•  269
    Externalism, skepticism, and the problem of easy knowledge
    Philosophical Review 114 (1): 33-61. 2005.
    The paper deals with a version of the principle that a belief source can be a knowledge source only if the subject knows that it is reliable. I argue that the principle can be saved from the main objections that motivate its widespread rejection: the claim that it leads to skepticism, the claim that it forces us to accept counterintuitive knowledge ascriptions and the claim that it is incompatible with reliabilist accounts of knowledge. I argue that naturalist epistemologists should reject these…Read more
  •  200
    Epistemic Disjunctivism and the Evidential Problem
    Analysis 75 (4): 615-627. 2015.
    I argue that Epistemic Disjunctivism doesn’t sustain a successful anti-sceptical strategy. I contend, in particular, that the treatment of scepticism that Duncan Pritchard puts forward on behalf of Epistemic Disjunctivism is unsatisfactory.
  •  177
    How I Know I'm Not a Brain in a Vat
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 64 65-88. 2009.
    I use some ideas of Keith DeRose's to develop an (invariantist!) account of why sceptical reasoning doesn't show that I don't know that I'm not a brain in a vat. I argue that knowledge is subject to the risk-of-error constraint: a true belief won’t have the status of knowledge if there is a substantial risk of the belief being in error that hasn’t been brought under control. When a substantial risk of error is present (i.e. beliefs in propositions that are false in nearby worlds), satisfying the…Read more
  •  164
    Why believe the truth? Shah and Velleman on the aim of belief
    Philosophical Explorations 13 (1). 2010.
    The subject matter of this paper is the view that it is correct, in an absolute sense, to believe a proposition just in case the proposition is true. I take issue with arguments in support of this view put forward by Nishi Shah and David Velleman.
  •  149
    Internalist Foundationalism and the Problem of the Epistemic Regress
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1). 2008.
    I provide a construal of the epistemic regress problem and I take issue with the contention that a foundationalist solution is incompatible with an internalist account of warrant. I sketch a foundationalist solution to the regress problem that respects a plausible version of internalism. I end with the suggestion that the strategy that I have presented is not available only to the traditional versions of foundationalism that ascribe foundational status to experiential beliefs. It can also be use…Read more
  •  139
    In the recent literature on confirmation there are two leading approaches to the provision of a probabilistic measure of the degree to which a hypothesis is confirmed by evidence. The first is to construe the degree to which evidence E confirms hypothesis H as a function that is directly proportional to p and inversely proportional to p . I shall refer to this as the probability approach. The second approach construes the notion as a function that is directly proportional to the true-positive ra…Read more
  •  125
    Towards a nominalist empiricism
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (1). 2001.
    The paper deals with our ability to classify objects as being of a certain kind on the basis of information provided by the senses (empirical classification) and to ascribe empirical predicates to objects on the basis of these classificatory verdicts (empirical predication). I consider, first, the project of construing the episodes in which this ability is exercised as involving universals. I argue that this construal faces epistemological problems concerning our access to the universals that it…Read more
  •  124
    One strand in the rule-following considerations
    Synthese 171 (3): 509-519. 2008.
    I argue that a target of the rule - following considerations is the thought that there are mental episodes in which a consciously accessible item guides me in my decision to respond in a certain way when I follow a rule. I contend that Wittgenstein’s position on this issue invokes a distinction between a literal and a symbolic reading of the claim that these processes of guidance take place. In the literal sense he rejects the claim, but in the symbolic sense he sees nothing wrong with it. I con…Read more
  •  123
    The Tractatus on Logical Consequence
    European Journal of Philosophy 18 (3): 425-442. 2010.
    I discuss the account of logical consequence advanced in Wittgenstein's Tractatus. I argue that the role that elementary propositions are meant to play in this account can be used to explain two remarkable features that Wittgenstein ascribes to them: that they are logically independent from one another and that their components refer to simple objects. I end with a proposal as to how to understand Wittgenstein's claim that all propositions can be analysed as truth functions of elementary proposi…Read more
  •  122
    Bonjour, Externalism and The Regress Problem
    Synthese 148 (1): 135-169. 2006.
    In this paper I assess the two central ingredients of Laurence BonJour’s position on empirical knowledge that have survived the transition from his earlier coherentist views to his current endorsement of the doctrine of the given: his construal of the problem of the epistemic regress and his rejection of an internalist solution to the problem. The bulk of the paper is devoted to a critical assessment of BonJour’s arguments against externalism. I argue that they fail to put real pressure on exter…Read more
  •  112
    Boghossian on inferential knowledge
    Analytic Philosophy 52 (2): 124-139. 2011.
  •  112
    Kripke’s Normativity Argument
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 27 (4): 467-488. 1997.
    In Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, Saul Kripke rejects some of the most popular accounts of what meaning facts consist in on the grounds that they fail to accommodate the normative character of meaning. I argue that a widespread interpretation of Kripke's argument is incorrect. I contend that the argument does not rest on the contrast between descriptive and normative facts, but on the thought that speakers' uses of linguistic expressions have to be justified. I suggest that the line…Read more
  •  93
    Putting Reference Beyond Belief
    Philosophical Studies 91 (3): 221-257. 1998.
