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.
  •  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
  •  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
  • 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.
  •  13
    Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4): 913-929. 1992.
  •  17
    Skepticism: A Contemporary Reader (edited book)
    with Ted A. Warfield
    Oxford University Press. 1999.
    Recently, new life has been breathed into the ancient philosophical topic of skepticism. The subject of some of the best and most provocative work in contemporary philosophy, skepticism has been addressed not only by top epistemologists but also by several of the world's finest philosophers who are most known for their work in other areas of the discipline. Skepticism: A Contemporary Reader brings together the most important recent contributions to the discussion of skepticism. Covering major ap…Read more
  •  128
    This is the text for a presentation I gave at the Eastern Division Meetings of the American Philosophical Association in Washington, D.C. on December 28, 1998. It was written very quickly, and I haven't had time to go back and fix it up, but I probably won't have time to fix it up any time soon, and several people have requested copies, so I don't see any harm in making it available. Please remember that it is a draft, and don't quote it without permission.
  •  101
    Relevant Alternatives and the Content of Knowledge Attributions
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (1). 1996.
    In “Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions,” I argue that advocates of the “Relevant Alternatives” theory of knowledge fall into certain mistakes result if they tie the content of a knowledge attribution, on a given occasion of use, too tightly to what the range of relevant alternatives is on that occasion, and I sketch an alternative approach to the issues involved that avoids such mistakes. In “The Shifting Content of Knowledge Attributions,” Anthony Brueckner charges that my own account of …Read more
  •  69
  •  143
    Virtually all monotheistic religions profess that there is a divine being who is extremely powerful, knowledgeable, and good. The evils of this world present various challenges for such religions. The starkest challenge is directed toward views that posit a being whose power, knowledge, and goodness are not just immense, but are as great as can be: an omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good being (for short, an oopg being). For it would seem that such a being would have the power, the knowled…Read more
  •  233
    How Can We Know that We’re Not Brains in Vats?
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (Supplement): 121-148. 2000.
    This should be fairly close to the text of this paper as it appears in The Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (2000), Spindel Conference Supplement: 121-148.
  •  212
    The problem with subject-sensitive invariantism
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (2). 2004.
    Thomas Blackson does not question that my argument in section 2 of “Assertion, Knowledge and Context” establishes the conclusion that the standards that comprise a truth-condition for “I know that P” vary with context, but does claim that this does not suffice to validly demonstrate the truth of contextualism, because this variance in standards can be handled by what we will here call Subject-Sensitive Invariantism (SSI), and so does not demand a contextualist treatment. According to SSI, the va…Read more
  •  60
    Against Barnett (2012), I argue that the theory I advance in DeRose 2010 is best construed as one on which ‘"were"ed-up’ future-directed conditionals like ‘If the house were not to be painted, it would soon look quite shabby’ are, in ways important to how they function in deliberation, different in literal content from their ‘straightforward’ counterparts like ‘If the house is not painted, it will soon look quite shabby’. I also defend my way of classifying future-directed conditionals against a…Read more
  •  1282
    Solving the skeptical problem
    Philosophical Review 104 (1): 1-52. 1995.
  •  167
    Conditional assertions and "biscuit" conditionals
    with Richard E. Grandy
    Noûs 33 (3): 405-420. 1999.
    kind of joke to ask what is the case if the antecedent is false—“And where are the biscuits if I don’t want any?”, “And what’s on PBS if I’m not interested?”, “And who shot Kennedy if that’s not what I’m asking?”. With normal indicative conditionals like.
  •  1
    Review of stanley (2005) (review)
    Mind 116 (2007): 116. 2007.
  •  27
    Precis of The Case for Contextualism
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3): 675-677. 2012.
  •  150
    I should be clear at the outset about what I'll mean -- and won't mean -- by "universalism." As I'll use it, "universalism" refers to the position that eventually all human beings will be saved and will enjoy everlasting life with Christ. This is compatible with the view that God will punish many people after death, and many universalists accept that there will be divine retribution, although some may not. What universalism does commit one to is that such punishment won't last forever. Universal…Read more
  •  110
    Review of Knowledge and its limits
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (4): 573-577. 2002.
  •  139
    A few years back, I participated in the Spindell Conference in Memphis, and gave a paper, “How Can We Know That We’re Not Brains in Vats?” (available on-line at: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~kd47/Spindell.htm). The bulk of that paper concerned responses to skepticism. I pursued an unusually radical criticism of the often-criticized “Putnam-style” responses to skepticism. To put it rather enigmatically, I argued that such responses don’t work even if they work! And I compared such responses with the…Read more
  •  163
    The Conditionals of Deliberation
    Mind 119 (473): 1-42. 2010.
    Practical deliberation often involves conditional judgements about what will (likely) happen if certain alternatives are pursued. It is widely assumed that the conditionals useful in deliberation are counterfactual or subjunctive conditionals. Against this, I argue that the conditionals of deliberation are indicatives. Key to the argument is an account of the relation between 'straightforward' future-directed conditionals like ' If the house is not painted, it will soon look quite shabby' and * …Read more
  •  360
    Contextualism, contrastivism, and X-Phi surveys
    Philosophical Studies 156 (1): 81-110. 2011.
    I will here sharply oppose all the phases of the story Schaffer & Knobe tell. In Part 1 we will look at the supposed empirical case against standard contextualism, and in Part 2 we will investigate Schaffer & Knobe’s supposed empirical case for the superiority of contrastivism over standard contextualism.
  •  132
    Simple 'might's, indicative possibilities and the open future
    Philosophical Quarterly 48 (190): 67-82. 1998.
    are ambiguous. In the mouth of someone who cannot remember whether it was Michael, or rather someone else, who was top scorer, can express the epistemic possibility that Michael led the league in scoring. But from someone who knows that Michael did not even play last season, but is wondering what would have happened if he had, means something quite different. Now where it has this quite different meaning, may still turn out to be the expression of some epistemic possibility. Perhaps where does not…Read more