•  1225
    People suffering from severe monothematic delusions, such as Capgras, Fregoli, or Cotard patients, regularly assert extraordinary and unlikely things. For example, some say that their loved ones have been replaced by impostors. A popular view in philosophy and cognitive science is that such monothematic delusions aren't beliefs because they don't guide behaviour and affect in the way that beliefs do. Or, if they are beliefs, they are somehow anomalous, atypical, or marginal beliefs. We present e…Read more
  •  941
    On the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (2): 312-326. 2010.
    I argue against the orthodox view of the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification. The view under criticism is: if p is propositionally justified for S in virtue of S's having reason R, and S believes p on the basis of R, then S's belief that p is doxastically justified. I then propose and evaluate alternative accounts of the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification, and conclude that we should explain propositional justification in terms of doxastic jus…Read more
  •  796
    Pedagogy is a pillar of human culture and society. Telling each other information and showing each other how to do things comes naturally to us. A strong case has been made that declarative knowledge is the norm of assertion, which is our primary way of telling others information. This article presents an analogous case for the hypothesis that procedural knowledge is the norm of instructional demonstration, which is a primary way of showing others how to do things. Knowledge is the norm of telli…Read more
  •  791
    Is knowledge justified true belief?
    Synthese 184 (3): 247-259. 2012.
    Is knowledge justified true belief? Most philosophers believe that the answer is clearly ‘no’, as demonstrated by Gettier cases. But Gettier cases don’t obviously refute the traditional view that knowledge is justified true belief (JTB). There are ways of resisting Gettier cases, at least one of which is partly successful. Nevertheless, when properly understood, Gettier cases point to a flaw in JTB, though it takes some work to appreciate just what it is. The nature of the flaw helps us better u…Read more
  •  771
    Manifest Failure: The Gettier Problem Solved
    Philosophers' Imprint 11. 2011.
    This paper provides a principled and elegant solution to the Gettier problem. The key move is to draw a general metaphysical distinction and conscript it for epistemological purposes. Section 1 introduces the Gettier problem. Sections 2–5 discuss instructively wrong or incomplete previous proposals. Section 6 presents my solution and explains its virtues. Section 7 answers the most common objection.
  •  690
    [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
  •  683
    Virtue Epistemology
    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
  •  650
    Contingent A Priori Knowledge
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2): 327-344. 2011.
    I argue that you can have a priori knowledge of propositions that neither are nor appear necessarily true. You can know a priori contingent propositions that you recognize as such. This overturns a standard view in contemporary epistemology and the traditional view of the a priori, which restrict a priori knowledge to necessary truths, or at least to truths that appear necessary
  •  641
    The ontology of epistemic reasons
    Noûs 43 (3): 490-512. 2009.
    Epistemic reasons are mental states. They are not propositions or non-mental facts. The discussion proceeds as follows. Section 1 introduces the topic. Section 2 gives two concrete examples of how our topic directly affects the internalism/externalism debate in normative epistemology. Section 3 responds to an argument against the view that reasons are mental states. Section 4 presents two problems for the view that reasons are propositions. Section 5 presents two problems for the view that reaso…Read more
  •  510
    Belief through Thick and Thin
    Noûs 49 (4): 748-775. 2015.
    We distinguish between two categories of belief—thin belief and thick belief—and provide evidence that they approximate genuinely distinct categories within folk psychology. We use the distinction to make informative predictions about how laypeople view the relationship between knowledge and belief. More specifically, we show that if the distinction is genuine, then we can make sense of otherwise extremely puzzling recent experimental findings on the entailment thesis (i.e. the widely held philo…Read more
  •  437
    Centuries ago, Descartes and Locke initiated a foundational debate in epistemology over the relationship between knowledge, on the one hand, and practical factors, on the other. Descartes claimed that knowledge and practice are fundamentally separate. Locke claimed that knowledge and practice are fundamentally united. After a period of dormancy, their disagreement has reignited on the contemporary scene. Latter-day Lockeans claim that knowledge itself is essentially connected to, and perhaps eve…Read more
  •  434
    Knowledge before Belief
    with Jonathan Phillips, Wesley Buckwalter, Fiery Cushman, Ori Friedman, Alia Martin, Laurie Santos, and Joshua Knobe
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1-37. forthcoming.
