•  1866
    Knowledge as Credit for True Belief
    In Michael DePaul & Linda Zagzebski (eds.), Intellectual Virtue: Perspectives From Ethics and Epistemology, Clarendon Press. pp. 111-134. 2003.
    The paper begins by reviewing two problems for fallibilism: the lottery problem, or the problem of explaining why fallible evidence, though otherwise excellent, is not enough to know that one will lose the lottery, and Gettier problems. It is then argued that both problems can be resolved if we note an important illocutionary force of knowledge attributions: namely, that when we attribute knowledge to someone we mean to give the person credit for getting things right. Alternatively, to say that …Read more
  •  677
    Catholics vs. Calvinists on Religious Knowledge
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 71 (1): 13-34. 1997.
    In this paper I will take it for granted that Zagzebski's position articulates a broadly Catholic perspective, and that Plantinga's position accurately represents a broadly Calvinist one. But I will argue that so construed, the Catholic and the Calvinist are much closer than Zagzebski implies: both views are person-based in an important sense of that term; both are internalist on Zagzebski's usage and externalist on the standard usage; and Plantinga's position is consistent with the social eleme…Read more
  •  612
    Virtue Epistemology
    with John Turri and Mark Alfano
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1-51. 2011.
    Contemporary virtue epistemology (hereafter ‘VE’) is a diverse collection of approaches to epistemology. At least two central tendencies are discernible among the approaches. First, they view epistemology as a normative discipline. Second, they view intellectual agents and communities as the primary focus of epistemic evaluation, with a focus on the intellectual virtues and vices embodied in and expressed by these agents and communities. This entry introduces many of the most important results o…Read more
  •  385
    A (Different) Virtue Epistemology
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1): 1-26. 2012.
    Section 1 articulates a genus-species claim: that knowledge is a kind of success from ability. Equivalently: In cases of knowledge, S’s success in believing the truth is attributable to S’s ability. That idea is then applied to questions about the nature and value of knowledge. Section 2 asks what it would take to turn the genus-species claim into a proper theory of knowledge; that is, into informative, necessary and sufficient conditions. That question is raised in the context of an important l…Read more
  •  358
    [From SEP]: Contemporary virtue epistemology (hereafter ‘VE’) is a diverse collection of approaches to epistemology. At least two central tendencies are discernible among the approaches. First, they view epistemology as a normative discipline. Second, they view intellectual agents and communities as the primary focus of epistemic evaluation, with a focus on the intellectual virtues and vices embodied in and expressed by these agents and communities. This entry introduces many of the most impor…Read more
  •  314
    Knowledge and success from ability
    Philosophical Studies 142 (1). 2009.
    This paper argues that knowledge is an instance of a more general and familiar normative kind—that of success through ability (or success through excellence, or success through virtue). This thesis is developed in the context of three themes prominent in the recent literature: that knowledge attributions are somehow context sensitive; that knowledge is intimately related to practical reasoning; and that one purpose of the concept of knowledge is to flag good sources of information. Wedding these…Read more
  •  268
    The nature of ability and the purpose of knowledge
    Philosophical Issues 17 (1). 2007.
    The claim that knowledge is a kind of success from ability has great theoretical power: it explains the nature of epistemic normativity, why knowledge is incompatible with luck, and why knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief. This paper addresses objections to the view by wedding it with two additional ideas: that intellectual abilities display a certain structure, and that the concept of knowledge functions to flag good information, and good sources of information, for use in practica…Read more
  •  264
    Recent Work on Testimonial Knowledge
    American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (1): 15-28. 2012.
    Recent interest in the epistemology of testimony can be traced to C. A. J. Coady's Testimony: A Philosophical Study (1992) and then a collection of papers edited by Bimal Krishna Matilal and Arindam Chakrabarti, Knowing from Words (1994). These two volumes framed several issues in the epistemology of testimony and largely set the agenda for work in that area over the next two decades. One major issue in this literature is whether testimonial knowledge can be "reduced" to some other kind of knowl…Read more
  •  261
    External world skepticism
    Philosophy Compass 2 (4). 2007.
    Recent literature in epistemology has focused on the following argument for skepticism (SA): I know that I have two hands only if I know that I am not a handless brain in a vat. But I don't know I am not a handless brain in a vat. Therefore, I don't know that I have two hands. Part I of this article reviews two responses to skepticism that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s: sensitivity theories and attributor contextualism. Part II considers the more recent ‘neo-Moorean’ response to skepticism and …Read more
  •  254
    What's wrong with contextualism?
    Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232): 416-436. 2008.
    This paper addresses two worries that might be raised about contextualism in epistemology and that carry over to its moral analogues: that contextualism robs epistemology (and moral theory) of a proper subject-matter, and that contextualism robs knowledge claims (and moral claims) of their objectivity. Two theses are defended: (1) that these worries are appropriately directed at interestdependent theories in general rather than at contextualism in particular, and (2) that the two worries are ove…Read more
  •  245
    Agent reliabilism
    Philosophical Perspectives 13 273-296. 1999.
    This paper reviews two skeptical arguments and argues that a reliabilist framework is necessary to avoid them. The paper also argues that agent reliabilism, which makes the knower the seat of reliability, is the most plausible version of reliabilism.
  •  239
    Worries about Pritchard’s safety
    Synthese 158 (3): 299-302. 2007.
    I take issue with two claims that Duncan Pritchard makes in his recent book, "Epistemic Luck". The first concerns his safety-based response to the lottery problem; the second his account of the relationship between safety and intellectual virtue.
  •  222
    The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2008.
    In the history of philosophical thought, few themes loom as large as skepticism. Skepticism has been the most visible and important part of debates about knowledge. Skepticism at its most basic questions our cognitive achievements, challenges our ability to obtain reliable knowledge; casting doubt on our attempts to seek and understand the truth about everything from ethics, to other minds, religious belief, and even the underlying structure of matter and reality. Since Descartes, the defense of…Read more
  •  191
    How to be a Pragmatist: C. I. Lewis and Humean Skepticism
    Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (1): 24-31. 2006.
    Murray G. Murphey’s masterful treatment of C. I. Lewis’s philosophy leaves two things amply clear: first, that Lewis struggled with skeptical arguments from Hume throughout his career; and second, that Lewis never adequately resolved the problems raised by those arguments. In this paper I will consider Lewis’s approach to Hume’s skepticism in Mind and the World Order (MWO) and in An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation (AKV), and I will argue that Lewis’s reply to Hume in these works did not cha…Read more
  •  185
    Virtues and Vices of Virtue Epistemology
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 23 (3): 413-432. 1993.
    In recent years, virtue epistemology has won the attention of a wide range of philosophers. A developed form of the position has been expounded forcefully by Ernest Sosa and represents the most plausible version of reliabilism to date. Through the person of Alvin Plantinga, virtue epistemology has taken philosophy of religion by storm, evoking objections and defenses in a wide variety of journals and volumes. Historically, virtue epistemology has its roots in the work of Thomas Reid, and the exp…Read more
  •  175
    The Blackwell Guide to Epistemology (edited book)
    with Ernest Sosa
    Wiley-Blackwell. 1999.
  •  173
    How to Reid Moore
    Philosophical Quarterly 52 (209): 544-563. 2002.
    Moore's 'Proof of an External World' has evoked a variety of responses from philosophers, including bafflement, indignation and sympathetic reconstruction. I argue that Moore should be understood as following Thomas Reid on a variety of points, both epistemological and methodological. Moreover, Moore and Reid are exactly right on all of these points. Hence what I present is a defence of Moore's 'Proof', as well as an interpretation. Finally, I argue that the Reid-Moore position is useful for…Read more
  •  173
    In section one the deontological (or responsibilist) conception of justification is discussed and explained. In section two, arguments are put forward in order to derive the most plausible version of perspectival internalism, or the position that epistemic justification is a function of factors internal to the believer's cognitive perspective. The two most common considerations put forward in favor of perspectival internalism are discussed. These are the responsibilist conception of justificatio…Read more
  •  148
    When we affirm that someone knows something, we are making a value judgment of sorts - we are claiming that there is something superior about that person's opinion, or their evidence, or perhaps about them. A central task of the theory of knowledge is to investigate the sort of evaluation at issue. This is the first book to make 'epistemic normativity,' or the normative dimension of knowledge and knowledge ascriptions, its central focus. John Greco argues that knowledge is a kind of achievement,…Read more
  •  139
    Reid’s Critique of Berkeley and Hume: What’s the Big Idea?
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (2): 279-296. 1995.
