•  740
    Moderate Epistemic Expressivism
    Philosophical Studies 163 (2): 337-357. 2013.
    The present paper argues that there are at least two equally plausible yet mutually incompatible answers to the question of what is of non-instrumental epistemic value. The hypothesis invoked to explain how this can be so—moderate epistemic expressivism—holds that (a) claims about epistemic value express nothing but commitments to particular goals of inquiry, and (b) there are at least two viable conceptions of those goals. It is shown that such expressivism survives recent arguments against a m…Read more
  •  499
    On Epistemic Agency
    Dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. 2010.
    Every time we act in an effort to attain our epistemic goals, we express our epistemic agency. The present study argues that a proper understanding of the actions and goals relevant to expressions of such agency can be used to make ameliorative recommendations about how the ways in which we actually express our agency can be brought in line with how we should express our agency. More specifically, it is argued that the actions relevant to such expressions should be identified with the variety of…Read more
  •  459
    Why Deliberative Democracy is (Still) Untenable
    Public Affairs Quarterly 26 (3): 199-220. 2012.
    A common objection to deliberative democracy is that available evidence on public ignorance makes it unlikely that social deliberation among the public is a process likely to yield accurate outputs. The present paper considers—and ultimately rejects—two responses to this objection. The first response is that the correct conclusion to draw from the evidence is simply that we must work harder to ensure that the deliberative process improves the deliberators’ epistemic situation. The main problem f…Read more
  •  447
    Intuitions in epistemology: Towards a naturalistic alternative
    Studia Philosophica Estonica 2 (2): 15-34. 2009.
    The present paper revisits the main methodological problems with conceptual analysis and considers two attempts to rectify them in terms of prototypes and reflective equilibria, respectively. Finding both wanting for the purposes of epistemological analysis, a naturalistic alternative is then sketched that explores the positive implications of aforementioned problems for the demarcation of the respective roles of intuitions and empirical investigation within three epistemological domains, viz., …Read more
  •  424
    In Defense of Veritistic Value Monism
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1): 19-40. 2013.
    Recently, veritistic value monism, i.e. the idea that true belief is unique in being of fundamental epistemic value, has come under attack by pluralist philosophers arguing that it cannot account fully for the domain of epistemic value. However, the relevant arguments fail to establish any such thing. For one thing, there is a presumption of monism due to considerations about axiological parsimony. While such a presumption would be defeated by evidence that the relevant kind of monism cannot acc…Read more
  •  266
    What Descartes Did Not Know
    Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (3): 297-311. 2010.
    Descartes’ epistemologies of meditation and sense imply that we cannot know anything about the mind-body union, either in the Cartesian sense of having scientia or, more interestingly, in terms of any other concept of knowledge available to Descartes. After considering the implications of this conclusion for what we may know about mind-body interaction, it becomes clear that, on Descartes’ view, we at best can be said to know that mind-body interaction, if it does in fact take place, does not vi…Read more
  •  224
    A Defence of Epistemic Consequentialism
    with Jeffrey Dunn
    Philosophical Quarterly 64 (257): 541-551. 2014.
    Epistemic consequentialists maintain that the epistemically right (e.g., the justified) is to be understood in terms of conduciveness to the epistemic good (e.g., true belief). Given the wide variety of epistemological approaches that assume some form of epistemic consequentialism, and the controversies surrounding consequentialism in ethics, it is surprising that epistemic consequentialism remains largely uncontested. However, in a recent paper, Selim Berker has provided arguments that allegedl…Read more
  •  186
    Dream Skepticism and the Conditionality Problem
    Erkenntnis 75 (1): 45-60. 2011.
    Recently, Ernest Sosa (2007) has proposed two novel solutions to the problem of dream skepticism. In the present paper, I argue that Sosa’s first solution falls prey to what I will refer to as the conditionality problem, i.e., the problem of only establishing a conditional—in this case, if x, then I am awake, x being a placeholder for a condition incompatible with dreaming—in a context where it also needs to be established that we can know that the antecedent holds, and as such can infer the con…Read more
  •  166
    What’s so Good about a Wise and Knowledgeable Public?
    Acta Analytica 27 (2): 199-216. 2012.
    Political philosophers have been concerned for some time with the epistemic caliber of the general public, qua the body that is, ultimately, tasked with political decision-making in democratic societies. Unfortunately, the empirical data paints a pretty dismal picture here, indicating that the public tends to be largely ignorant on the issues relevant to governance. To make matters worse, social psychological research on how ignorance tends to breed overconfidence gives us reason to believe that…Read more
  •  165
    Getting it right
    Philosophical Studies 166 (2): 329-347. 2013.
    Truth monism is the idea that only true beliefs are of fundamental epistemic value. The present paper considers three objections to truth monism, and argues that, while the truth monist has plausible responses to the first two objections, the third objection suggests that truth monism should be reformulated. On this reformulation, which we refer to as accuracy monism, the fundamental epistemic goal is accuracy, where accuracy is a matter of “getting it right.” The idea then developed is that acc…Read more
  •  144
    Reliabilism -- the view that a belief is justified iff it is produced by a reliable process -- is often characterized as a form of consequentialism. Recently, critics of reliabilism have suggested that, since a form of consequentialism, reliabilism condones a variety of problematic trade-offs, involving cases where someone forms an epistemically deficient belief now that will lead her to more epistemic value later. In the present paper, we argue that the relevant argument against reliabilism fai…Read more
  •  135
    The epistemology of inclusiveness
    with Klemens Kappel and Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen
    Synthese 190 (7): 1185-1188. 2013.
  •  126
    Epistemology and empirical investigation
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 76 (1): 109-134. 2008.
