•  5
    The hard problem of intertheoretic comparisons
    Philosophical Studies 1-27. forthcoming.
    Metanormativists hold that moral uncertainty can affect how we ought, in some morally authoritative sense, to act. Many metanormativists aim to generalize expected utility theory for normative uncertainty. Such accounts face the “easy problem of intertheoretic comparisons”: the worry that distinct theories’ assessments of choiceworthiness are incomparable. The easy problem may well be resolvable, but another problem looms: while some moral theories assign cardinal degrees of choiceworthiness, ot…Read more
  •  60
    Why Ideal Epistemology?
    Mind. forthcoming.
    Ideal epistemologists investigate the nature of pure epistemic rationality, abstracting away from human cognitive limitations. Non-ideal epistemologists investigate epistemic norms that are satisfiable by most humans, most of the time. Ideal epistemology faces a number of challenges, aimed at both its substantive commitments and its philosophical worth. This paper explains the relation between ideal and non-ideal epistemology, with the aim of justifying ideal epistemology. Its approach is meta-e…Read more
  •  9
    A modesty proposal
    Synthese 198 (4): 3581-3601. 2019.
    Accuracy-first epistemology aims to show that the norms of epistemic rationality can be derived from the effective pursuit of accuracy. This paper explores the prospects within accuracy-first epistemology for vindicating “modesty”: the thesis that ideal rationality permits uncertainty about one’s own rationality. I argue that accuracy-first epistemology faces serious challenges in accommodating three forms of modesty: uncertainty about what priors are rational, uncertainty about whether one’s up…Read more
  •  42
    Imprecise evidence without imprecise credences
    Philosophical Studies 177 (9): 2735-2758. 2020.
    Does rationality require imprecise credences? Many hold that it does: imprecise evidence requires correspondingly imprecise credences. I argue that this is false. The imprecise view faces the same arbitrariness worries that were meant to motivate it in the first place. It faces these worries because it incorporates a certain idealization. But doing away with this idealization effectively collapses the imprecise view into a particular kind of precise view. On this alternative, our attitudes shoul…Read more
  •  135
    Epistemic Utility Theory and the Aim of Belief
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3): 511-534. 2017.
    How should rational believers pursue the aim of truth? Epistemic utility theorists have argued that by combining the tools of decision theory with an epistemic form of value—gradational accuracy, proximity to the truth—we can justify various epistemological norms. I argue that deriving these results requires using decision rules that are different in important respects from those used in standard (practical) decision theory. If we use the more familiar decision rules, we can’t justify the episte…Read more
  •  23
    Subjective Probability and the Content/Attitude Distinction
    Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6. 2019.
    On an attractive, naturalistically respectable theory of intentionality, mental contents are a form of measurement system for representing behavioral and psychological dispositions. This chapter argues that a consequence of this view is that the content/attitude distinction is measurement system relative. As a result, there is substantial arbitrariness in the content/attitude distinction. Whether some measurement of mental states counts as characterizing the content of mental states or the attit…Read more
  •  93
    Normative Uncertainty without Theories
    Tandf: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4): 747-762. 2020.
    Volume 98, Issue 4, December 2020, Page 747-762.
  •  12
    Deontic Modals
    In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics, Routledge. pp. 194-210. 2017.
    This chapter provides a selective survey of prominent theories of the semantics of deontic modals in logic and natural language. We focus on Kratzer’s (1977; 1981; 1991) semantics and extensions to this analysis. Kratzer’s semantics has been far and away the most influential theory of deontic modals, which provide a base case for the interpretation of normative language in general. Understanding the logic and truth-conditions of normative language is one of the core areas of metaethics. It info…Read more
  •  101
    Don’t stop believing
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5): 744-766. 2015.
    It’s been argued that there are no diachronic norms of epistemic rationality. These arguments come partly in response to certain kinds of counterexamples to Conditionalization, but are mainly motivated by a form of internalism that appears to be in tension with any sort of diachronic coherence requirements. I argue that there are, in fact, fundamentally diachronic norms of rationality. And this is to reject at least a strong version of internalism. But I suggest a replacement for Conditionalizat…Read more
  •  86
    The If P, Ought P Problem
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4): 555-583. 2014.
    Kratzer semantics for modals and conditionals generates the prediction that sentences of the form if p, ought p are trivially true. As Frank and Zvolenszky show, for certain flavors of modality, like deontic modality, this prediction is false. I explain some conservative solutions to the problem, and then argue that they are inadequate to account for puzzle cases involving self-frustrating oughts. These cases illustrate a general problem: there are two forms of information-sensitivity in deontic…Read more
  •  201
    Epistemic Expansions
    Res Philosophica 92 (2): 217-236. 2015.
    Epistemology should take seriously the possibility of rationally evaluable changes in conceptual resources. Epistemic decision theory compares belief states in terms of epistemic value. But it's standardly restricted to belief states that don't differ in their conceptual resources. I argue that epistemic decision theory should be generalized to make belief states with differing concepts comparable. I characterize some possible constraints on epistemic utility functions. Traditionally, the episte…Read more
  •  61
    Ecumenical Expressivism Ecumenicized
    Analysis 75 (3): 442-450. 2015.
    Ecumenical views in metaethics hold that normative utterances express hybrid mental states, states which include both a cognitive and a conative component. The ecumenicist can have her cake and eat it too: the view reaps the benefits of both cognitivist and non-cognitivist theories of normative judgement. The conative component of normative judgements accounts for their necessary link with motivation and rational action. The cognitive component makes it possible for the ecumenicist to endorse ex…Read more
  •  52
    Chancy accuracy and imprecise credence
    Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1): 67-81. 2015.
    Can we extend accuracy-based epistemic utility theory to imprecise credences? There's no obvious way of proceeding: some stipulations will be necessary for either (i) the notion of accuracy or (ii) the epistemic decision rule. With some prima facie plausible stipulations, imprecise credences are always required. With others, they’re always impermissible. Care is needed to reach the familiar evidential view of imprecise credence: that whether precise or imprecise credences are required depends on…Read more
  •  109
    Subjective Ought
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2. 2015.
    The subjective deontic "ought" generates counterexamples to classical inference rules like modus ponens. It also conflicts with the orthodox view about modals and conditionals in natural language semantics. Most accounts of the subjective ought build substantive and unattractive normative assumptions into the semantics of the modal. I sketch a general semantic account, along with a metasemantic story about the context sensitivity of information-sensitive operators.