    The paper deals with Hilary Putnam's model-theoretic argument against metaphysical realism. It considers the objections to the argument raised by David Lewis, Mark Heller, James van Cleve, Anthony Brueckner and others, to the effect that Putnam's reasoning fails to undermine versions of metaphysical realism which construe reference along externalist lines. I argue that the version of Putnam's argument that his critics have attacked is indeed powerless against externalist accounts of reference, b…Read more
  •  62
    Wittgenstein's Nonsense Objection to Russell's Theory of Judgment
    In Michael Campbell & Michael O’Sullivan (eds.), Wittgenstein and Perception, Routledge. pp. 126-151. 2015.
    I offer an interpretation of Wittgenstein's claim that Russell's theory of judgment fails to show that it's not possible to judge nonsense.
  •  61
  •  60
    Wright on Moore
    In Annalisa Coliva (ed.), Mind, Meaning, and Knowledge: Themes From the Philosophy of Crispin Wright, Oxford University Press. 2012.
    To the sceptic's contention that I don't know that I have hands because I don't know that there is an external world, the Moorean replies that I know that there is an external world because I know that I have hands. Crispin Wright has argued that the Moorean move is illegitimate, and has tried to block it by limiting the applicability of the principle of the transmission of knowledge by inference—the principle that recognising the validity of an inference from known premises generates knowledge …Read more
  •  51
    Wittgenstein on accord
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (3). 2003.
    The paper deals with the interpretation of Wittgenstein's views on the power of occurrent mental states to sort objects or states of affairs as in accord or in conflict with them, as presented in the rule-following passages of the Philosophical Investigations. I shall argue first that the readings advanced by Saul Kripke and John McDowell fail to provide a satisfactory construal of Wittgenstein's treatment of a platonist account of this phenomenon, according to which the sorting power of occurre…Read more
  •  50
    Semantic Normativity and Naturalism
    In Manuel García-Carpintero & Max Kölbel (eds.), The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Language, Continuum International. 2012.
    The paper addresses the question whether semantic naturalism is undermined by the thought that semantic concepts are normative.
  •  49
    Scepticism and Reliable Belief
    Oxford University Press. 2012.
    Reliabilist accounts of knowledge are widely seen as having the resources for blocking sceptical arguments, since these arguments appear to rely on assumptions about the nature of knowledge that are rendered illegitimate by reliabilist accounts. The goal of this book is to assess the main arguments against the possibility of knowledge, and its conclusions challenge this consensus. The book articulates and defends a theory of knowledge that belongs firmly in the truth-tracking tradition, and argu…Read more
  •  44
    Rules, communities and judgement
    Critica 21 (63): 33-58. 1989.
    I endorse Kripke's (Wittgenstein's) conclusion that the standard of correct application required by the notion of rule-following can only be made sense of in terms of intersubjective agreement. This is not to be taken, as Kripke does, merely as providing assertibility conditions, but rather as a genuine account of what normativity consists in. As Blackburn has pointed out, this result entails that the notion of objective judgment is dependent, in a sense, on the shared inclinations of the member…Read more
  •  43
    I take issue with Robert Brandom's claim that on an analysis of knowledge based on objective probabilities it is not possible to provide a stable answer to the question whether a belief has the status of knowledge. I argue that the version of the problem of generality developed by Brandom doesn't undermine a truth-tracking account of noninferential knowledge that construes truth-tacking in terms of conditional probabilities. I then consider Sherrilyn Roush's claim that an account of knowledge ba…Read more
  •  41
    Wittgenstein's Early Philosophy (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2012.
    This volume comprises nine lively and insightful essays by leading scholars on the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, focusing mainly on his early work
  •  41
  •  39
    Realism detranscendentalized
    European Journal of Philosophy 8 (1). 2000.
    The paper develops an account of semantic notions which occupies a middle ground between antirealism and traditional forms of realism, using some ideas from the work of John McDowell. The position is based on a contrast between two points of view from which we might attempt to characterize our linguistic practices from the cosmic exile s point of view and from the midst of language as a going concern. The contrast is drawn in terms of whether our characterization of our linguistic practices is t…Read more
  •  34
    Actualism and Modal Semantics
    Acta Analytica 33 (1): 35-49. 2018.
    According to actualism, modal reality is constructed out of valuations. According to possibilism, modal reality consists in a set of possible worlds, conceived as independent objects that assign truth values to propositions. According to possibilism, accounts of modal reality can intelligibly disagree with each other even if they agree on which valuations are contained in modal reality. According to actualism, these disagreements are completely unintelligible. An essentially actualist semantics …Read more
  •  34
    Inference and Scepticism
    In Elia Zardini & Dylan Dodd (eds.), Scepticism and Perceptual Justification, Oxford University Press. 2014.
    I focus on a family of inferences that are intuitively incapable of producing knowledge of their conclusions, although they appear to satisfy sufficient conditions for inferential knowledge postulated by plausible epistemological theories. They include Moorean inferences and inductive-bootstrapping inferences. I provide an account of why these inferences are not capable of producing knowledge. I argue that the reason why these inferences fail to produce knowledge of their conclusions is that inf…Read more
  •  34
    Predicates, Properties and the Goal of a Theory of Reference
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 51 (1): 121-161. 1996.
    An account of predicate reference is presented which attempts to steer a middle course between reductionism, which construes the notion in terms of speakers' inclinations, and {transcendent) realism, which construes the notion in terms of properties. It is first introduced in the context of a discussion of the accounts of length (distance) advanced by Hans Reichenbach, Adolf Grünbaum and Hilary Putnam. A general account of predicate reference is then developed that explains the notion in terms o…Read more