University of California, Los Angeles
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 1990
New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America
  •  16
    Précis of The Appearance of Ignorance: Knowledge, Skepticism, and Context, Vol. 2
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10 (1): 1-3. 2020.
    The Appearance of Ignorance develops and champions contextualist solutions to the puzzles of skeptical hypotheses and of lotteries. It is argued that, at least by ordinary standards for knowledge, we do know that skeptical hypotheses are false, and that we’ve lost the lottery. Accounting for how it is that we know that skeptical hypotheses are false and why it seems that we don’t know that they’re false tells us a lot, both about what knowledge is and how knowledge attributions work. Along the w…Read more
  •  4
    Replies to Commentators
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10 (1): 68-104. 2020.
    Replies are given to comments, questions, and objections to The Appearance of Ignorance. The reply to Robin McKenna focuses mainly on his questions of whether, with the skeptical argument I’m focused on, a strong enough appearance of ignorance is generated to require an account of that appearance, and whether, to the extent that we do need to account for that appearance, we might do so without contextualism by adopting a solution proposed by Ernest Sosa. The reply to Michael Blome-Tillman focuse…Read more
  •  11
    Thomas Reid on Freedom and Morality
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (4): 945-949. 1993.
  •  16
    Précis of The Appearance of Ignorance: Knowledge, Skepticism, and Context, Vol. 2
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 9 (3): 321-323. 2019.
    The Appearance of Ignorance develops and champions contextualist solutions to the puzzles of skeptical hypotheses and of lotteries. It is argued that, at least by ordinary standards for knowledge, we do know that skeptical hypotheses are false, and that we’ve lost the lottery. Accounting for how it is that we know that skeptical hypotheses are false and why it seems that we don’t know that they’re false tells us a lot, both about what knowledge is and how knowledge attributions work. Along the w…Read more
  •  21
    Replies to Commentators
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 9 (3): 284-320. 2019.
    Replies are given to comments, questions, and objections to The Appearance of Ignorance. The reply to Robin McKenna focuses mainly on his questions of whether, with the skeptical argument I’m focused on, a strong enough appearance of ignorance is generated to require an account of that appearance, and whether, to the extent that we do need to account for that appearance, we might do so without contextualism by adopting a solution proposed by Ernest Sosa. The reply to Michael Blome-Tillman focuse…Read more
  • Solving the Skeptical Problem
    In Keith DeRose & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Skepticism: A Contemporary Reader, Oup Usa. 1995.
  •  1
    Knowledge and its Limits
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (4): 573-577. 2002.
  • Knowledge, Epistemic Possibility, and Scepticism
    Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles. 1990.
    In Chapter 1, I defend contextualism--the view that the standards for knowing that a subject must live up to in order for sentences attributing knowledge to her to be true vary according to various features of the contexts in which these sentences are uttered. ;In Chapter 2, I propose and defend a hypothesis as to the truth conditions of epistemic modal statements; I argue that if it is epistemically possible from a subject's point of view that not-p, then she does not know that p; and, since, a…Read more
  •  2
    Keith DeRose presents, develops, and defends original solutions to two of the stickiest problems in epistemology: skeptical hypotheses and the lottery problem. He deploys a powerful version of contextualism, the view that the epistemic standards for the attribution of knowledge vary with context.
  •  91
    Can it be that it would have been even though it might not have been?
    Philosophical Perspectives 13 385-413. 1999.
    The score was tied in the bottom of the ninth, I was on third base, and there was only one out when Bubba hit a towering fly ball to deep left-center. Although I’m no speed-demon, the ball was hammered so far that I easily could have scored the winning run if I had tagged up. But I didn’t. I got caught up in the excitement and stupidly played it half way, standing between third and home until I saw the center fielder make his spectacular catch, after which I had to return sheepishly to third. Th…Read more
  •  204
    Single scoreboard semantics
    Philosophical Studies 119 (1-2): 1-21. 2004.