    Recently, Hilary Kornblith has argued that epistemological investigation is substantially empirical. In the present paper, I will first show that his claim is not contingent upon the further and, admittedly, controversial assumption that all objects of epistemological investigation are natural kinds. Then, I will argue that, contrary to what Kornblith seems to assume, this methodological contention does not imply that there is no need for attending to our epistemic concepts in epistemology. Unde…Read more
  •  112
    Against The Bifurcation Of Virtue
    Noûs 51 (2): 291-301. 2015.
    It has become customary in the virtue epistemological literature to distinguish between responsibilist and reliabilist virtue theories. More recently, certain problems affecting the former have prompted epistemologists to suggest that this distinction in virtue theory maps on to a distinction in virtue, specifically between character and faculty virtue. I argue that we lack good reason to bifurcate virtue in this manner, and that this moreover counts in favor of the virtue reliabilist.
  •  109
    It is a well-established fact that we tend to underestimate our susceptibility to cognitive bias on account of overconfidence, and thereby often fail to listen to intellectual advice aimed at reducing such bias. This is the problem of intellectual deference. The present paper considers this problem in contexts where educators attempt to teach students how to avoid bias for purposes of instilling epistemic virtues. It is argued that recent research in social psychology suggests that we can come t…Read more
  •  95
    Review of Robert B. Talisse, Democracy and Moral Conflict (Cambridge UP, 2009) (review)
    Philosophical Quarterly 61 (244): 666-668. 2011.
    The review argues that Talisse's epistemic defense of democracy in his "Democracy and Moral Conflict," albeit novel and interesting, falls prey to an epistemic analogue of the problem of reasonable moral pluralism that Rawls famously posed for moral justifications of democracy.
  •  91
    Meno and the Monist
    Metaphilosophy 44 (1-2): 157-170. 2013.
    Recent critiques of veritistic value monism, or the idea that true belief is unique in being of fundamental epistemic value, typically invoke a claim about the surplus value of knowledge over mere true belief, in turn traced back to Plato's Meno. However, to the extent Plato at all defends a surplus claim in the Meno, it differs from that figuring in contemporary discussions with respect to both its scope and the kind of value at issue, and is under closer scrutiny fully compatible with veritist…Read more
  •  86
  •  80
    Epistemic Consequentialism (edited book)
    with Jeff Dunn
    Oxford University Press. 2018.
    An important issue in epistemology concerns the source of epistemic normativity. Epistemic consequentialism maintains that epistemic norms are genuine norms in virtue of the way in which they are conducive to epistemic value, whatever epistemic value may be. So, for example, the epistemic consequentialist might say that it is a norm that beliefs should be consistent, in that holding consistent beliefs is the best way to achieve the epistemic value of accuracy. Thus epistemic consequentialism is …Read more
  •  78
    Recently, it has become popular to account for knowledge and other epistemic states in terms of epistemic virtues. The present paper focuses on an epistemic virtue relevant when deferring to others in testimonial contexts. It is argued that, while many virtue epistemologists will accept that epistemic virtue can be exhibited in cases involving epistemically motivated hearers, carefully vetting their testimonial sources for signs of untrustworthiness prior to deferring, anyone who accepts that al…Read more
  •  78
    Rational trust
    with Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen and Klemens Kappel
    Synthese 191 (9): 1953-1955. 2014.
  •  76
    Epistemic Paternalism: A Defence
    Palgrave-Macmillan. 2013.
    We know that we are fallible creatures, liable to cognitive bias. But we also have a strong and stubborn tendency to overestimate our reasoning capacities. This presents a problem for any attempt to help us reason in more accurate ways: While we might see the point of others heeding intellectual advice and relying on reasoning aids, each and every one of us will tend not to see the point of doing so ourselves. The present book argues that the solution to this problem lies in accepting a form of …Read more
  •  62
    The Epistemic Virtue of Deference
    In Heather Battaly (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Virtue Epistemology, Routledge. forthcoming.
    To the consequentialist, virtues are dispositions producing beneficial consequences. After outlining a consequentialist theory of epistemic virtue, I offer an account of an epistemic virtue of deference, manifested to the extent that we are disposed to defer to, and only to, people who speak the truth. I then look at what informed sources can do to instill such virtues of deference, in light of social-psychological evidence on compliance. It turns out that one way of doing so is through a comple…Read more
  •  61
    Epistemic Perfectionism and Liberal Democracy
    Social Philosophy Today 29 49-58. 2013.
    Robert Talisse’s recent attempt to justify liberal democracy in epistemic terms is in many ways a breath of fresh air. However, in the present paper we argue that his defense faces two inter-related problems. The first problem pertains to his defense of liberalism, and owes to the fact that a commitment to the folk-epistemological norms in terms of which he makes his case does not commit one to partaking in liberal institutions. Consequently, our (alleged) commitment to the relevant epistemic no…Read more
  •  40
    We often fail to defer to sources who know what they’re talking about. When doing so consistently, we fail to manifest a virtue of deference. This is because epistemic virtues are dispositions that promote epistemic goals, and knowledge is an epistemic goal. The present paper makes two points about how to instill this virtue. First, virtues of deference can be instilled by promoting compliance with requests on the part of good sources to be listened to, since listening is conducive to believing.…Read more
  •  39
    A Luxury of the Understanding: On the Value of True Belief (review)
    Philosophical Review 127 (2): 237-240. 2018.
  •  35
  •  32
    Critics have recently argued that reliabilists face trade-off problems, forcing them to condone intuitively unjustified beliefs when they generate lots of true belief further downstream. What these critics overlook is that reliabilism entails that there are side-constraints on belief-formation, on account of which there are some things you should not believe, even if doing so would have very good epistemic consequences. However, we argue that by embracing side-constraints the reliabilist faces a…Read more