    Reid thought that the linchpin of his response to\nskepticism was his rejection of the theory of ideas. I\nargue that Reid's assessment of his own work is incorrect;\nthe theory of ideas plays no important role in at least one\nof Berkeley's and Hume's arguments for skepticism, and\nrejecting the theory is therefore neither necessary nor\nsufficient as a reply to that argument. Reid does in fact\nanswer the argument, but with his theory of evidence rather\nthan his rejection of the theory of ide…Read more
  •  133
    Externalism and skepticism
    In Richard Schantz (ed.), The Externalist Challenge, De Gruyter. pp. 53. 2004.
    Part 1 argues that, despite rhetorical appearances, McDowell accepts a standard version of epistemic externalism. Moreover, epistemic externalism plays an important role in McDowell’s response to skepticism. Part 2 argues that, contra McDowell, epistemic externalism is necessary for rejecting skepticism, and content externalism is not sufficient for rejecting skepticism.
  •  131
    Religious Knowledge in the Context of Conflicting Testimony
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 83 61-76. 2009.
    An adequate account of testimonial knowledge in general explains how religious knowledge can be grounded in testimony, and even in the context of conflicting testimonial traditions. Three emerging trends in epistemology help to make that case. The first is to make a distinction between two projects of epistemology: “the project of explanation” and “the project of vindication.” The second is to emphasize a distinction between knowledge and understanding. The third is to ask what role the concept …Read more
  •  129
    Virtue and Luck, Epistemic and Otherwise
    Metaphilosophy 34 (3): 353-366. 2003.
    This essay defends virtue reliabilism against a line of argument put forward by Duncan Pritchard. In the process, it discusses (1) the motivations for virtue reliabilism, (2) some analogies between epistemic virtue and moral virtue, and (3) the relation between virtue (epistemic and otherwise) and luck (epistemic and otherwise). It argues that considerations about virtue and luck suggest a solution to Gettier problems from the perspective of a virtue theory.
  •  128
    Virtue, Luck and the Pyrrhonian Problematic
    Philosophical Studies 130 (1): 9-34. 2006.
    A number of contemporary philosophers endorse a Pyrrhonian theme: that one has knowledge only if one knows or understands that one’s beliefs are reliably formed. Otherwise, one is like a man who grasps gold in the dark: such a man is successful, but his success is a matter of luck, and so not creditable to him. It is argued that the skeptical problem and the problem of moral luck share a common structure and a common solution. Specifically, a virtue-theoretic approach helps us to understand impo…Read more
  •  127
    Cognitive integration and the ownership of belief: Response to Bernecker
    with Daniel Breyer
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1). 2008.
    This paper responds to Sven Bernecker’s argument that agent reliabilism cannot accommodate internalist intuitions about clarvoyance cases. In section 1 we clarify a version of agent reliabilism and Bernecker’s objections against it. In section 2 we say more about how the notion of cognitive integration helps to adjudicate clairvoyance cases and other proposed counterexamples to reliabilism. The central idea is that cognitive integration underwrites a kind of belief ownership, which in turn und…Read more
  •  125
    What is transmission*?
    Episteme 13 (4): 481-498. 2016.
    Almost everyone believes that testimony can transmit knowledge from speaker to hearer. What some philosophers mean by this is ordinary and pedestrian-- they mean only that, in at least some cases, a speaker S knows that p, S testifies that p to a hearer H, and H comes to know that p as a result of believing S's testimony. There is disagreement about how this occurs, but that it does occur is sufficient for the transmission of knowledge in the intended sense. On this understanding of transmissi…Read more
  •  122
    A Virtue Epistemology
    International Philosophical Quarterly 50 (3): 399-401. 2010.
    Section 1 articulates a genus-species claim: that knowledge is a kind of success from ability. Equivalently: In cases of knowledge, S’s success in believing the truth is attributable to S’s ability. That idea is then applied to questions about the nature and value of knowledge. Section 2 asks what it would take to turn the genus-species claim into a proper theory of knowledge; that is, into informative, necessary and sufficient conditions. That question is raised in the context of an important l…Read more
  •  119
    ``Virtues in Epistemology"
    In Paul Moser (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Epistemology, Oxford University Press. pp. 287--315. 2002.
    Part One reviews some recent history of epistemology, focusing on ways in which the intellectual virtues have been invoked to solve specific epistemological problems. This part gives a sense of the contemporary landscape that has emerged and clarifies some of the disagreements among those who invoke the virtues in epistemology. Part Two explores some problems about knowledge in greater detail, and defends a externalist approach in virtue epistemology
  •  119
    Two Kinds of Intellectual Virtue (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (1): 179. 2000.
  •  114
    The Price of Doubt
    Mind 111 (441): 149-152. 2002.