    What happens to the "conversational score" when speakers in a conversation push the score for a context-sensitive term in different directions? In epistemology, contextualists are often construed as holding that both the skeptic ("You don't know!") and her opponent ("Oh, yes I do!") speak truthfully when they debate. This assumes a "multiple scoreboards" version of contextualism. But contextualists themselves typically opt for "single scoreboard" views on which such apparently competing claims r…Read more
  •  22
    ``Assertion, Knowledge, and Context"
    Philosophical Review 111 (2): 167-203. 2002.
    This paper brings together two positions that for the most part have been developed and defended independently of one another: contextualism about knowledge attributions and the knowledge account of assertion.
  •  236
    Ought we to follow our evidence?
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (3): 697-706. 2000.
    fits our evidence.[1] I will propose some potential counter-examples to test this evidentialist thesis. My main intention in presenting the “counter-examples” is to better understand Feldman’s evidentialism, and evidentialism in general. How are we to understand what our evidence is, how it works, and how are we to understand the phrase “epistemically ought to believe” such that evidentialism might make sense as a plausible thesis in light of the examples? Of course, we may decide that there’s n…Read more
  •  307
    Knowledge, assertion and lotteries
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4). 1996.
    In some lottery situations, the probability that your ticket's a loser can get very close to 1. Suppose, for instance, that yours is one of 20 million tickets, only one of which is a winner. Still, it seems that (1) You don't know yours is a loser and (2) You're in no position to flat-out assert that your ticket is a loser. "It's probably a loser," "It's all but certain that it's a loser," or even, "It's quite certain that it's a loser" seem quite alright to say, but, it seems, you're in no posi…Read more
  •  18
    Thomas Reid on Freedom and Morality (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (4): 945-949. 1993.
  •  33
    Deterrent threats: What can matter (review)
    Philosophical Studies 67 (3). 1992.
  •  83
    Work in progress. Will probably split into two papers, and then, perhaps, later, will be brought back together, along with other material, into something larger. (All this only if it works out OK!).
  •  689
    Contextualism and knowledge attributions
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4): 913-929. 1992.
  •  140
    exactly as the essay appears in Skepticism. It's pretty close, though. In the version that appears in the book, page references to other essays in Skepticism refer to page numbers in the book, while below page references are, for the most part, to the original place of publication of the essays referred to. Also, I below make one correction (in red) of a factual error..
  •  1
    Questioning evidentialism
    In Trent Dougherty (ed.), Evidentialism and its Discontents, Oxford University Press. 2011.
  •  19
    Moore and Wittgenstein on Certainty (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (1): 238-241. 1998.
  •  109
    A critical examination of Alvin Plantinga's attempted defense against the dreaded "Great Pumpkin Objection" to his theistic-belief-as-properly-basic religious epistemology.
  •  254
    Gradable adjectives: A defence of pluralism
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1): 141-160. 2008.
    This paper attacks the Implicit Reference Class Theory of gradable adjectives and proposes instead a ?pluralist? approach to the semantics of those terms, according to which they can be governed by a variety of different types of standards, one, but only one, of which is the group-indexed standards utilized by the Implicit Reference Class Theory
  •  277
    I present the features of the ordinary use of 'knows' that make a compelling case for the contextualist account of that verb, and I outline and defend the methodology that takes us from the data to a contextualist conclusion. Along the way, the superiority of contextualism over subject-sensitive invariantism is defended, and, in the final section, I answer some objections to contextualism.
  •  238
    Fortunately for those of us who work on the topic, Ernie Sosa has devoted much of his (seemingly inexhaustible) intellectual energy to the problem of philosophical skepticism. And to great effect. With the three exceptions of Peter Unger, whose 1975 Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism is a grossly under-appreciated classic of epistemology; Timothy Williamson, whose 2000 Knowledge and its Limits is, I hope, on its way to being a less underappreciated classic; and Thomas Reid, I have benefitted more …Read more
  •  1
    Review of Moore and Wittgenstein on Certainty by Avrum Stroll (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (1): 234-8. 1998.