• Lucky Ignorance, Modality and Lack of Knowledge
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (3). 2021.
    I argue against the Standard View of ignorance, according to which ignorance is defined as equivalent to lack of knowledge, that cases of environmental epistemic luck, though entailing lack of knowledge, do not necessarily entail ignorance. In support of my argument, I contend that in cases of environmental luck an agent retains what I call epistemic access to the relevant fact by successfully exercising her epistemic agency and that ignorance and non-ignorance, contrary to what the Standard Vie…Read more
  • What We All Know: Community in Moore's "A Defence of Common Sense"
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 59 (4): 629-651. 2021.
    I defend an account of Moore's conception of Common Sense—as it figures in "A Defence of Common Sense"—according to which it is based in a vision of the community of human beings as bound and unified by a settled common understanding of the meaning of our words and statements. This, for Moore, is our inalienable starting point in philosophy. When Moore invokes Common Sense against idealist (and skeptical) philosophers, he is reminding them that they too are bound by this common understanding, wh…Read more
  • A material theory of induction
    Philosophy of Science 70 (4): 647-670. 2003.
    Contrary to formal theories of induction, I argue that there are no universal inductive inference schemas. The inductive inferences of science are grounded in matters of fact that hold only in particular domains, so that all inductive inference is local. Some are so localized as to defy familiar characterization. Since inductive inference schemas are underwritten by facts, we can assess and control the inductive risk taken in an induction by investigating the warrant for its underwriting facts. …Read more
  • Stebbing, Moore (and Wittgenstein) on common sense and metaphysical analysis
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (5): 914-934. 2021.
    Susan Stebbing is often portrayed as indebted to G. E. Moore for her ideas concerning the relationship between common sense and philosophy and about analysis. By focusing mostly on her article “The...
  • I argue that a standard formulation of hinge epistemology is host to epistemic relativism and show that two leading hinge approaches (Coliva’s acceptance account and Pritchard’s nondoxastic account) are vulnerable to a form of incommensurability that leads to relativism. Building on both accounts, I introduce a new, minimally epistemic conception of hinges that avoids epistemic relativism and rationally resolves hinge disagreements. According to my proposed account, putative cases of epistemic i…Read more
  • G.E. Moore’s writings on external world skepticism show us, in broad outline, how to dispense with external world skepticism in a way that is satisfying, intellectually responsible, and yet avoids engaging in constructive epistemological theory-building altogether. His work thus reveals something very important about the relation between epistemology and ordinary life, and also about what it would take to reach a satisfying resolution of certain sorts of perennial philosophical problems.
  • On question-begging and analytic content
    Z. Elgin Samuel
    Synthese 197 (3): 1149-1163. 2020.
    Among contemporary philosophers, there is widespread consensus that begging the question is a grave argumentative flaw. However, there is presently no satisfactory analysis of what this flaw consists of. Here, I defend a notion of question-begging in terms of analyticity. In particular, I argue that an argument begs the question just in case its conclusion is an analytic part of the conjunction of its premises.
  • The Limitations of the Open Mind
    Oxford University Press. 2018.
    When should you engage with difficult arguments against your cherished controversial beliefs? The primary conclusion of this book is that your obligations to engage with counterarguments are more limited than is often thought. In some standard situations, you shouldn't engage with difficult counterarguments and, if you do, you shouldn't engage with them open-mindedly. This conclusion runs counter to aspects of the Millian political tradition and political liberalism, as well as what people worki…Read more
  • Moorean Facts and Belief Revision, or Can the Skeptic Win?
    Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1): 179-209. 2005.
    A Moorean fact, in the words of the late David Lewis, is ‘one of those things that we know better than we know the premises of any philosophical argument to the contrary’. Lewis opens his seminal paper ‘Elusive Knowledge’ with the following declaration.
  • There’s the question of what there is, and then there’s the question of what ultimately exists. Many contend that, once we have this distinction clearly in mind, we can see that there is no sensible debate to be had about whether there are such things as properties or tables or numbers, and that the only ontological question worth debating is whether such things are ultimate (in one or another sense). I argue that this is a mistake. Taking debates about ordinary objects as a case study, I show t…Read more