on the idea that there is a certain kind of divergence between the practice of science and the metaphy…Read more
  • Philosophers have observed that metaphysical necessity appears to be a true or real or genuine form of necessity while epistemic necessity does not. Similarly, natural necessity appears genuine while deontic necessity does not. But what is it for a form of necessity to be genuine? I defend an account of genuine necessity in explanatory terms. The genuine forms of necessity, I argue, are those that provide what I call necessitarian explanation. I discuss the relationship of necessitarian explanat…Read more
  • Essentialist Explanation
    Philosophical Studies 174 (11): 2871-2889. 2017.
    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in metaphysical explanation, and philosophers have fixed on the notion of ground as the conceptual tool with which such explanation should be investigated. I will argue that this focus on ground is myopic and that some metaphysical explanations that involve the essences of things cannot be understood in terms of ground. Such ‘essentialist’ explanation is of interest, not only for its ubiquity in philosophy, but for its being in a sense an ultimate …Read more
  • Metaphysics: An Introduction combines comprehensive coverage of the core elements of metaphysics with contemporary and lively debates within the subject. It provides a rigorous and yet accessible overview of a rich array of topics , connecting the abstract nature of metaphysics with the real world. Topics covered include: Basic logic for metaphysics An introduction to ontologyobjects Material objects Critiques of metaphysics Free Will Time Modality Persistence Causation Social ontology: the meta…Read more