•  1068
    The skeptic and the dogmatist
    Noûs 34 (4). 2000.
    Consider the skeptic about the external world. Let’s straightaway concede to such a skeptic that perception gives us no conclusive or certain knowledge about our surroundings. Our perceptual justification for beliefs about our surroundings is always defeasible—there are always possible improvements in our epistemic state which would no longer support those beliefs. Let’s also concede to the skeptic that it’s metaphysically possible for us to have all the experiences we’re now having while all th…Read more
  •  680
    What's wrong with Moore's argument?
    Philosophical Issues 14 (1). 2004.
    Something about this argument sounds funny. As we’ll see, though, it takes some care to identify exactly what Moore has done wrong. Iwill assume that Moore knows premise (2) to be true. One could inquire into how he knows it, and whether that knowledge can be defeated; but Iwon’t. I’ll focus instead on what epistemic relations Moore has to premise (1) and to his conclusion (3). It may matter which epistemic relations we choose to consider. Some philosophers will diagnose Moore’s argument using C…Read more
  •  580
    Bad intensions
    with Alex Byrne
    In Manuel Garcia-Carpintero & Maci (eds.), Two-Dimensional Semantics: Foundations and Applications, Oxford University Press. pp. 38--54. 2006.
    _the a priori role_ (for word T). For instance, perhaps anyone who understands the word _water_ is able to know, without appeal to any further a posteriori information, that _water_ refers to the clear, drinkable natural kind whose instances are predominant in our oceans and lakes (if _water_ refers at all
  •  386
  •  334
    Highlights of recent epistemology
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (1): 95--124. 2001.
    This article surveys work in epistemology since the mid-1980s. It focuses on contextualism about knowledge attributions, modest forms of foundationalism, and the internalism/externalism debate and its connections to the ethics of belief
  •  231
    When warrant transmits
    In Crispin Wright & Annalisa Coliva (eds.), Mind, Meaning, and Knowledge: Themes From the Philosophy of Crispin Wright, Oxford University Press. 2012.
    Consider the argument: Circus-1 Men in clown suits are handing out tickets. So, probably: Circus-2 There’s a circus in town. So: Circus-3 There’s an entertainment venue in town. Presumably you’d be able to warrantedly believe Circus-2 on the basis of Circus-1. And we can suppose you’re reasonably certain that wherever there are circuses, there are entertainment venues. So you’d seem to be in a position to reasonably go on to infer Circus-3.
  •  226
    I want to talk about a certain epistemic quality that I call “justification,” and inquire whether that quality can ever be had “immediately” or “non-inferentially.” Before we get into substantive issues, we need first to agree about what epistemic quality it is we’ll be talking about, and then we need to clarify what it is to have that quality immediately or non-inferentially. When I say I call this epistemic quality “justification,” you’re liable to think, “Oh I know what that is.” You may. But…Read more
  •  207
    Dogmatism is a claim about a possible epistemic position, not about the metaphysics of what puts us in that position. So, for example, it leaves it open whether the intrinsic nature of a perceiving subject’s state is the same as that of a hallucinating subject’s state.
  •  156
    Mental Graphs
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2): 309-341. 2016.
    I argue that Frege Problems in thought are best modeled using graph-theoretic machinery; and that these problems can arise even when subjects associate all the same qualitative properties to the object they’re thinking of twice. I compare the proposed treatment to similar ideas by Heck, Ninan, Recanati, Kamp and Asher, Fodor, and others.
  •  141
    We have several intuitive paradigms of defeating evidence. For example, let E be the fact that Ernie tells me that the notorious pet Precious is a bird. This supports the premise F, that Precious can fly. However, Orna gives me *opposing* evidence. She says that Precious is a dog. Alternatively, defeating evidence might not oppose Ernie's testimony in that direct way. There might be other ways for it to weaken the support that Ernie's testimony gives me for believing F, without the new evidence …Read more
  •  136
    Comments on Sosa's “relevant alternatives, contextualism included”
    Philosophical Studies 119 (1-2): 67-72. 2004.
