• In recent years, the effort to formalize erotetic inferences (i.e., inferences to and from questions) has become a central concern for those working in erotetic logic. However, few have sought to formulate a proof theory for these inferences. To fill this lacuna, we construct a calculus for (classes of) sequents that are sound and complete for two species of erotetic inferences studied by Inferential Erotetic Logic (IEL): erotetic evocation and regular erotetic implication. While an attempt has …Read more
  • Counterfactuals and Explanatory Pluralism
    with Kareem Khalifa and Gabriel Doble
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. forthcoming.
    Recent literature on noncausal explanation raises the question as to whether explanatory monism, the thesis that all explanations submit to the same analysis, is true. The leading monist proposal holds that all explanations support change-relating counterfactuals. We provide several objections to this monist position.
  • Robert Brandom's normative-pragmatic theory is intended to represent the minimal set of practical abilities whose exhibition qualifies creatures as speaking a language. His model of a minimally discursive practice (MDP) is one in which participants, devoid of logical vocabulary, are only capable of making assertions and drawing inferences. This dissertation argues that Brandom's purely assertional practices are not MDPs and that speech acts of asking questions (queries) must be included in any p…Read more
  • Explanation is asymmetric: if A explains B, then B does not explain A. Tradition- ally, the asymmetry of explanation was thought to favor causal accounts of explanation over their rivals, such as those that take explanations to be inferences. In this paper, we develop a new inferential approach to explanation that outperforms causal approaches in accounting for the asymmetry of explanation.
  • Inferentialist-Expressivism for Explanatory Vocabulary
    In Ondřej Beran, Vojtěch Kolman & Ladislav Koreň (eds.), From Rules to Meanings: New Essays in Inferentialism, Routledge. 2018.
    In this essay, we extend earlier inferentialist-expressivist treatments of traditional logical, semantic, modal, and representational vocabulary (Brandom 1994, 2008, 2015; Peregrin 2014) to explanatory vocabulary. From this perspective, Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) appears to be an obvious starting point. In its simplest formulation, IBE has the form: A best explains why B, B; so A. It thereby captures one of the central inferential features of explanation. An inferentialist-expressiv…Read more
  • Many epistemologists take Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) to be “fundamental.” For instance, Lycan (1988, 128) writes that “all justified reasoning is fundamentally explanatory reasoning.” Conee and Feldman (2008, 97) concur: “fundamental epistemic principles are principles of best explanation.” Call them fundamentalists. They assert that nothing deeper could justify IBE, as is typically assumed of rules of deductive inference, such as modus ponens. However, logicians account for modus p…Read more
  • The recent eruption of scholarship surrounding the nature and tenability of foundationalism in the work of Edmund Husserl offers the impetus and opportunity to (re)examine Theodor Adorno’s Metacritique of Epistemology. In that text, Adorno attempts an immanent critique of phenomenology designed to expose the antinomies that vitiate not only Husserl’s philosophy but any foundationalist epistemology. A detailed analysis of Adorno’s arguments and Husserl’s texts reveals that while Adorno successful…Read more
  • Queries and Assertions in Minimally Discursive Practices
    Questions, Discourse and Dialogue: 20 Years After Making It Explicit, Proceedings of AISB50. 2014.
    Robert Brandom’s normative-pragmatic theory is intended to represent the minimal set of practical abilities whose exhibition qualifies creatures as speaking a language. His model of a minimally discursive practice (MDP) is one in which participants, devoid of logical vocabulary, are only capable of making assertions and drawing inferences. This paper argues that Brandom’s purely assertional practices are not MDPs and that speech acts of asking questions (queries) must be included in any practice…Read more