•  17
    Précis of The Illusion of Doubt
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 1-6. forthcoming.
    The Illusion of Doubt shows that radical scepticism is an illusion generated by a Cartesian picture of our evidential situation—the view that my epistemic grounds in both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ cases must be the same. It is this picture which issues both a standing invitation to radical scepticism and ensures that there is no way of getting out of it while agreeing to the sceptic’s terms. The sceptical problem cannot, therefore, be answered ‘directly’. Rather, the assumptions that give rise to…Read more
  •  13
    Response to Critics
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 1-17. forthcoming.
    In this paper I respond to the objections and comments made by Ranalli, Williams, and Moyal-Sharrock, participants in a symposium on my book on scepticism called The Illusion of Doubt.
  •  11
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 9 (3): 179-182. 2019.
    This introduction provides an overview of the content of the papers published in the special issue on epistemic vice and forms of scepticism.
  •  36
    Epistemic Angst, Intellectual Courage and Radical Scepticism
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 9 (3): 206-222. 2019.
    The overarching aim of this paper is to persuade the reader that radical scepticism is driven less by independently plausible arguments and more by a fear of epistemic limitation which can be overcome. By developing the Kierkegaardian insight that knowledge requires courage, I show that we are not, as potential knowers, just passive recipients of a passing show of putatively veridical information, we also actively need to put ourselves in the way of it by learning to resist certain forms of epis…Read more
  •  12
    The aesthetic as mirror of faith in Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling
    European Journal of Philosophy 27 (3): 661-674. 2019.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
  •  1
    Kierkegaard contra Hegel on the ‘Absolute Paradox’
    Hegel Bulletin 30 (1-2): 54-66. 2009.
  •  18
    ‘Meaning-dawning’ in Wittgenstein’s Notebooks: a Kierkegaardian reading and critique
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (3): 540-556. 2018.
    ABSTRACTIn this paper, I am going to propose a new reading of Wittgenstein’s cryptic talk of ‘accession or loss of meaning’ in the Notebooks that draws both on Wittgenstein’s later work on aspect-perception, as well as on the thoughts of a thinker whom Wittgenstein greatly admired: Søren Kierkegaard. I will then go on to argue that, its merits apart, there is something existentially problematic about the conception that Wittgenstein is advocating. For the renunciation of the comforts of the worl…Read more
  •  22
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (2): 141-161. 2017.
    The over-arching claim that I intend to defend in this paper is that while widespread ‘local’ error is conceivable, we cannot, in the end, make sense of the radical sceptical idea that all our perceptual beliefs might be false – that no one has, as it were, ever been in touch with an ‘external world’ at all. To this end, I will show that an asymmetry exists between ‘local’ and ‘global’ sceptical scenarios, such that the possibility of ‘local’ error does not imply that ‘global’ error must also be…Read more
  •  3
    Vom Zweifel zur Verzweiflung: Grundbegriffe der Existenzphilosophie Sören Kierkegaards
    European Journal of Philosophy 12 (1): 145-148. 2004.
    Books Reviewed:Kristin Kaufmann,Annemarie Pieper, Søren Kierkegaard.
  •  13
    Meaning and Conversational Impropriety in Sceptical Contexts
    Metaphilosophy 47 (3): 431-448. 2016.
    According to “disjunctivist neo-Mooreanism”—a position Duncan Pritchard develops in a recent book—it is possible to know the denials of radical sceptical hypotheses, even though it is conversationally inappropriate to claim such knowledge. In a recent paper, on the other hand, Pritchard expounds an “überhinge” strategy, according to which one cannot know the denials of sceptical hypotheses, as “hinge propositions” are necessarily groundless. The present article argues that neither strategy is en…Read more
  •  30
    Art and the ‘Morality System’: The Case of Don Giovanni
    European Journal of Philosophy 23 (4): 1025-1043. 2015.
    Mozart's great opera, Don Giovanni, poses a number of significant philosophical and aesthetic challenges, and yet it remains, for the most part, little discussed by contemporary philosophers. A notable exception to this is Bernard Williams's important paper, ‘Don Juan as an Idea’, which contains an illuminating discussion of Kierkegaard's ground-breaking interpretation of the opera, ‘The Immediate Erotic Stages or the Musical-Erotic’, in Either/Or. Kierkegaard's pseudonymous author's approach he…Read more
  •  78
    ‘Hinge Propositions’ and the ‘Logical’ Exclusion of Doubt
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 6 (2-3): 165-181. 2016.