    There is much I agree with in Sosa’s paper. His discussion of Stine and Peirce is quite useful; so too his discussion of Dretske in Appendix II. A further issue he focuses on concerns how Contextualists are to give full endorsement to the knowledge-claims of ordinary subjects. Just saying, metalinguistically, that.
  •  134
    What's So Bad About Living in the Matrix?
    In Christopher Grau (ed.), Philosophers Explore the Matrix, Oxford University Press. pp. 40. 2005.
  •  133
    What's Wrong with McKinsey-style Reasoning?
    In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), Internalism and Externalism in Semantics and Epistemology, Oxford University Press. pp. 177--200. 2007.
    (revisions posted 12/5/2006) to appear in Internalism and Externalism in Semantics and Epistemology, ed. by Sanford Goldberg (to be published by Oxford in 2006 or 2007) Michael McKinsey formulated an argument that raises a puzzle about the relation between externalism about content and our introspective awareness of content. The puzzle goes like this: it seems like I can know the contents of my thoughts by introspection alone; but philosophical reflection tells me that the contents of those thou…Read more
  •  129
    Reasons and that‐clauses
    Philosophical Issues 17 (1): 217-244. 2007.
    What are reasons? For example, if you’re aware that your secretary plans to expose you, and you resign to avoid a scandal, what is your reason for resigning? Is your reason the fact that your secretary plans to expose you? If so, what kinds of facts are eligible to be reasons? Can merely possible facts be reasons (for actual subjects)? Can merely apparent facts? Or are reasons rather attitudes? Are your reasons for resigning your belief that your secretary plans to expose you, and your desire to…Read more
  •  112
    The Merits of Incoherence
    Analytic Philosophy 59 (1): 112-141. 2018.
  •  111
    There are different _kinds _of two-dimensional matrix one can work with, representing different properties of an expression. One has to understand the rows and columns differently for the different matrices; but there are some formal characteristics all the matrices have in common
  •  105
    Hyper-reliability and apriority
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (3). 2006.
    I argue that beliefs that are true whenever held-like I exist, I am thinking about myself, and (in an object-dependent framework) Jack = Jack-needn't on that account be a priori. It does however seem possible to remove the existential commitment from the last example, to get a belief that is knowable a priori. I discuss some difficulties concerning how to do that
  •  48
    In section III of Pryor 2006a, I argued against the view that the mere fact that a thought- type is hyper-reliable directly gives one justification to believe a thought of that type. A close alternative says that our merely appreciating that the thought-type is hyper-reliable directly gives us that justification.
  •  45
    We will be considering the three topics of my title—or as we might also call them, reasoning, rationally responding, and logic. In many philosophers’ minds these are loosely but firmly connected. Too firmly. It’s not easy to identify a rigorous thesis they definitely accept and I definitely reject. But I will be urging these three notions are farther apart and explanatorily more independent than is usually assumed. Most notably, I’ll be opposing “Closure Principles” for reasonable belief (in way…Read more
  •  25
    Reply to Comesaña
    In Matthias Steup & John Turri (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, Blackwell. pp. 235. 2013.
  •  17
    Predicates are "hyper-evaluative" when they depend on more than just the semantic values (be they intensional or more fine-grained) of their individual arguments, but also on the way those arguments are "coordinated" or "wired." I examine motivations and semantic implementations for such predicates, drawing from linguistics and computer science.
  •  1
    How to Be a Reasonable Dogmatist
    Dissertation, Princeton University. 1997.
    Suppose we meet a skeptic who doubts whether any of the beliefs we form about the external world, on the basis of perception, are justified. How can we defend these beliefs? The skeptic thinks these beliefs aren't justified unless we can give them some non-question-begging defense. A dogmatist rejects this assumption. According to the dogmatist, our perceptual beliefs are justified even though it is impossible to give them any non-question-begging defense. ;In this thesis, I first argue that we …Read more