•  9603
    Knowledge and Reliability
    In Hilary Kornblith & Brian McLaughlin (eds.), Alvin Goldman and his Critics, Blackwell. pp. 237-256. 2016.
    Internalists have criticised reliabilism for overlooking the importance of the subject's point of view in the generation of knowledge. This paper argues that there is a troubling ambiguity in the intuitive examples that internalists have used to make their case, and on either way of resolving this ambiguity, reliabilism is untouched. However, the argument used to defend reliabilism against the internalist cases could also be used to defend a more radical form of externalism in epistemology.
  •  4835
    Knowledge as a Mental State
    Oxford Studies in Epistemology 4 275-310. 2013.
    In the philosophical literature on mental states, the paradigmatic examples of mental states are beliefs, desires, intentions, and phenomenal states such as being in pain. The corresponding list in the psychological literature on mental state attribution includes one further member: the state of knowledge. This article examines the reasons why developmental, comparative and social psychologists have classified knowledge as a mental state, while most recent philosophers--with the notable exceptio…Read more
  •  3806
    Intuitions and Experiments: A Defense of the Case Method in Epistemology
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3): 495-527. 2012.
    Many epistemologists use intuitive responses to particular cases as evidence for their theories. Recently, experimental philosophers have challenged the evidential value of intuitions, suggesting that our responses to particular cases are unstable, inconsistent with the responses of the untrained, and swayed by factors such as ethnicity and gender. This paper presents evidence that neither gender nor ethnicity influence epistemic intuitions, and that the standard responses to Gettier cases and …Read more
  •  2098
    Lay Denial of Knowledge for Justified True Beliefs
    with Valerie San Juan and Raymond A. Mar
    Cognition 129 (3): 652-661. 2013.
    Intuitively, there is a difference between knowledge and mere belief. Contemporary philosophical work on the nature of this difference has focused on scenarios known as “Gettier cases.” Designed as counterexamples to the classical theory that knowledge is justified true belief, these cases feature agents who arrive at true beliefs in ways which seem reasonable or justified, while nevertheless seeming to lack knowledge. Prior empirical investigation of these cases has raised questions about wheth…Read more
  •  2038
    Epistemic intuitions
    Philosophy Compass 2 (6). 2007.
    We naturally evaluate the beliefs of others, sometimes by deliberate calculation, and sometimes in a more immediate fashion. Epistemic intuitions are immediate assessments arising when someone’s condition appears to fall on one side or the other of some significant divide in epistemology. After giving a rough sketch of several major features of epistemic intuitions, this article reviews the history of the current philosophical debate about them and describes the major positions in that debate. L…Read more
  •  1967
    Armchair-Friendly Experimental Philosophy
    In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy, Wiley-blackwell. pp. 53-70. 2016.
    Once symbolized by a burning armchair, experimental philosophy has in recent years shifted away from its original hostility to traditional methods. Starting with a brief historical review of the experimentalist challenge to traditional philosophical practice, this chapter looks at research undercutting that challenge, and at ways in which experimental work has evolved to complement and strengthen traditional approaches to philosophical questions.
  •  1645
    Intuition, Reflection, and the Command of Knowledge
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 88 (1): 219-241. 2014.
    Action is not always guided by conscious deliberation; in many circumstances, we act intuitively rather than reflectively. Tamar Gendler (2014) contends that because intuitively guided action can lead us away from our reflective commitments, it limits the power of knowledge to guide action. While I agree that intuition can diverge from reflection, I argue that this divergence does not constitute a restriction on the power of knowledge. After explaining my view of the contrast between intuitive a…Read more
  •  1604
    Defending the Evidential Value of Epistemic Intuitions: A Reply to Stich
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1): 179-199. 2013.
    Do epistemic intuitions tell us anything about knowledge? Stich has argued that we respond to cases according to our contingent cultural programming, and not in a manner that tends to reveal anything significant about knowledge itself. I’ve argued that a cross-culturally universal capacity for mindreading produces the intuitive sense that the subject of a case has or lacks knowledge. This paper responds to Stich’s charge that mindreading is cross-culturally varied in a way that will strip epis…Read more
  •  1210
    Factive and nonfactive mental state attribution
    Mind and Language 32 (5): 525-544. 2017.