    Research on the capacity to understand others’ minds has tended to focus on representations of beliefs, which are widely taken to be among the most central and basic theory of mind representations. Representations of knowledge, by contrast, have received comparatively little attention and have often been understood as depending on prior representations of belief. After all, how could one represent someone as knowing something if one doesn't even represent them as believing it? Drawing on a wide …Read more
  •  421
    Epistemic invariantism and speech act contextualism
    Philosophical Review 119 (1): 77-95. 2010.
    In this essay I show how to reconcile epistemic invariantism with the knowledge account of assertion. My basic proposal is that we can comfortably combine invariantism with the knowledge account of assertion by endorsing contextualism about speech acts. My demonstration takes place against the backdrop of recent contextualist attempts to usurp the knowledge account of assertion, most notably Keith DeRose's influential argument that the knowledge account of assertion spells doom for invariantism …Read more
  •  400
    Personal identity and persisting as many
    with Sara Weaver
    In Tania Lombrozo, Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, volume 2, Oxford University Press. pp. 213-242. 2018.
    Many philosophers hypothesize that our concept of personal identity is partly constituted by the one-person-one-place rule, which states that a person can only be in one place at a time. This hypothesis has been assumed by the most influential contemporary work on personal identity. In this paper, we report a series of studies testing whether the hypothesis is true. In these studies, people consistently judged that the same person existed in two different places at the same time. This result und…Read more
  •  391
    Foundationalism for Modest Infinitists
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (2): 275-283. 2010.
    Infinitists argue that their view outshines foundationalism because infinitism can, whereas foundationalism cannot, explain two of epistemic justification’s crucial features: it comes in degrees and it can be complete. I present four different ways that foundationalists could make sense of those two features of justification, thereby undermining the case for infinitism.
  •  378
    Reasons, Answers, and Goals
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (4): 491-499. 2012.
    I discuss two arguments against the view that reasons are propositions. I consider responses to each argument, including recent responses due to Mark Schroeder, and suggest further responses of my own. In each case, the discussion proceeds by comparing reasons to answers and goals
  •  377
    On the regress argument for infinitism
    Synthese 166 (1). 2009.
    This paper critically evaluates the regress argument for infinitism. The dialectic is essentially this. Peter Klein argues that only an infinitist can, without being dogmatic, enhance the credibility of a questioned non-evident proposition. In response, I demonstrate that a foundationalist can do this equally well. Furthermore, I explain how foundationalism can provide for infinite chains of justification. I conclude that the regress argument for infinitism should not convince us.
  •  373
    Gettier Cases: A Taxonomy
    with Peter Blouw and Wesley Buckwalter
    In R. Borges, C. de Almeida & P. Klein (eds.), Explaining Knowledge: New Essays on the Gettier Problem, Oxford University Press. pp. 242-252. 2017.
    The term “Gettier Case” is a technical term frequently applied to a wide array of thought experiments in contemporary epistemology. What do these cases have in common? It is said that they all involve a justified true belief which, intuitively, is not knowledge, due to a form of luck called “Gettiering.” While this very broad characterization suffices for some purposes, it masks radical diversity. We argue that the extent of this diversity merits abandoning the notion of a “Gettier case” in…Read more
  •  370
    Believing For a Reason
    Erkenntnis 74 (3): 383-397. 2011.
    This paper explains what it is to believe something for a reason. My thesis is that you believe something for a reason just in case the reason non-deviantly causes your belief. In the course of arguing for my thesis, I present a new argument that reasons are causes, and offer an informative account of causal non-deviance.
  •  311
    Pyrrhonian Skepticism Meets Speech-Act Theory
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 2 (2): 83-98. 2012.
