•  1054
    The problem of multi-peer disagreement concerns the reasonable response to a situation in which you believe P1 … Pn and disagree with a group of ‘epistemic peers’ of yours, who believe ∼P1 … ∼Pn, respectively. However, the problem of multi-peer disagreement is a variant on the preface paradox; because of this the problem poses no challenge to the so-called ‘steadfast view’ in the epistemology of disagreement, on which it is sometimes reasonable to believe P in the face of peer disagreement about…Read more
  •  44
    Mathematical surrealism as an alternative to easy-road fictionalism
    Philosophical Studies 177 (10): 2815-2835. 2020.
    Easy-road mathematical fictionalists grant for the sake of argument that quantification over mathematical entities is indispensable to some of our best scientific theories and explanations. Even so they maintain we can accept those theories and explanations, without believing their mathematical components, provided we believe the concrete world is intrinsically as it needs to be for those components to be true. Those I refer to as “mathematical surrealists” by contrast appeal to facts about the …Read more
  •  66
    Some proponents of the indispensability argument for mathematical realism maintain that the empirical evidence that confirms our best scientific theories and explanations also confirms their pure mathematical components. I show that the falsity of this view follows from three highly plausible theses, two of which concern the nature of mathematical application and the other the nature of empirical confirmation. The first is that the background mathematical theories suitable for use in science are…Read more
  •  60
    Proponents of the explanatory indispensability argument for mathematical platonism maintain that claims about mathematical entities play an essential explanatory role in some of our best scientific explanations. They infer that the existence of mathematical entities is supported by way of inference to the best explanation from empirical phenomena and therefore that there are the same sort of empirical grounds for believing in mathematical entities as there are for believing in concrete unobserva…Read more
  •  31
    In Defense of Conciliar Christology: A Philosophical Essay. By Timothy Pawl (review)
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 91 (3): 495-497. 2017.
  •  73
    The Coincidentalist Reply to the No-Miracles Argument
    Erkenntnis 83 (5): 929-946. 2018.
    Proponents of the no-miracles argument contend that scientific realism is “the only philosophy that doesn’t make the success of science a miracle.” Bas van Fraassen argued, however, that the success of our best theories can be explained in Darwinian terms—by the fact they are survivors of a winnowing process in which unsuccessful theories are rejected. Critics of this selectionist explanation complain that while it may account for the fact we have chosen successful theories, it does not explain …Read more
  •  143
    Existentialism entails anti-haecceitism
    Philosophical Studies 168 (2): 297-326. 2014.
    Existentialism concerning singular propositions is the thesis that singular propositions ontologically depend on the individuals they are directly about in such a way that necessarily, those propositions exist only if the individuals they are directly about exist. Haecceitism is the thesis that what non-qualitative facts there are fails to supervene on what purely qualitative facts there are. I argue that existentialism concerning singular propositions entails the denial of haecceitism and that …Read more
  •  120
    On the equivalence of Goodman’s and Hempel’s paradoxes
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45 32-42. 2014.
    Historically, Nelson Goodman’s paradox involving the predicates ‘grue’ and ‘bleen’ has been taken to furnish a serious blow to Carl Hempel’s theory of confirmation in particular and to purely formal theories of confirmation in general. In this paper, I argue that Goodman’s paradox is no more serious of a threat to Hempel’s theory of confirmation than is Hempel’s own paradox of the ravens. I proceed by developing a suggestion from R. D. Rosenkrantz into an argument for the conclusion that these p…Read more
  •  266
    7 Proper Functionalism
    In Andrew Cullison (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Epistemology, Continuum. pp. 124. 2012.
  •  667
    According to proper functionalist theories of warrant, a belief is warranted only if it is formed by cognitive faculties that are properly functioning according to a good, truth-aimed design plan, one that is often thought to be specified either by intentional design or by natural selection. A formidable challenge to proper functionalist theories is the Swampman objection, according to which there are scenarios involving creatures who have warranted beliefs but whose cognitive faculties are not …Read more
  •  106
    Skeptical theists have been charged with being committed to global skepticism. I consider this objection as it applies to a common variety of skeptical theism based on an epistemological principle that Stephen Wykstra labeled “CORNEA.” I show how a recent reformulation of CORNEA (provided by Stephen Wykstra and Timothy Perrine) affords us with a formal apparatus that allows us to see just where this objection gets a grip on that view, as well as what is needed for an adequate response. I conclud…Read more
  •  32
    Proper Functionalism
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2016.
    Proper Functionalism ‘Proper Functionalism’ refers to a family of epistemological views according to which whether a belief was formed by way of properly functioning cognitive faculties plays a crucial role in whether it has a certain kind of positive epistemic status (such as being an item of knowledge, or a … Continue reading Proper Functionalism →
  •  380
    Non-Moral Evil and the Free Will Defense
    Faith and Philosophy 28 (4): 371-384. 2011.
    Paradigmatic examples of logical arguments from evil are attempts to establish that the following claims are inconsistent with one another: (1) God is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly good. (2) There is evil in the world. Alvin Plantinga’s free will defense resists such arguments by providing a positive case that (1) and (2) are consistent. A weakness in Plantinga’s free will defense, however, is that it does not show that theism is consistent with the proposition that there are non-moral evils…Read more