    Factive mental states, such as knowing or being aware, can only link an agent to the truth; by contrast, nonfactive states, such as believing or thinking, can link an agent to either truths or falsehoods. Researchers of mental state attribution often draw a sharp line between the capacity to attribute accurate states of mind and the capacity to attribute inaccurate or “reality-incongruent” states of mind, such as false belief. This article argues that the contrast that really matters for mental …Read more
  •  1183
    The Psychological Basis of the Harman-Vogel Paradox
    Philosophers' Imprint 11 1-28. 2011.
    Harman’s lottery paradox, generalized by Vogel to a number of other cases, involves a curious pattern of intuitive knowledge ascriptions: certain propositions seem easier to know than various higher-probability propositions that are recognized to follow from them. For example, it seems easier to judge that someone knows his car is now on Avenue A, where he parked it an hour ago, than to judge that he knows that it is not the case that his car has been stolen and driven away in the last hour. Con…Read more
  •  1073
    The Meanings of Metacognition
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (3): 710-718. 2014.
  •  1052
    Mindreading in Gettier Cases and Skeptical Pressure Cases
    In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions, Oxford University Press. 2012.
    To what extent should we trust our natural instincts about knowledge? The question has special urgency for epistemologists who want to draw evidential support for their theories from certain intuitive epistemic assessments while discounting others as misleading. This paper focuses on the viability of endorsing the legitimacy of Gettier intuitions while resisting the intuitive pull of skepticism – a combination of moves that most mainstream epistemologists find appealing. Awkwardly enough, the…Read more
  •  1025
    Epistemic anxiety and adaptive invariantism
    Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1): 407-435. 2010.
    Do we apply higher epistemic standards to subjects with high stakes? This paper argues that we expect different outward behavior from high-stakes subjects—for example, we expect them to collect more evidence than their low-stakes counterparts—but not because of any change in epistemic standards. Rather, we naturally expect subjects in any condition to think in a roughly adaptive manner, balancing the expected costs of additional evidence collection against the expected value of gains in accura…Read more
  •  1005
    Knowledge ascriptions and the psychological consequences of changing stakes
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2): 279-294. 2008.
    Why do our intuitive knowledge ascriptions shift when a subject's practical interests are mentioned? Many efforts to answer this question have focused on empirical linguistic evidence for context sensitivity in knowledge claims, but the empirical psychology of belief formation and attribution also merits attention. The present paper examines a major psychological factor (called ?need-for-closure?) relevant to ascriptions involving practical interests. Need-for-closure plays an important role in …Read more
  •  933
    Gendler on Alief (review)
    Analysis 72 (4): 774-788. 2012.
    Contribution to a book symposium on Tamar Gendler's Intuition, Imagination, and Philosophical Methodology.
  •  823
    Sensitive Knowledge: Locke on Sensation and Skepticism
    In Matthew Stuart (ed.), Blackwell Companion to Locke, Wiley Blackwell. pp. 313-333. 2016.
    In the Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke insists that all knowledge consists in perception of the agreement or disagreement of ideas. However, he also insists that knowledge extends to outer reality, claiming that perception yields ‘sensitive knowledge’ of the existence of outer objects. Some scholars have argued that Locke did not really mean to restrict knowledge to perceptions of relations within the realm of ideas; others have argued that sensitive knowledge is not strictly speaki…Read more
  •  752
    When and why does it matter whether we can give an explicit justification for what we believe? This paper examines these questions in the light of recent empirical work on the social functions served by our capacity to reason, in particular, Mercier and Sperber’s argumentative theory of reasoning.
  •  723
    Motivating Williamson's Model Gettier Cases
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (1): 54-62. 2013.
    Williamson has a strikingly economical way of showing how justified true belief can fail to constitute knowledge: he models a class of Gettier cases by means of two simple constraints. His constraints can be shown to rely on some unstated assumptions about the relationship between reality and appearance. These assumptions are epistemologically non-trivial but can be defended as plausible idealizations of our actual predicament, in part because they align well with empirical work on the metacogni…Read more
  •  693
    Authentic Gettier Cases: a reply to Starmans and Friedman
    with Valerie San Juan and Raymond Mar
    Cognition 129 (3): 666-669. 2013.
