York College Of Pennsylvania
  • York College Of Pennsylvania
    English and Humanities
    Lecturer
University Of Iowa
Alumnus, 2016
Areas of Specialization
Epistemology
  •  226
    Earl Conee and Richard Feldman have recently argued that the evidential support relation should be understood in terms of explanatory coherence: roughly, one's evidence supports a proposition if and only if that proposition is part of the best available explanation of the evidence. Their thesis has been criticized through alleged counterexamples, perhaps the most important of which are cases where a subject has a justified belief about the future. Kevin McCain has defended the thesis against Bye…Read more
  •  190
    The epistemic analysis of luck
    Episteme 12 (3): 319-334. 2015.
    Duncan Pritchard has argued that luck is fundamentally a modal notion: an event is lucky when it occurs in the actual world, but does not occur in more than half of the relevant nearby possible worlds. Jennifer Lackey has provided counterexamples to accounts which, like Pritchard’s, only allow for the existence of improbable lucky events. Neil Levy has responded to Lackey by offering a modal account of luck which attempts to respect the intuition that some lucky events occur in more than half …Read more
  •  181
    Joel Pust has recently challenged the Thomas Reid-inspired argument against the reliability of the a priori defended by Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, William Alston, and Michael Bergmann. The Reidian argument alleges that the Cartesian insistence on the primacy of a priori rationality and subjective sensory experience as the foundations of epistemic justification is unwarranted because the same kind of global skeptical scenario that Cartesians recognize as challenging the legitimacy o…Read more
  •  80
    Positions in the debate about the correct semantics of “S knows that p” are sometimes motivated in part by an appeal to interpretive charity. In particular, non-skeptical views hold that many utterances of the sentence “S knows that p” are true and some of them think the fact that their views are able to respect this is a reason why their views are more charitable than skeptical invariantism. However, little attention has been paid to why charity should be understood in this way and little effor…Read more
  •  59
    I undermine the argument that ‘high’ epistemic standards are false because children and other cognitively unsophisticated subjects possess justification while lacking certain logical and epistemic concepts. I argue, instead, that the standards we often use to attribute logical and epistemic concepts to ordinary, cognitively sophisticated adults can easily be seen to cover many unsophisticated subjects; therefore, the alleged lack of certain concepts is no basis for rejecting ‘high’ epistemic sta…Read more
  •  59
    Unger's Argument from Absolute Terms
    Philosophical Papers 46 (3): 443-461. 2017.
    In this paper, I explain the curious role played by the Argument from Absolute Terms in Peter Unger's book Ignorance, I provide a critical presentation of the argument, and I consider some outstanding issues and the argument’s contemporary significance.
  •  45
    Two new objections to explanationism
    Synthese 194 (8): 3069-3084. 2017.
    After a period of inactivity, interest in explanationism as a thesis about the nature of epistemic justification has been renewed. Poston and McCain have both recently offered versions of explanationist evidentialism. In this paper, we pose two objections to explanationist evidentialism. First, explanationist evidentialism fails to state a sufficient condition for justification. Second, explanationist evidentialism implies a vicious regress
  •  44
    That a philosophical thesis entails a vicious regress is commonly taken to be decisive evidence that the thesis is false. In this paper, I argue that the existence of a vicious regress is insufficient to reject a proposed analysis provided that certain constraints on the analysis are met. When a vicious regress is present, some further consequence of the thesis must be established that, together with the presence of the vicious regress, shows the thesis to be false. The argument is provided larg…Read more
  •  21
    Many philosophers think that part of what makes an event lucky concerns how probable that event is. In this paper, I argue that an epistemic probability account of luck successfully resists recent arguments that all theories of luck, including probability theories, are subject to counterexample (Hales 2016). I argue that an event is lucky if and only if it is significant and sufficiently improbable. An event is significant when, given some reflection, the subject would regard the event as signif…Read more
  •  21
    Strict moderate invariantism and knowledge-denials
    Philosophical Studies 174 (8): 2029-2044. 2017.
    Strict moderate invariantism is the ho-hum, ‘obvious’ view about knowledge attributions. It says knowledge attributions are often true and that only traditional epistemic factors like belief, truth, and justification make them true. As commonsensical as strict moderate invariantism is, it is equally natural to withdraw a knowledge attribution when error possibilities are made salient. If strict moderate invariantism is true, these knowledge-denials are often false because the subject does in fac…Read more
  •  15
    Several arguments attempt to show that if traditional, acquaintance-based epistemic internalism is true, we cannot have foundational justification for believing falsehoods. I examine some of those arguments and find them wanting. Nevertheless, an infallibilist position about foundational justification is highly plausible: prima facie, much more plausible than moderate foundationalism. I conclude with some remarks about the dialectical position we infallibilists find ourselves in with respect to …Read more
  •  4
    Knowledge, infallibility, and skepticism
    Dissertation, University of Iowa. 2016.
    I argue that to know that a proposition is true one must have justification for being certain that the proposition is true. That is, one must have infallible epistemic justification for believing the proposition. It is widely accepted among epistemologists that we rarely, if ever, have such strong justification for our beliefs. It follows that there is precious little that we know. That conclusion is unacceptable to many philosophers. I argue that the positions that lead to the skeptical conclus…Read more