    _ Source: _Volume 6, Issue 2-3, pp 165 - 181 Wittgenstein’s notion of ‘hinge propositions’—those propositions that stand fast for us and around which all empirical enquiry turns—remains controversial and elusive, and none of the recent attempts to make sense of it strike me as entirely satisfactory. The literature on this topic tends to divide into two camps: either a ‘quasi-epistemic’ reading is offered that seeks to downplay the radical nature of Wittgenstein’s proposal by assimilating his tho…Read more
  •  36
    Books Reviewed:Kristin Kaufmann,Annemarie Pieper, Søren Kierkegaard
  •  48
    McDowellian Neo-Mooreanism?
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3 (3): 202-217. 2013.
    In a series of recent articles, Duncan Pritchard argues for a ‘neo-Moorean’ interpretation of John McDowell’s anti-sceptical strategy. Pritchard introduces a distinction between ‘favouring’ and ‘discriminating’ epistemic grounds in order to show that within the radical sceptical context an absence of ‘discriminating’ epistemic grounds allowing one to distinguish brain-in-a-vat from non-brain-in-a-vat scenarios does not preclude possessing knowledge of the denials of sceptical hypotheses. I argue…Read more
  •  41
    As well as contributing to contemporary debate about how to read Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's work, A Confusion of the Spheres addresses issues which not ...
  •  231
    Wittgenstein and the ’Factorization Model’ of Religious Belief
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (1): 93--110. 2014.
    In the contemporary literature Wittgenstein has variously been labelled a fideist, a non-cognitivist and a relativist of sorts. The underlying motivation for these attributions seems to be the thought that the content of a belief can clearly be separated from the attitude taken towards it. Such a ”factorization model’ which construes religious beliefs as consisting of two independent ”factors’ -- the belief’s content and the belief-attitude -- appears to be behind the idea that one could, for ex…Read more
  •  243
    It is the object of this paper to investigate the parallels discernible between Wittgenstein’s Tractatus and Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous writings. While such attempts have, in the past, generally focussed on either trying to show that Kierkegaard’s notion of paradox is similar to Wittgenstein’s concept of the ineffable or that both thinkers seek to undermine the idea that there are things that cannot be put into words, I argue here that we must look for the affinities between the two philosophers…Read more
  •  68
    (No abstract is available for this citation)
  •  267
    No New Kierkegaard
    International Philosophical Quarterly 44 (4): 519-534. 2004.
    The aim of this paper is to contest an infl uential recent reading of one of Kierkegaard’s most important books, the pseudonymously written Concluding Unscientific Postscript. According to the reading offered by James Conant, the Postscript is an “elaborate reductio” of the very philosophical project in which it itself appears to be engaged, namely, the project of attempting to clarify the nature of Christianity. I show that Conant’s position depends upon four inter-related theses concerning Kie…Read more
  •  446
    A “resolute” later Wittgenstein?
    Metaphilosophy 41 (5): 649-668. 2010.
    Abstract: “Resolute readings” initially started life as a radical new approach to Wittgenstein's early philosophy, but are now starting to take root as a way of interpreting the later writings as well—a trend exemplified by Stephen Mulhall's Wittgenstein's Private Language (2007) as well as by Phil Hutchinson's “What's the Point of Elucidation?” (2007) and Rom Harré's “Grammatical Therapy and the Third Wittgenstein” (2008). The present article shows that there are neither good philosophical nor …Read more
  •  181
    In this paper I develop an account of Wittgenstein's conception of what it is to understand religious language. I show that Wittgenstein's view undermines the idea that as regards religious faith only two options are possible – either adherence to a set of metaphysical beliefs (with certain ways of acting following from these beliefs) or passionate commitment to a ‘doctrineless’ form of life. I offer a defence of Wittgenstein's conception against Kai Nielsen's charges that Wittgenstein removes t…Read more
  •  41
    The ‘Default View’ of Perceptual Reasons and ‘Closure-Based’ Sceptical Arguments
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 7 (2): 114-135. 2017.
    _ Source: _Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 114 - 135 It is a commonly accepted assumption in contemporary epistemology that we need to find a solution to ‘closure-based’ sceptical arguments and, hence, to the ‘scepticism or closure’ dilemma. In the present paper I argue that this is mistaken, since the closure principle does not, in fact, do real sceptical work. Rather, the decisive, scepticism-friendly moves are made before the closure principle is even brought into play. If we cannot avoid the sceptical…Read more
  •  25
    Kierkegaard contra Hegel on the'Absolute Paradox'
    Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 59 54-66. 2009.
    In the Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion Hegel propounds three inter-related theses: (1) The radical continuity of religion and philosophy. (2) The view that philosophy renders in conceptual form the essence of what Christianity consists in and thus transcends the merely subjective vantage-point of faith. (3) Philosophy alone shows Christianity to be rational and necessary. Kierkegaard’s pseudonym, Johannes Climacus, attacks all three of these theses in Conculding Unscientific Postscript, a…Read more