    Do laypeople and philosophers differ in their attributions of knowledge? Starmans and Friedman maintain that laypeople differ from philosophers in taking ‘authentic evidence’ Gettier cases to be cases of knowledge. Their reply helpfully clarifies the distinction between ‘authentic evidence’ and ‘apparent evidence’. Using their sharpened presentation of this distinction, we contend that the argument of our original paper still stands
  •  550
    Epistemic Territory
    Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association. forthcoming.
  •  504
    The Attitude of Knowledge (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3): 678-685. 2012.
    Contribution to a symposium on Keith DeRose's The Case for Contextualism, Volume 1.
  •  485
    In Sarkar Pfeifer (ed.), The Philosophy of Science, Routledge. 2006.
    Having assigned experience this exclusive role in justification, empiricists then have a range of views concerning the character of experience, the semantics of our claims about unobservable entities, the nature of empirical confirmation, and the possibility of non-empirical warrant for some further class of claims, such as those accepted on the basis of linguistic or logical rules. Given the definitive principle of their position, empiricists can allow that we have knowledge independent of expe…Read more
  •  426
    The Psychological Dimension of the Lottery Paradox
    In Igor Douven (ed.), The Lottery Paradox, Cambridge University Press. forthcoming.
    The lottery paradox involves a set of judgments that are individually easy, when we think intuitively, but ultimately hard to reconcile with each other, when we think reflectively. Empirical work on the natural representation of probability shows that a range of interestingly different intuitive and reflective processes are deployed when we think about possible outcomes in different contexts. Understanding the shifts in our natural ways of thinking can reduce the sense that the lottery paradox…Read more
  •  399
    The Psychology of Epistemic Judgment
    In Sarah K. Robins, John Symons & Paco Calvo (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology, 2nd Edition, . forthcoming.
    Human social intelligence includes a remarkable power to evaluate what people know and believe, and to assess the quality of well- or ill-formed beliefs. Epistemic evaluations emerge in a great variety of contexts, from moments of deliberate private reflection on tough theoretical questions, to casual social observations about what other people know and think. We seem to be able to draw systematic lines between knowledge and mere belief, to distinguish justified and unjustified beliefs, and to r…Read more
  •  359
    Losing knowledge by thinking about thinking
    In Jessica Brown & Mona Simion (eds.), Reasons, Justification and Defeat, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    Defeat cases are often taken to show that even the most securely-based judgment can be rationally undermined by misleading evidence. Starting with some best-case scenario for perceptual knowledge, for example, it is possible to undermine the subject’s confidence in her sensory faculties until it becomes unreasonable for her to persist in her belief. Some have taken such cases to indicate that any basis for knowledge is rationally defeasible; others have argued that there can be unreasonable know…Read more
  •  346
    Mindreading in conversation
    Cognition 210 104618. 2021.
    How is human social intelligence engaged in the course of ordinary conversation? Standard models of conversation hold that language production and comprehension are guided by constant, rapid inferences about what other agents have in mind. However, the idea that mindreading is a pervasive feature of conversation is challenged by a large body of evidence suggesting that mental state attribution is slow and taxing, at least when it deals with propositional attitudes such as beliefs. Belief attribu…Read more
  •  330
    Contemporary scepticism and the cartesian God
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (3): 465-497. 2005.
    Descartes claims that God is both incomprehensible and yet clearly and distinctly understood. This paper argues that Descartes’s development of the contrast between comprehension and understanding makes the role of God in his epistemology more interesting than is commonly thought. Section one examines the historical context of sceptical arguments about the difficulty of knowing God. Descartes describes the recognition of our inability to comprehend God as itself a source of knowledge of him; sec…Read more
  •  318
    Knowledge ascriptions and the psychological consequences of thinking about error
    Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239): 286-306. 2010.
    Epistemologists generally agree that the stringency of intuitive ascriptions of knowledge is increased when unrealized possibilities ofenor are mentioned. Non-sceptical invanantists (Williamson, Hawthorne) think it a mistake to yield in such cases to the temptation to be more stringent, but they do not deny that we feel it. They contend that the temptation is best explained as the product of a psychological bias known as the availability heuristic. I argue against the availability explanation, a…Read more