•  10
    The Philosophical Use and Misuse of Science
    with Tim Dare
    Metaphilosophy 48 (4): 449-466. 2017.
    Science is our best way of finding out about the natural world, and philosophers who write about that world ought to be sensitive to the claims of our best science. There are obstacles, however, to outsiders using science well. We think philosophers are prone to misuse science: to give undue weight to results that are untested; to highlight favorable and ignore unfavorable data; to give illegitimate weight to the authority of science; to leap from scientific premises to philosophical conclusions…Read more
  •  14
    Measuring Critical Thinking About Deeply Held Beliefs: Can the California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory Help?
    with Ilan Goldberg, Tracy Bowell, and Howard Darelle
    Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 30 (1): 40-50. 2015.
    The California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory is a commonly used tool for measuring critical thinking dispositions. However, research on the efficacy of the CCTDI in predicting good thinking about students’ own deeply held beliefs is scant. In this paper we report on our study that was designed to gauge the usefulness of the CCTDI in this context, and take some first steps towards designing a better method for measuring strong sense critical thinking.
  •  8
    There are some beliefs that are difficult to think critically about, even for those who have critical thinking skills and are committed to applying them to their own beliefs. These resistant beliefs are not all of a kind, and so a range of different strategies may be needed to get ourselves and others to think critically about them. In this paper we suggest some such strategies.
  •  3
    Dewey defines open-mindedness as “freedom from prejudice, partisanship, and other such habits as close the mind and make it unwilling to consider new problems and entertain new ideas". It is commonly included in lists of epistemic and argumentative virtues. We begin this paper with brief discussion of various accounts of open-mindedness. Our principle interest is in what it is to behave as an open-minded enquirer. Drawing on two cases, we consider whether open-minded behaviour varies between the…Read more
  •  1
    Content and Function: A Defense of Millikanian Teleosemantics
    Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick. 1999.
    A theory of content is a theory of why it is that our mental states are about what they actually are about: why, for example, my belief that snow is white is about the whiteness of snow rather than, as it might be, the greenness of grass. A teleological theory of content is one which accounts for the content of mental states in terms of the functions of either the mental states themselves or the mechanisms which produce them. In this dissertation I defend a particular teleological theory of cont…Read more
  •  572
    Putting the Burden of Proof in Its Place: When Are Differential Allocations Legitimate?
    with Tim Dare
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (4): 503-518. 2008.
    To have the burden of proof is to be rationally required to argue for or provide evidence for your position. To have a heavier burden than an opponent is to be rationally required to provide better evidence or better arguments than they are required to provide. Many commentators suggest that differential or uneven distribution of the burden of proof is ubiquitous. In reasoned discourse, the idea goes, it is almost always the case that one party must prove the claim at issue to prevent the opposi…Read more
  •  62
    Learning and selection
    Biology and Philosophy 23 (4): 493-507. 2008.
    Are learning processes selection processes? This paper takes a slightly modified version of the account of selection presented in Hull et al. (Behav Brain Sci 24:511–527, 2001) and asks whether it applies to learning processes. The answer is that although some learning processes are selectional, many are not. This has consequences for teleological theories of mental content. According to these theories, mental states have content in virtue of having proper functions, and they have proper functio…Read more
  •  11
    The Artful Species, by Stephen Davies
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4): 804-807. 2013.
    No abstract
  •  227
    Millikan and Her Critics (edited book)
    Wiley. 2013.
    Millikan and Her Critics offers a unique critical discussion of Ruth Millikan's highly regarded, influential, and systematic contributions to philosophy of mind and language, philosophy of biology, epistemology, and metaphysics. These newly written contributions present discussion from some of the most important philosophers in the field today and include replies from Millikan herself.