    This paper applies speech-act theory to craft a new response to Pyrrhonian skepticism and diagnose its appeal. Carefully distinguishing between different levels of language-use and noting their interrelations can help us identify a subtle mistake in a key Pyrrhonian argument
  •  309
    In Gettier's Wake
    In Stephen Hetherington (ed.), Epistemology: the key thinkers, Continuum. 2012.
    A critical review of “Gettier” cases and theoretical attempts to solve “the” "Gettier" "problem".
  •  292
    In the Thick of Moral Motivation
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2): 433-453. 2017.
    We accomplish three things in this paper. First, we provide evidence that the motivational internalism/externalism debate in moral psychology could be a false dichotomy born of ambiguity. Second, we provide further evidence for a crucial distinction between two different categories of belief in folk psychology: thick belief and thin belief. Third, we demonstrate how careful attention to deep features of folk psychology can help diagnose and defuse seemingly intractable philosophical disagreement…Read more
  •  290
    Knowledge and Luck
    with Wesley Buckwalter and Peter Blouw
    Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 22 (2): 378-390. 2015.
    Nearly all success is due to some mix of ability and luck. But some successes we attribute to the agent’s ability, whereas others we attribute to luck. To better understand the criteria distinguishing credit from luck, we conducted a series of four studies on knowledge attributions. Knowledge is an achievement that involves reaching the truth. But many factors affecting the truth are beyond our control and reaching the truth is often partly due to luck. Which sorts of luck are compatible with kn…Read more
  •  288
    A conspicuous art: putting Gettier to the test
    Philosophers' Imprint 13. 2013.
    Professional philosophers say it’s obvious that a Gettier subject does not know. But experimental philosophers and psychologists have argued that laypeople and non-Westerners view Gettier subjects very differently, based on experiments where laypeople tend to ascribe knowledge to Gettier subjects. I argue that when effectively probed, laypeople and non-Westerners unambiguously agree that Gettier subjects do not know.
  •  280
    Assertion is fundamental to our lives as social and cognitive beings. Philosophers have recently built an impressive case that the norm of assertion is factive. That is, you should make an assertion only if it is true. Thus far the case for a factive norm of assertion been based on observational data. This paper adds experimental evidence in favor of a factive norm from six studies. In these studies, an assertion’s truth value dramatically affects whether people think it should be made. Whereas …Read more
  •  274
    Moderate scientism in philosophy
    In Jereon de Ridder, Rik Peels & René van Woudenberg (eds.), Scientism: Prospects and Problems, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    Moderate scientism is the view that empirical science can help answer questions in nonscientific disciplines. In this paper, we evaluate moderate scientism in philosophy. We review several ways that science has contributed to research in epistemology, action theory, ethics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind. We also review several ways that science has contributed to our understanding of how philosophers make judgments and decisions. Based on this research, we conclude that the case…Read more
  •  273
    A New And Improved Argument For A Necessary Being
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2). 2011.
    I suggest two improvements to Joshua Rasmussen’s intriguing recent argument that a causally powerful being necessarily exists.
  •  261
    This paper clarifies and evaluates a premise of William Alston’s argument in Perceiving God. The premise in question: if it is practically rational to engage in a doxastic practice, then it is epistemically rational to suppose that said practice is reliable. I first provide the background needed to understand how this premise fits into Alston’s main argument. I then present Alston’s main argument, and proceed to clarify, criticize, modify, and ultimately reject Alston’s argument for the premise …Read more
  •  250
    We report two experiments exploring the perception of how contemporary philosophy is often conducted. We find that (1) participants associate philosophy with the practice of conducting thought experiments and collating intuitions about them, and (2) that this form of inquiry is viewed much less favourably than the typical form of inquiry in psychology: research conducted by teams using controlled experiments and observation. We also found (3) an effect whereby relying on intuition is viewed more…Read more
  •  244
    This paper tests a theory about the relationship between two important topics in moral philosophy and psychology. One topic is the function of normative language, specifically claims that one “ought” to do something. Do these claims function to describe moral responsibilities, encourage specific behavior, or both? The other topic is the relationship between saying that one “ought” to do something and one’s ability to do it. In what respect, if any, does what one “ought” to do exceed what one “ca…Read more